Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Equality CA: 
Closing Some Offices, Layoffs Too

Marc Solomon, the soon-to-be former head of Equality California's gay marriage effort, announced today that he is moving over Evan Wolfson's Freedom to Marry org. He's also circulating a letter explaining the changes, and sharing the news that EQCA is seriously downsizing:

In the perfect world, Equality California would maintain and grow the field program it has built, both to be ready for a possible court loss and to continue building public support. However, in the present economic climate, where there’s a real sense that Prop 8 could be overturned in the courts in the next two years, the funding is simply not available for EQCA to maintain the program it has put in place.

This means EQCA needs to make some changes, and it is. EQCA is maintaining a solid marriage program, with the Let California Ring public education campaign at the center working to devise and disseminate messaging that will continue to grow support, both across the board and in target communities. [...] At the same time, after the November elections, EQCA is significantly reducing its field staff and is closing some of its offices.
Fascinating news, coming only days after learning the Human Rights Campaign's revenue for 2010 is down by 17%. Maybe these Gay Inc org will finally get around to respectfully engaging the community with regular open meetings, streamed on the web. In the process they may develop genuine grassroots support, another democratic component sorely missing from EQCA and HRC.

However, if homo-history is any indication, the funding crisis at Gay Inc entities will likely be wasted and not used to improve the orgs. Remember all the anger and street protests after Prop 8 was lost, and the short-lived Join the Impact sprouted a web site? Lots of thought JTI would bring Gay Inc to a new place of transparency and accountability.

But then JTI attended the NGLTF's Creating Change conference, got co-opted, and was neutralized. Anyone heard from JTI Amy and Willow lately?

Will the gays learn again, as we did in the 1980s, how to make effective use of a crisis?

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