Sunday, October 21, 2012

HRC's Low Bar:
1 Marriage Prop Win = 'Narrative Change'

My gay journalist friend Duncan Osborn back in New York expressed his reservations with me earlier in the week about the Human Rights Campaign's president Chad Griffin, pictured, telling the AP that if we win one out of four on the marriage votes on November 6 that will constitute a "narrative change":

From the AP:

The national gay-rights group is contributing more than $4.4 million to the four state campaigns. "If we're able to win one of these four, it will be a narrative change - proof that the public has moved our way dramatically," Griffin said.

Duncan writes:

This is the first time that I have seen one of the Gay Inc. groups make a prediction or evoke a benchmark for our performance on that day.

As you have reported previously, we have lost more than eight out of 10 ballot initiative fights dating back to 1978. One out of four is 75 percent so Chad's standard is just slightly better than our performance historically. I'm not sure why that should be seen as success.

But do remember that I have written to you previously that I think two out of four would be quite good, three out of four would be incredible, and a sweep would leave me speechless. Or something like that. 

And I do think the gay groups have created an expectation that we will do better than one out of four on November 6. They have been touting these national polls for some time saying those polls show a sea change in support for us. I don't know this empirically, but I do think a lot of LGBT folks are expecting better than one out of four on November 6.

I say it's a step forward if one of the gay marriage propositions goes our way on November 6. By definition a narrative change would be more than just one state voting in our favor. HRC's bar for the four November props is too low. 

A narrative change, for me, would be if HRC began pushing for affordable housing for all low and moderate income LGBT Americans, regardless of martial or relationship status. Or putting on town hall meetings, taking questions from ordinary gays about HRC's agenda. Finally getting with a democratic engagement agenda would also qualify as a narrative change with HRC.

Let's see what happens with the props in November.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

perhaps prediction bring $$ to the coffers - one can always say oops afterwards. Benchmarks are good - unfortunately they have yet to embrace FULL equality - or is that lingo unavailable in the lexicon of gay INC? melanie nathan