Monday, June 08, 2009

39 CA Groups Working for Gay Marriage;

Coordination When?

[Update: We're up to 40. See note below. -mp]
[Second Update: Change that to 42. See revision at bottow. mp]

Over the weekend, while under the 420 influence, I began a list of all minor and major political advocacy organizations, non-profits, gay pollsters, foundations or volunteer-driven groups working on behalf of gay marriage in California. I also threw the names of foundations and polling firm, all of which played significant, but not out-front and public, roles in the No on 8 debacle on to my list.

There's a need for me to know exactly who all are the existing players, and you know there will be more as the gays plot and implement a losing strategy for 2010 or 2012, and try to keep tabs on them. Would be great if there were genuine coordination, intelligence-sharing, and community-engagement among all groups, but I don't expect miracles to become fashionable and bring about those necessary ingredients for success.

Yeah, I'm already saying whatever year the leaders and money-changers decide on for the next gay marriage initiative, it's going to be a failure. Anyone who's half-smart and has watched the fumbles of the new crew in San Francisco on the day of the Supreme Court decision, and the following weekend's events in Fresno, knows the new faces are closely imitating the worst non-transparent ways of the old No on 8 committee.

My list is in alphabetized format. If you know of a group I've missed, please send along their name and I'll revise the list.
  1. ACLU of Northern California
  2. And Marriage for All
  4. API Equality
  5. Bayard Rustin Coalition
  6. Bohnett Foundation
  7. California Faith for Equality
  8. Courage Campaign
  9. David Binder Polling
  10. Equal Roots Coalition
  11. Equality California
  12. Equality Network
  13. FAIR
  14. Freedom to Marry
  15. Get to Know Us First
  16. GLAAD
  17. Grassroots Equality Network
  18. Haas Jr Foundation
  20. Join the Impact
  21. Lambda Legal
  22. Latino Equality Alliance
  23. Liberty Hill Foundation
  24. Los Angeles Gay Community Center
  25. Love Honor Cherish
  26. Marriage Equality USA
  27. Meet in the Middle
  28. National Center for Lesbian Rights
  29. National Gay and Lesbian Task Farce
  30. One Struggle, One Fight
  31. Roots of Equality
  32. San Diego Gay Community Center
  33. San Diego Advocates for Marriage Equality
  34. Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
  35. Transgender Law Center
  37. Unite the Fight
  38. White Knot for Equality
  39. Yes on Equality
So, anyone have ideas about when the next open meetings and summits are for the individual groups, and as a larger state-wide collective?

I know the Marriage Equality USA/CA chapters are getting their act together and taking it on the road, I think, to 80 towns and cities and the next two months. Sure hope they talk to locals and avoid the "import the ghetto and only talk to ourselves" approach at the rally at the city hall in Fresno last month.

But what about an honest attempt by these groups to stage a truly transparent series of summits over the summer, present a coordinated plan of engagement with the community, on gay marriage AND all the other queer issues, like AIDS drugs about to be cut by the state?

I'd welcome more open talks with and from the group. As far as I can tell from the Equality California and the Courage Campaign web sites, no such summits are planned, and both group are competing to establish twenty-five separate, but equal, canvassing teams across the state.

Seeing the competition for the same queer dollars, to do the same damn queer thing, for the same purpose of gay marriage, is why I said before, the 2010 or 2012 ballot prop is going to fail with the two biggest CA groups acting this way.

From the EQCA site:
Help us meet our goal by August 23 to hire 25 grassroots organizers to support the thousands of volunteers talking directly to voters to win marriage back.
From Rick Jacobs' Courage Campaign site:
25 teams in 15 counties are contacting voters every weekend. Courage plans to expand into all 58 counties in the next 18 months.

Note From Robin Tyler:

You forgot my group. We actually are a non-profit (all volunteer) 501c4 called The Equality Campaign, Inc.
We did,, (Federal Marriage Amendment).
We also were the same activists who did the protests for and the celebrations in
50 cities when Lawrence v Texas struck down the sodomy laws.
(I am the ED. We get titles, just no $)
Second Update:
Karen Ocamb reminds me that there's the Gill Foundation, which played a pivotal role in the No on 8 effort, and should not be counted out from future initiatives.

She also says to add the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the David Bois and Ted Olson group that filed a federal lawsuit recently to win gay marriage.

We're now up to 42 groups and entities on my list.


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid to say it, but I'm afraid you're right. All these efforts are DOOMED just because of one primary fact, to start, and that's that Geoff Kors is still the head of Equality California. Those imbeciles are not getting a DIME more of my money (after getting way too much of it in the No on 8 debacle). He FAILED the entire operation, and he has the gall to NOT resign afterward? What a fucking arrogant punk. And shame on the EQCA Board for not kicking his ass to the curb when the debacle happened on his watch. He's not getting another chance to fuck up all over again; not with my money. With all the Narcissism going on with all these groups trying to get money for themselves and nothing but infighting, they will dilute all of their collective effort, preach to the choir, and meanwhile the fireman will fiddle while the barn doth burn. And the idiots who voted for Prop 8 (the religious gullible, the uneducated new immigrant new voter, the uneducated in general, and the gullible in general) will have no opportunity for the kind of community education needed (in English, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Hebrew, Farsi, Tagalog, etc., etc.) to educate people that gays and lesbians are not hatched from pods from Mars, nor are they, as one voter told me, "with Satanic souls". I would love to see Prop 8 overturned -- but they're not getting a DIME from me until Geoff Kors resigns and there is REAL, meaningful collaboration, and there is a REAL, meaningful outreach to the underserved communities that were ignored in the last election in the ultimate act of queer White arrogance. Maybe the current doomed strategy will change. If not, Iowa will continue to stand as more progressive than California (partially because Iowa doesn't have millions of ignorant, poorly-educated, new immigrant conservative Catholic new voters).

Unknown said...

When Gill Action sent Patrick Guerriero over from Colorado to help lead effort I was hopeful but he, along with Kors, is responsible for boneheaded decisions that led to our failure. Too corporate, too HRC, too DC...too bad for us.

Anonymous said...

Equality Network meets every Wed. in Plummer Park in West Hollywood CA @ 7:30pm. The meeting is open to all who would like to attend. We also are NOT a single issue group. We have DIRECT ACTIONS. In the last 2 weeks we have continued to table in neighborhoods to promote activism and discussion about Queer rights/issues, advertise and promote a boycott of Rockstar Energy Drink for its assc. w/SF based talk hate host Michael Savage, went in mass to the Stop the HIV Cuts protest on Santa Monica Blvd where we were asked to lead the march and continued to sustain our ongoing propaganda campaign re: Queer Equal Rights in all areas by stickering, postering and general visual mayhem. We also produced a teach in on the history of Queer Politics that was open to anyone who wanted to attend that helped to educate and solidify the new activist movement here in LA. If you would like to participate in OutWest, the coalition of over 43 new groups, it meets every month on the first Monday(local determined and then announced) and has an open agenda AND open door policy. OutWest has also been named honorary community marshals of the LA LGBTQ Pride Parade.

Perhaps participating instead of continually criticizing would be a step toward greater understanding and a more learned opinion.

More questions? Here is my email.

Waiyde Palmer