Hollywood’s Gay ‘Powerati’ Pissed Over Prop 8

Kevin Sessums writes up a few reactions in The Daily Beast from entertainment industry gay power brokers (he talks to Darren Star, Greg Berlanti, Dan Jinks, David Geffen, Max Mutchnick, Dustin Lance Black, and Simon Halls) over the passage of Proposition 8.

BlackBrothers and Sisters creator Berlanti: “I was listening to all of these people on television say how they can finally tell their children that they can grow up and be anything,” says Berlanti. ”And I kept thinking—no you can’t. Not if they’re gay. If they’re gay or lesbian—forget about becoming president—they still can’t even become a husband or a wife.”

Milk producer Jinks: “One of the things that Prop 8 proved is that gays and lesbians did not have the political infrastructure to utilize against the infrastructure of organized religion, which really fought against us—especially the Mormon church. The churches and their allies were able to make this a national issue. It seems that only by losing this vote has it finally become a national issue for the gay and lesbian community.”

Geffen: “So many African Americans don’t look at gay marriage as a civil rights issue,” he says of the community that voted 70 percent against same-sex marriage. “They look on it as a religious one. And we, for whatever reason…fear? Arrogance? Complacency? We did not do enough outreach to them. We need to begin a dialogue with them, because we should be putting this back on the ballot every election every year until we win.”

Milk writer Black: “Our commercials, for God’s sakes, were mostly in the closet. That’s one of the lessons of our film. We never win when we accept the strictures of the closet. Did we learn nothing from Harvey Milk? We must come out! It is the closet that defeats us.”

Much more at The Beast.


  1. Matt says

    I was having a discussion on this at dinner last night with a few of my friends. The more we talked we discovered that we aren’t against gay marriage but as gay men we really didn’t care wether it passed or not. Maybe we feel that way because in our State an amendment was passed years ago and we never saw a real change either way in the community. I guess what we were trying to figure out is why it just didn’t really matter to any of us.

  2. erick28 says

    yeah right, get pissed.

    Where are these personalities, protests and organizing when they are needed the most — BEFORE THE ELECTION.

    Even this site was not as active about this issue ’till the funding and poll shows that we are losing. So let us face it… we are at fault that we lose.

    If we care enough, we could have made noise that the national media will grant us some notice, with the media attention we get now is FREE. Mobilizing people and protesting for sure is spontaneous and FREE. Funding is not the be and all of this campaign.

    Where is the passion when it was needed!!!


  3. says

    Um, this site raised nearly $100,000 from its links alone to fight Prop. 8, so Erick, I’d have to say you’re full of shit. STFU when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Your running at the mouth and finger-pointing is counterproductive.

  4. Topher L says

    You know, I feel the same way as Mr. Berlanti does. Everywhere you look, people saying you can do or be anything. But what about a gay president?

    I have wondered with DADT policies in place would it even be legal for an out gay person to even run for president? I could see the Right Wingnuts manipulating that law to mean that as the President is Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, then under that policy, an out gay person could not legally be president.

    Prop 8 is just the spark that has ignited the flames of a much larger issue. Until we are treated equally under the US Constitution in ALL 50 states, then this is all a moot point. It won’t happen overnight, but I believe we have a loud (and witty) voice that will allow us to be heard in the corridors of power.

    We need to reeducate the masses and humanize this issue to them. We are not just their hairdressers, florists and decorators (not that there’s anything wrong with those jobs, but it’s a stereotype that is perpetuated negatively. We are their sons and daughters. The people in Hollywood are masters of propaganda. It would be great if they formed a coalition that would develop an INCLUSIVE media campaign to bring these issues to light in a non-threatening way.

    Barack was on the ground in all 50 states to win. We should follow his lead and do the same with our issue!

    OK, that was my soapbox for today.

  5. nic says

    gawd, MATT, the more you comment the more effete you become. go away little girl, before i wish you to die.

  6. says

    “The more we talked we discovered that we aren’t against gay marriage but as gay men we really didn’t care wether it passed or not. . . . I guess what we were trying to figure out is why it just didn’t really matter to any of us.”

    Matt, maybe the key is to think outside of yourself and your small group of friends? I understand queer people who have problems with the institution of marriage itself, but pure apathy? For 2 lesbians or 2 gay men with kids, trust me, it matters. For 2 people who have been together for 30 years, and one of them is facing a major illness or death, trust me, it matters. Part of being a human being is fighting for things that may not personally affect you (now) but that are simply right. But if you and your friends aren’t bothered by blatant discrimination, I’m sure you’ll find other more important dinner conversations.

    And, based on the commercials I saw, I agree with Dustin Black. Closeting ourselves when we’re trying to encourage people to recognize our common humanity is a bogus strategy whatever some focus groups may say.

  7. says

    As far as I know, David Geffen didn’t give any sizable donation to No on 8…..unless you put his name on a building, he wants no part of it!

  8. noteasilyoffended says

    “Our commercials, for God’s sakes, were mostly in the closet. That’s one of the lessons of our film. We never win when we accept the strictures of the closet. Did we learn nothing from Harvey Milk? We must come out! It is the closet that defeats us.”

    Hear that all you closeted gays. You are hurting us all with your silence. Hear that, Anderson! Hear that Condollezza! Closeted gay be on notice: If you in your high-visability positions are not helping us by being open and honest, if you are in a position to speak out, to change minds, to use the platform you find yourself in to do good for the community, you are hurting us and will dealt with appropriately.

    People need to know the full range of the gay community to understand our community better.

  9. Matt says

    You guys want to know why people don’t like gays? Look no further than comments made by Nic and David Ehrenstein. On the other hand comments like Ernie’s is what a true leader in the gay community looks like. Because whether you believe it or not, there are a lot of gays out there who are apathetic to this cause. They aren’t against it but they see it as having no merit in their personal lives. I for one am not against it but I would never donate to a cause that means nothing to me. I’m pro-choice but I don’t donate to pro-choice groups and if roe vs wade is over turned it wouldn’t have a lot of significance to me because it’s not a cause that affects me. If I was to ever have a partner (which is doubtful, I much rather enjoy just having sex with you people) I could easily procure legal documents to insure my partner’s right to my assest and my legal guardian should something happen to me.

  10. Derrick from PHilly says

    Excuse me, but MATT’s comment was very honest. For me, the issue of gay marriage rights was something I had to look outside myself to see the importance of. If something doesn’t affect you personally, sometimes it takes a while for you to get beyond your selfishness and see that it may be a very serious matter to others (that may be part of the problem with many of the “Vote Yes” folks–they couldn’t see it as a serious issue of human/civil rights).

    There may be other issues on which gay men are selfish, and don’t see the importance. How many gay men cared about equality for female athletes when it comes to state/federal funding of schools?

    I don’t think MATT’s comment should be dismissed so quickly. Apathy among disenchanted gays may be more an issue on this issue than y’all realize.

  11. Akaison says


    is spamming various blogs, including here and Queerty, making the same arguments. Basically, he’s probably a troll for the right.

    Matt, you may want to next time use different names.

  12. Matt says


    I’m not a troll for the right. Is it a crime to read more than one blog and comment on there. If I was a troll for the right, I would just use different names. I am not ashamed for how I feel.

  13. mike says

    Gee, Matt, why do I think you and your twinkie friends are probably all Log Cabin Republicons? Or, maybe Prop. 8 wasn’t on the list of “To Do Things” before you and your twinkie friends leave to start the party circuit this season. Or, maybe you’ve never been walking down the street with your best friend and been attacked by gay-bashers. Or, maybe in that guilded, fabulous gay world you inhabit, you’ve never been evicted from your apartment by your recently “born-again” landlord who decided that he didn’t want a “known sinner” living on his property and you didn’t have any legal recourse to fight back. Or, maybe you and your twinkie friends have your heads so far up your @sses that it never occurred to you to care about anything other than your own, selfish interests. It’s people like you and your twinkie friends who will probably help the wing-nuts send us to the concentration camps.

  14. The Gay Numbers says


    It’s been my experience with my friends who think like you do they don’t typically visit various blogs posting the same comment about how gay people should not care about this. But hey, knock yourself out.

  15. The Gay Numbers says


    Unfortunately, the gay community has a large segment which is self absorbed. They feel threatened when others are not as self absorbed as they are. Our carrying about marriage or anything at all becomes a mirror into their internalized issues. Hence Matt’s spamming.

  16. Rowan says

    Geez, why are you harrassing the guy?? This is exactly why this shit happened with the African Americans, don’t BURY your heads in the sand and think just because someone is GAY that they CARE about activitism.

    I had to learn that earlier on being a black person that not ALL black people care about activism..

    I just salute Matt for his honesty because come on people…why was there such a low turnout if they weren’t feeling like Matt?


  17. The Gay Numbers says

    Because Rowan, like with yourself, it is not enough that he does not care. He wants us not to care too. If he truly did not care, he, like you , would not be posting here. This is just a fact of your own behaviors. He can do what he wants. but I can call him on what’s motivating it. You do not both get the choice to say I do not care and I am going to make a big stick about it, but also get to not receive criticsim for it. He’s free to do what he wants. I am free to criticize his behavior. If you or he has a problem with people criticizing your comments, then do not keep spamming various sites talking about it.

  18. David B. says

    We are second class citizens — domestic partners need to produce paper work to convince hospitals and other institutions that we are connected family members and not just friends in order to be treated equally as straight family members (which hospitals never ask to produce paperwork).

    When husband/partner is dying and bleeding to death, rifling through your glove compartment is not high on my priority list — is it on yours?

    Just so you know — separate and equal — does not work in these situations.

  19. Greg says

    I cannot read those comments from Black. Not when his movie could have helped defeat the measure instead, all they care about is Oscar. Harvey would be screaming from the rafters at them!

  20. says

    “I could easily procure legal documents to insure my partner’s right to my assest and my legal guardian should something happen to me.”

    For not being a troll, Matt, that’s an awfully troll-like statement, one right from the pages of the Republican party and the McCain campaign. A) Cobbling together partner benefits is expensive and legally incomplete. And B) Why should we have to “procure legal documents” when straight people have to do nothing of the kind? Leave the second-class citizen is ok for the fags crap to the straight people. We deserve better, and you know it, unless you enjoy feeling inferior?

  21. D. says

    Where were all these people before the election? Geffen and a lot of other members of the gay mafia could certainly afford to pony up a lot of money but none of them dead. And it really irks me to see all of these HW power brokers, who keep their stars in the closet, complaining. They should take a long hard look in the mirror before accusing other people of not doing enough for the gay community.

  22. Thelea Draganic says

    I am upset about this erroneous finger pointing at African-Americans regarding Proposition 8. Why are you so quick to believe whatever you hear? If someone told me 70 percent of gay people voted against Obama my first thought would be, I don’t believe it! This political year was fraught with right wing lies. These right wing religious extremists are trying to deflect their responsibility for Proposition 8 to Black people and Black churches.Bear that in mind.

    “Religious organizations that support Proposition 8 include the Roman Catholic Church], Knights of Columbus, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) a group of Evangelical Christians led by Jim Garlow and Miles McPherson, American Family Association, Focus on the Family[and the National Organization for Marriage Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, California’s largest, has also endorsed the measure. The Bishops of the California Catholic Conference released a statement supporting the proposition. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has publicly supported the proposition and encouraged their membership to support it, by asking its members to donate money and volunteer time. The First Presidency of the church announced its support for Proposition 8 in a letter read in every congregation. Latter-day Saints have provided a significant source for financial donations in support of the proposition, both inside and outside the State of California. About 45% of out-of-state contributions to Protect Marriage.com has come from Utah, over three times more than any other state…

    Still, even though gays were fighting to preserve a basic right, it was the anti-equality side in California that seemed to have the most fervor. A symbolic low point for the gay side came on Oct. 13, when the Sacramento Bee ran a remarkable story about Rick and Pam Patterson, a Mormon couple of modest means – he drives a 10-year-old Honda Civic, she raises their five boys – who had withdrawn $50,000 from their savings account and given it to the pro-8 campaign. “It was a decision we made very prayerfully,” Pam Patterson, 48, told the Bee’s Jennifer Garza. “Was it an easy decision? No. But it was a clear decision, one that had so much potential to benefit our children and their children.”

    This is your real enemy. Don’t trust exit polls. I think they are pitting one group against the other. African-Americans are less than 7% of the state population, do the math. Many more Whites voted and they put this over, not Blacks. What are the total numbers of each group that voted. Someone dug into the data and found that we’re just now learning is that the exit poll was based on less than 2,300 people. If you take into account that blacks in California only make up about 6.2%, we get roughly 224 blacks who were polled. 224 blacks to blame an entire race! The truth is, I have heard that Prop 8 passed because of Republican support. 82% of Republicans admitted to supporting the proposition. They were not the ones who came out to vote for Obama.

    I know someone who watches C-Span and they said most Blacks did not even address the question at all. And they do not have the money to fund a tens of millions of dollars Proposition 8 campaign. Note that they also targeted affirmative action for eradication in another state.

    Rather than be upset at the phantom African-American menace, fight like hell. I cannot believe that these larger groups who came out in droves to craft and fund this legislation get a pass and Blacks are being targeted for the blame game.

    There is no right wing black conspiracy against gay Americans. When you tried to align your struggle with that of Blacks you inherited their enemies. These same enemies are now trying to pit one against the other because they fear the combined numbers of both.

    How many gay activists supported the civil rights movement in the 1960’s? Then how do you automatically expect support in return? Have you asked Blacks to support you or did you just assume?

    No one gave Obama anything and they will not give gays anything either. Obama stands on the shoulders of a lot of brave people who gave their lives for him to stand on that podium last night.

    Never trust exits polls because in all my years of life, no one has ever been seen at a polling place asking anyone anything when they left.

    Don’t fall for the lies.

    And the people have spoken. Fight this in the court of appeals and not the court of biased opinion by targeting Blacks for hatred and enmity.

  23. kojoto says

    It is true that the Mormon church contributed a huge amount of $$ to defeat this (which is why I am boycotting the Marriott, among other companies) but we have to accept the fact that Mormons are not a significant voting block in California. The big CA. voting block that was against gay marriage is the church going African- American community. Its no secret that homophobia runs strong among black church goers and we need to get the message across to those folks.