L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Hosts Online Town Hall for Windows Users


25 Nov 08


Thanksgiving is just two days away. Given the passage of Prop 8, I have to admit it’s been challenging this year to focus on being thankful.

The days since the passage of Prop 8 have been difficult and painful. It was a loss for all who cherish fairness and equality.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has faced the unprecedented experience of having a fundamental right eliminated by a majority of voters in California. There is a very good reason why, as a nation, we have not put the rights of a minority up for popular vote — this is an outcome which mars the dignity not only of our lives, but also of the democratic process.

But as challenging as the last several weeks have been, I have found many things to be thankful for.

First, the California Supreme Court has accepted our case challenging Prop 8 and we continue to believe that the Court should be the place where this issue is decided. The support from so many of our allies who have joined with us to overturn Prop 8 has been inspiring.

Second, I am thankful for the members of Equality California. EQCA members donated more than $14 million to defeat Prop 8 — $11 million more than any other organization. The power of our movement resides in people like you.

Third, I returned from Sacramento on Saturday after attending a powerful rally against Prop 8. Many EQCA board members and staff including John Duran, EQCA’s current board president, and Cary Davidson, our board vice-president and I have had the chance to participate in town halls, call-in radio programs and rallies around the state — in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Palm Springs. I continue to be inspired by the passion and determination of our community, especially young and emerging activists. And I’m encouraged by all our non-LGBT supporters who continue to stand up for fairness and equality and who remain determined to reverse this injustice. EQCA will continue to update the community on the actions taking place around the state and ways you can be involved.


Since November 5, I have received thousands of messages and calls from our community across the state and nation about what worked, and more importantly, what did not work in the No on 8 campaign. Many have asked about the structure of the campaign and how it was run.

It is only through this spirit of honest reflection that we’ll be able to make progress and move the needle on full equality for LGBT people in California. There will be a full and independent assessment of every aspect of the campaign.

In the meantime, I want you to know that the campaign marshaled what we believed to be the best resources in our effort to defeat Prop 8. All key decisions regarding the campaign were made by a team of professional campaign consultants — some of the best in the nation in defeating ballot measures. Here’s a quick summary of the campaign structure:

* When this campaign started in earnest — well over a year ago — we did what every statewide campaign must do: We hired a professional campaign consultant to make key media, strategy and messaging decisions. That hire, Steve Smith from Dewey Square Group, was made based on Steve’s 30-year record in ballot campaigns in California, including twice defeating parental notification initiatives which had been expected to pass by large margins. Steve and Dewey Square Group wrote an in-depth plan and managed its execution.

* In May of this year, Steve brought on the media and public relations firm Ogilvy International to design ads and media strategy and brought in a team of professional campaign consultants and staff to run the different components of the campaign.

* National, state and local organizations contributed money and staff to campaign. The national field directors of the Task Force, HRC and GLAAD were members of the Executive Committee. The Task Force designed and led the statewide field effort and numerous national, state and local organizations lent staff to the field effort. We should all be appreciative of the many organizations based here in California that did so much to fight Prop 8. And a very special thanks to the senior staff from HRC, the Task Force, Gill Action, the ACLU and other organizations that uprooted their lives and temporarily moved to California to take on leadership roles in the campaign.

I am so appreciative of all the amazing campaign staff, the donated staff from so many organizations and the incredible volunteers who worked so hard to secure equality. I believe that the team hired was committed to making the best decisions they could. These decisions were based on the information our consultants had from a number of sources regarding what messages had the best chance of success with the undecided voters the campaign had to reach.


Still, given our disappointing loss, the campaign has committed to an external assessment of what worked and what didn’t. While the campaign made many smart decisions, there’s no doubt that mistakes were also made. The campaign is committed to learning from those mistakes so that a smarter and better campaign can be run in the future.

As new information emerges from the analysis of the election, I pledge to you to share information so that our movement can move forward with the knowledge and understanding of what it will take to win full equality in California and across the nation.

We must all renew our commitment to this cause. We’ve come too incredibly far to give up now. Consider the following:

* In 1948, when the California Supreme Court struck down state laws that banned interracial couples from marrying, 90 percent of Americans opposed the freedom to marry for interracial couples. In 1967 — nearly 20 years later — when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down similar laws across the nation, the number opposed stood at 70 percent. According to the Gallup Organization, it wasn’t until 1997 that support for marriage for interracial couples broke the 50% mark — 49 years after the California court decision!

* In contrast, Prop 22 passed in 2000 by 61.4 to 38.6 percent — a 23 percent margin of defeat. This year, we narrowed our margin to 4 percent. More importantly, 6.2 million Californians voted against discrimination in 2008 compared to only 2.9 million in 2000 — an incredible increase of 54 percent.

* Speaking of numbers, here’s one particularly compelling and heartening set of numbers: Above, I mentioned that it wasn’t until 1997 that a majority of Americans supported the freedom to marry for interracial couples. What I didn’t mention is that something incredible happened within the span of six years. In 1991, 48 percent supported the freedom to marry for interracial couples, while 42 percent opposed. In 1994, 48 percent still stood in support, but opposition dropped to 37 percent. Then, in 1997, the tipping point was reached. All of a sudden, opposition dropped to 27 percent and support jumped to 64 percent.

I believe we are on the cusp of our own tipping point, but it will take the ongoing determination and commitment of every single one of us. We must continue to tell our stories to our friends, family members and co-workers. We must continue to volunteer and to donate. While we lost on November 4, the trend line is moving in the direction of fairness and equality for all Californians.

We’ve seen how far we’ve come in a relatively short period of time. As we continue this dialogue with Californians, I’m convinced that a majority in our state will come to realize that they don’t want to live in a place where we treat our fellow Californians unfairly.

I hope you will continue to join Equality California in our mutual struggle for freedom, fairness and dignity.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Geoff Kors
Executive Director
Equality California


  1. Alex says

    I’m on Firefox for Mac and I have no issues loading Towleroad.

    The crappy version of Internet Explorer for Windows I have at work chokes on it however :(

    And who hosts a virtual townhall on a gay issue and doesn’t support Macs?

  2. says

    Look I hate playing the blame game and I hate looking back on what happened with the “No on 8″ people. Mostly because I think it wastes our time, and resources, and it was nothing but a “cover thy ass” sort of thing.

    The one thing I will say about it all is that the one thing that lacked WAS COMMUNITY which has been a MAJOR part of the problem over the past 20 Years or so across the Board with MANY Gay and Lesbian Rights movements and organizations. Including Equity Cali and the HRC. In the olden days after Stonewall up until about Stonewall 25 activism and the fight for our rights included raching out to members and other organizations of our community for help and support. No ONE entity ran things and made decisions in toto. The ORGANIZED many gtoups who reached out and gave feedback and helped in our fights. But over time as organizations as the HRC and others grew. The focus shifted from grassroots and community involvement” to “We are big enough to handel this by ourselves. We have a Board of Directors and Nifty offices just send money and WE’LL take care of it.” Thats not how its works. And it will never work that way. Instead of meeting with PR people and Media Consultants they should have been galvanizxing the community and reaching out to groups withion the community for help and ideas. WE REALLY NEED TO GET BACK TO BASICS. WE NEED MORE GRASS ROOTS ORGANIZATIONS. AND WE AS GAY AND LESBIANS HAVE HOPEFULLY LEARNED AN IMPORTANT LESSON IN WHICH TO NEVER JUST SIT BACK AND ALLOW ONE GROUP TO HANDEL THE CONCERNS OF OUR COMMUNITY.

  3. rudy says

    I am having a very difficult time getting past my seething anger at the debacle created by the self-appointed “leaders” of the No on 8 coalition. Their non-apologias, blaming all but themselves, are making matters worse for our community rather than healing and moving forward.

    They continue to blather on about “assessment” for their colossal failure but never take responsibility for their mistakes. They failed to prepare for the time-worn tactics and strategy of their known opponents. They failed utterly to reach out to both their base and the convincable middle.

    The time has long passed when the old guard should resign. Too much time and money was sqaundered by people who, in a striking example of ineptitude, would choose to take vacations in the middle of what should have been the fight of their careers. Pathetic and deplorable.

  4. kujhawkers says

    You know these aren’t elected officials. They can easily be dumped by stop listening to them and stop giving them money.

    The aftermath has proven that there are plenty of people out there that want to help. They just don’t want to use the same team that lost it for them they first time.

    So ignore the establishment and establishg new groups to fund the legal fight and the any new intitatives.

    They have proven themselves unable to to plan and strategize, hell they can’t even include groups like blacks, latinos and mac users.

    We don’t have to keep giving them a power. Tell them there time is up and that new groups are forming to take over.

  5. mike moore, new york city says



  6. noah says

    So, we all now know that the campaign was mismanaged, plagued with arrogance, incompetence, and a bit of old fashioned white supremacist tendencies to ignore and marginalize people of color. Well, some of the No on 8 leaders have a lot in common with the McCain/Palin leadership.

    But blaming the failure of No on 8 on the leaders of No on 8 or Ellen Degeneres for not giving millions of dollars ignores the two issues here:

    First, reports state that FIFTY-percent of eligible gay voters sat their butts at home and did not vote at all. Why? Do you imagine that if a law were on the ballot that would strip Latino-, Asian-, African-, or Native Americans of their right to marry that a similar portion of the affected group would sit at home?

    Second, why are plebicites/referendums allowed for laws that directly strip rights away from minorities?

    This is not the first time a vote was held to rip away or prevent rights for minorities. But no one has had the brains or desire to realize that part of the fight should be to prevent legalized “tyrrany of the majority.”

    Think about all of the states that held referendums to end Affirmative Action for women and minorities or outlawed any kind of state recognized domestic partnership for gays or prevents adoption of children by gays.

    Wouldn’t it be a smart idea to partner with all affected minority groups to end referendums like the aforementioned?

  7. Mike says

    I was disappointed and angry that Prop 8 passed, but there is a silver lining in that cloud. Most importantly I think the gay community is waking up to the fact that we need to be more visible and vocal. The most powerful thing we can do is come out of the closet and stand up for ourselves.

    Also, this whole issue regarding “voting” on basic rights needs to be resolved. Regardless of what the supreme court decides (and I do believe that they will rule in our favor) people are finally going to wake up that they are being manipulated by fringe wingnuts. We may have encountered a “bump” in California, but I think this whole episode will fast forward the equal marriage movement across the entire nation.

    Regarding the “No on 8″ campaign. Yes, they made mistakes. I wasn’t privy to all the conversations, but it appears they listened to the wrong consultants. I’m sure they realize now that was a major blunder – and won’t make that mistake again.

    Yes, I would have preferred that Prop 8 lost, but in the grand scheme of things, perhaps we are fortunate that things played out the way that they did. In the end, I think it finally woke us all up and made us realize that this battle will be won the way all civil rights battles have been won… by everyone doing their part.

  8. Mike says

    Oh, and about the “virtual town hall meeting”… Microsoft has done an excellent job in locking out other platforms… such things do need to be vendor/platform neutral. While it is true that the majority of the population is running windows, that is changing.

    Oh, and by the way… I’m running Fedora Linux… 😉

  9. CK says

    Regarding the Mac fiasco, surely the organizers know that Mac is platform standard for most creative fields… and we all KNOW that we have a high percentage of gay people in creative fields… talk about a blunder, not accomodating Mac Users!

  10. jeffrey says

    Noah- which RELIABLE reports state that 50% of eligible gay voters stayed at home??
    Can you reference even one? NO. That is a myth and please stop repeating it.

  11. says

    Yes it is indeed quite indicative of the campaign itself — not thinking truly outside of its own box, be it campaigning to people of color, or letting people with Macs simply join in on a freaking press conference…

    BTW, journalists mostly use Macs because the software needed to run a newsroom works best on them. I’ve worked in 5 newsrooms in my life, and only once did I work on a PC, and it was only because I was an intern and it was the crap computer that no one used.

    Windows, your monopoly is going DOWN! Macs and Linux rule hehe (I’m a loser nerd, sorry :)

  12. peterparker says

    Andy…your headline is hilarious! I also wanted to take part in the Town Hall meeting yesterday but was unable to do so because I use a Mac. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  13. says

    I look at this bunch and I see the same type of people who bored the hell out of me in Denver.

    Where are the young people? The people who would have made this forum available to all computer users?

    Where are the Blacks (not “African Americans” which just means you get paid by speaking to white people as one)? Did I miss the Asians? Hell, they couldn’t find a Leather Bear who owns his home and has been with his partner for a thousand years? What about the young Latina Lesbian who works in her community everyday?

    Same old same old.

    We had our rally here in Vegas which really sprang up grassroots through the efforts of our LGBT center Director Candace Nichols in about three days. Our local rag Citylife took us to task because the “official” rally downtown only got about 40 people whereas our rally got over 1500 and had Wanda Sykes “come out” publicly. It seems because we didn’t take our lead from the national leaders and give them the “right” type of media “look” we fucked up.

    Screw them. They fucked up the No on H8 campaign and no longer have any place at the table.

    Andy, we don’t need them anymore. They are WAY more interested in their A-List black tie galas and all the crap that comes with that. They look down on “the people” and think they know better. What a bunch of patronizing quasi Republicans.

    You guys need to move your Prius’ because YOU’RE LEAVING!

    Buh Bye!

  14. Fix It Again Tony says

    I gave several times to the No on 8 campaign. I live in San Francisco, and I saw ONE television ad against Prop 8 that whole time. Maybe there were more in places which might have leaned more toward passage, but I wasn’t there to see those, if they happened at all.

    I’m angry at the Governator for such a half-ass job of coming out against 8. I’m angry that the campaign was run so badly. I’m especially angry at Senator Dianne Feinstein for coming out against Prop 8 so late as to be completely ineffective. I’m also especially angry at those who sat at home instead of getting out and voting. Those last two should have known first-hand how important it was.

    Oh, and I’m really pissed that the Center would make it “Windows-Only” since Apple was one of the few who contributed to NO on 8. As a gay Linux+Firefox (and sometimes Mac) user, I’m appalled at the discrimination that happens to us, and only because the discrimination has been purposely written in (not unlike Prop 8) instead of because of some small error. If we, as citizens, are helping to pay for services, shouldn’t we be entitled to use those services like the majority?
    (I’m sorry if this seems disconnected, but I think ~10% of you will get it.)

  15. DW says

    What the hell kind of antiquated technology could they have been using to make it Windows-only?! I mean, even Silverlight (which is actually created by Microsoft and used in Netflix On Demand) is available for Mac – and it’s pretty amazing in terms of quality. Looks like the No on Prop 8 folks need to upgrade…. but then again, that was largely the problem with the campaign to begin with, I guess.
    Are they at least allowing it as a download?

  16. Wake Up says

    Honestly, anyone who blames Geoff Kors for the loss on Prop 8 pretty much has no idea what is going on at all. If you have been paying attention in California for the last 8 years AT ALL, if you gave a rat’s ass about the laws that affect LGBT people – not just marriage, but DPs and schools and anti-discrimination and employee benefits – before Prop 8 passed, you would know that there is no one who has done more for our community in California than Geoff Kors as ED of Equality California. EVERY law on the book that protects you, he’s been involved with. He was the architect of the entire system of laws that created near-equality for us, and for people to lash out at this point is about the stupidest thing I can imagine. Yes, the campaign failed. Yes, ONE of the people involved in it was Geoff – and his job was NOT deciding on ads, NOT organizing field, NOT any of the operations that failed. His one job was to raise money. And he did it. Just like his one job has been to get the CA legislature to pass laws that help us. And he has done it. So if you want to throw stone, you should at least get your facts straight – the blame here goes to every LGBT person who took for granted that Prop 8 would fail, and every LGBT person who didn’t pay attention until October of 2008 when people like Geoff have been fighting our battles for us for years and years and years, so well that we didn’t need to bother to care.

  17. Leland Frances says

    When ALL the others “involved” in passing those bills, like Leno and Kuehl, give Kors the credit you do, UP, then I’ll listen. Otherwise, you’ve offered no more evidence than your opinion based on the logical fallacy “post hoc ergo propter hoc,” or, as applied here: “after Kors was involved, therefore because Kors was involved.”

    And, fucking please, according to fellow failure Lorri Jean, Kors WAS a decision maker in all of this from Day 1 and could EASILY have changed the campaign’s direction if he’d had the insight/brains to do so.

    First let him, and the others, APOLOGIZE! Then we can consider whether to accept it and TRUST them again.

    In the meantime, NOT ANOTHER DIME from this CA gay man. [And I DON’T appreciate learning that they’ve given their donor contact lists to others without our permission!]

  18. Shannon Minter says

    As an attorney on the marriage case and on the Prop 8 challenge, I know first hand that we would not have had any marriage victory to defend in the first place it if were not for Geoff Kors and Equality California. It was because of the coalitions Geoff built that we had the support of other civil rights groups, organized labor and the business community, which was critical to winning the case. It was because of the 50 plus LGBT civil rights bills that EQCA sponsored that the Court had a massive body of existing pro-LGBT policy to rely upon. It was because Geoff had the foresight to ask for a revised title and summary for Prop 8 that the AG changed the official title to, “eliminates the right to marry for same-sex couples.” It was because Geoff started a public education effort targeted at communities of color and people of faith THREE years ago that Let California Ring, a non-profit unrelated to the campaign, was able to spend $3 million just since last July in outreach to those communities. And that is just to name a few key points. Geoff has accomplished more for our community than any state political leader in this country. I am sure there are lessons to be learned about how the campaign could have been run better, but it moved the public 18 points in 8 years and came closer to defeating an anti-marriage initiative by 12 points than anyone else has ever come. It had the largest field operation ever mounted to counter an anti-gay campaign and raised $33 million more than any other such campaign has ever raised. It is because of the incredible skill and dedication of Geoff and others that we pulled off the miracle of coming as close to defeating Prop 8 as we did. No state has ever defeated an anti-gay marriage initiative. We came closer BY FAR than any other state has ever come. We are lucky to have leaders like Geoff. Lashing out at people who have contributed so much and accomplished so much is not just wrong, it is incredibly short-sighted. The focus of our anger should be on the groups who want to harm us and strip us of rights, not on those who have devoted their lives to serving our community. Having helped to win the marriage case, I am extremely grateful to Geoff and others who worked on the campaign for putting everything on the line and for getting us so close to a victory.

  19. coach4men says

    I’m not a Californian but I spend a considerable amount of time here. I live in Texas and find the conversation about Prop 8 community leadership petty and unproductive. I watched and was involved in the Prop 8 campaign because if it does not happen here it never will in the state of my residency. In the aftermath of this devastating defeat I question whether pillorying the community leaders that stepped out of their lives at the behest of the organizations they represent and gave all they could is either useful or productive. From what I can tell the women and men who formed the community leadership of No on 8 came forward neither to advance careers nor build egos. They had full time jobs before the campaign. They were paid not by the campaign but by their organizations – really the supporters of those organizations who vet, make decisions about their employment, generally support and on a daily basis advance a broad range of LGBT issues – the issues of all the naysayers here. None of these accountable leaders were seeking some spotlight, they stepped up because that is what they do.

    As I read Wakeup’s post I said “so finally someone understands how the campaign was run”. Geoff did not “run” the campaign – community leaders did not “run” the campaign and anyone who thinks or expects that they did does not understand how campaigns of this magnitude are run. Campaign professionals with impressive track records were hired by the community leaders to run the campaign. They consulted with these professionals and offered advice and input, but they did not run the campaign. Like all campaigns this campaign was run on the basis of the best information available from polling, focus groups and media professionals who were trying to tailor the message to the most likely populations to be moved from either undecided or soft support for Prop 8. The campaign was never intended to be an affirmation of LGBT lives although that may have been a side effect. The goal of the campaign was to solidify support for No votes and bring over others to this position.

    If you didn’t see ads on a regular basis it was probably because your viewing was not the same as the populations that could have been influenced. San Francisco polled consistently against the amendment. Regarding media buys, I will add that it would appear the No campaign was more savvy than the Yes campaign regarding media purchases. Yes bought Google Ad words on gay porn sites and other gay interest sites. They also bought cable time on channels with programming targeted at children. I have yet to hear any one for the Yes side screaming that they screwed up.

    I also hear little criticism of the Obama campaign. Every step of the way, the Obama campaign “hedged their bet” by wrapping opposition to Prop 8 in the mantra that “marriage is between an man and a woman”. Where is the outrage that Obama wanted LGBT votes but had his statements on marriage used in Yes on 8 calls the week before the election and his image and words on a full size mailer during the same time?

    So let me pose some questions to the nay sayers and those who want Geoff and company to resign. If you can’t answer yes to ALL questions please strongly consider that your lack of full participation, unlike Geoff’s and other community leaders was lacking. Your absence along with lots of others who are now passionate in their criticism of how the campaign was run is also a large factor in why Prop 8 passed.

    Did you talk with every one you knew that might be in support of or leaning in support of Prop 8 about what passage would mean in your life? Did you talk with parents and extended family about Prop 8? Did co-workers know of your opposition to Prop 8 and that you wanted them to join you in voting against Prop 8? Did people in the community that you grew up in, possibly outside of areas that voted against the amendment, know of your position and the impact that passage of 8 might have in your life? Or did you leave it up to “the campaign” because those might have been difficult and uncomfortable conversations.

    Did you give more than you were able – early enough (before mid-September) to begin to build a bulwark against the onslaught that the 8 proponents were sure to launch or did you believe the early polls that “the campaign” said were not indicative of the eventual outcome.

    How many hours did you spend calling or traveling to precincts where people could be brought over to our side to talk with them face to face? If most of your effort was in safe areas of the state than you shoulder some of the blame.

    We do have lessons to learn because there will be other campaigns. We will also need community leaders provide leadership for these campaigns. We will need those who are Mac users and those who use PC’s. We also need those who attend black tie galas and those that find such events offensive. If you haven’t let it sink in yet, perhaps one of the reasons WE (if you care you lost too) lost was because too few people were engaged in the amount of time and effort that the No on 8 campaign leaders devoted.

  20. noworries says

    I am really amazed at the amount of energy that has evolved AFTER the election– both within and outside the LGBT community. Where were all of you during the campaign? I know that I was out every day for four months speaking and volunteering and pleading for people to get involved and being constantly met with apathy at best– yes a few of you got engaged but for the vast majority, the bars were full, the cafes were full, the gyms and tannning booths were full when the phone banks were not. I watched the team work day and night– not leaving for meals, always ready to take phone calls and emails, each of them giving more than I thought was humanly possible– as to Geoff and Kate and even so many others, they were always doing the best they could. We have never done this before– yes there was Prop 22 8 years ago, but there was no infratructure that still existed to launch a full scale beyond belief political campaign. These organizations that lent their staff, gave and diverted resources to the campaign at the risk of their own organizations’ stability should all be applauded. So many of us forget that in CA ( and admittedly not throughout the country) we are for the most part safe and that is not by chance– each of the organizations that you now slander have been working tirelessly to create laws and protections and have brought cases and passed bills to afford the greatest protections available. If you have read the CA State Court decision, they got to marriage equality because we already had in palce a scheme to protect same gender couples that was called by another name and that is what they found discriminatory– not that we now needed protections.

    It is easy to sit here and arm chair quarterback, and all of us would have preferred a different outcome, especially the field staff, the campaign managers, the 17 ED’s that stepped up when asked. But I still ask where was our community when needed? Only 6% of the LGBT community ever give funds to LGBT organizations– we give –but to the SPCA, churches, our univeristies– all good causes but we have yet to learn to take care of ourselves. Did you need a personal invitation to protect your civil liberties??

    I personally emailed 20 friends and asked them to phone bank one night a week for the two months preceeding the election– all people who are smart and read the papers– and I got ridiculous repsonses from the few that even bothered to respond– a few showed up once or twice and that was it. My kids and I were volunteering all sunmer and every week together– I was at City Hall twice during October watching dozens of people getting married and asked all of them if they had made a donation to No on 8 and to my horror, NONE had. Some even lied about it– Who are these people who want rights and cannot stand up to fight for them or even sit on the sidelines and send checks?? Votes in this state are bought– they are a result of advertising and touch– if we had had the $27M early on we may have been in charge of the campaign. Companies were asked to help but refused for fear of offending biggoted people– they side stepped by saying they do not get involved in politics– for all of you complaining, did you ever ask your employer to help protect you?? Did you energize your ERG?? How many conversations did each of you have??

    For all you tech savvy Mac users, were you at the centers helping create data bases and doing the hard work that needed to be done?? We needed all of us to step up– the few that did and I mean really did, put their lives on hold, their families on hold, never read a book, only political reports and data, were focused in their efforts. This election was unlike any other with voter turnout, with distractions of the economy, with the LDS side swiping us with the machine they have in place asking followers to do whatever is necessary and they did.

    People would come up and ask me for a donation envelope and put in $5– these are people who had more to give and that is all they could spare to help protect THEIR civil rights– I am not talking about people whose $5 contribution was proportionally adequate to income and assets.

    I had people come to me and say they did not give because they were not personally asked– I have to assume that these people belong to NO LGBT organizations at all– and that they are so far removed in their lives that they are complacent or have such internalized homophobia that they don’t or choose not to even read newspapers that have articles about LGBT issues. I had bright well emplyed peopel aske me last week if this issue would ever go back to the CA Supreme Court?? I responded by asking if they read newspapers or watched the hews– and they admitted they did not–both Ivy league grads living in SF and then they cried that their marriage status was possibly in limbo.

    The only other explanation is that so many people are so well assimilated as a result of the hard work by many before us to create a state where for the most part we live comfortably, that they are unaware and apathetic to what it takes to have this environment in which we do live. I had two friends tell me they had no interest in the Proposition because they are not political– that they would vote against Prop 8 but that is all they would do to help– this is a lesbian couple who have kids and legal relationships to these kids because of the work of NCLR and EQCA and LAMBDA.

    I really think that if we want to make progress we must first look at ourselves– at our friends and family and think about how far each of us went outside our own comfort zone in the past 6 months to help make the world a better place and I agree with Shannon that unless each of us can answer all the questions he posed in the affirmative, we have no right to complain or to demand resignations of the few that really did all they could, but instead we should ask the age old question– how can I now be of service? There is certainly enough work ahead of us that we ALL must pitch in and help if we are to win back our rights.