California | Gay Marriage | News | Proposition 8

Equality California Sets 2012 as Target for Prop 8 Ballot Measure

Equality California's Marc Solomon announced on a conference call to press today that the organization has set 2012 as a target date for a ballot measure challenging Proposition 8. Solomon said the organization looked at four options - to return every two years; to wait until they know that they can win; to use November 2010 as a deadline and engage in and 14 month campaign; or to use 2012 as a deadline and engage in a 38 month campaign.

Prop8Said Solomon: "What we found is through our experience both in talking to people over the past few months and over a number of years is that the work is slow-going but doable as we talk to people across the state. Going door to door with the truth is working. And if we do the work at the level we need, we will have the support by 2012. Doing the work in a cultural context and not in an election context is a really effective way to do it. People really hear you."

Also, "2012 simply appears to be, by the numbers, a better year."

Solomon also published a blog post on the plan.

Kors Equality California's Geoff Kors announced that the organization has added 18 field organizers and nine new offices, recruited 16,000 new volunteers, and knocked on over 500,000 doors. They have raised $390,000 of a $500K goal with the help of 76,000 new donors. Kors said the group had spoken with leadership of organizations in communities of color to develop a strategic avenue to succeed in the next election and also analyzed the top 100 donors of the 'No on 8' campaign and determined at what level they could participate in a new campaign.

The group posted an analyis and plan. Download it here (pdf).

Kors was asked about a possible push from the Courage Campaign and other groups for a ballot measure in 2010. Kors said that if the Courage Campaign was able to obtain the signatures to get a measure on the ballot that early "of course" the group would support it.

More quotes from the call at Rex Wockner's site.

Equality California will be hosting a virtual town hall tomorrow.


10 News San Diego had its money on 2012:  "Sources tell 10News the leaders of the group are leaning toward 2012. 'I'm not surprised,' said Mesa College political science professor, Carl Luna. He said he shares the opinion offered by a team of consultants brought in by 'Equality California.’ 2012, they said, would give same-sex marriage supporters more time to outreach to minority communities who supported Prop 8. They would also gain more time to raise money and have better demographics during a presidential election. 'In 2012, you get younger voters. They tend to be disproportionately in favor of gay marriage, and that could be the difference in a close election of overturning Prop 8,' Luna said."

The SF Chronicle reports: "On Thursday, the 700,000-member liberal online hub Courage Campaign, whose members advocate a 2010 run, will say whether a $200,000 challenge grant it issued for preliminary campaign work was met. If it wasn't, then as Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs wrote to supporters, 'We will have to accept that our movement is not ready to repeal Prop. 8 in 2010.'"

According to the Chronicle, "The secretary of state's office suggests that ballot measures be submitted to the attorney general's office by Sept. 25 to qualify for the November 2010 ballot. Organizers need to gather 1 million signatures to sift out 694,354 valid ones."

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  1. As much as my heart tells me that we should go for 2010, we just aren't ready for it. If you were in San Bernardino a few weeks ago, you could see how fragmented our community is. Get over your egos. We need to have an organizational structure and stop cannibalizing those leaders who have worked tirelessly for years. I think that our best bet is in 2012 because we just aren't prepared to run an effective campaign that will reach the rural, religious, and POC communities.

    Posted by: Tony | Aug 12, 2009 12:19:31 PM

  2. Cowards. Go for 2010 and do it big. There is no way to prepare the world for gay marriage. We should just go for it.

    Posted by: Cameron Johnson | Aug 12, 2009 12:36:45 PM

  3. Cameron +1

    Posted by: PistolPetey | Aug 12, 2009 1:23:09 PM

  4. I think 2012 will also give the biggots extra time to raise money and put together even more lies and scare tactics.

    The momentum is happening now, the anger is now

    We didn't lose by THAT much


    Posted by: daveynyc | Aug 12, 2009 1:28:55 PM

  5. I'm with Cameron, PistolPetey (Go Pokes), and DaveyNYC. I say 2010, 2012, 2014... until we get it right.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 12, 2009 1:34:12 PM

  6. I agree. 2010. Demographics during presidential elections can go both ways, with higher turnout by groups who oppose our rights. We only need to change the mind of 2% of voters, and a recent poll suggests that Californian voters have already changed their minds and now support marriage equality.

    Of course, all this may be moot if the Supreme Court takes up the cause.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 12, 2009 1:45:08 PM

  7. The argument for 2012 might (but only might) have some merit if we didn't already have gay marriage here in California. It isn't a matter of "preparing" various communities for gay marriage, but getting them to see that it is already here to stay (18,000 times over) and that it is indefensible not to permit additional couples to marry when so many have already been able to do so. This inequity demands that an attempt be made to correct it as soon as possible, i.e., in 2010.

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Aug 12, 2009 2:03:20 PM

  8. I didn't donate a lot of money just so they can sit and wring their hands a little longer. We need to take action NOW. I signed up to volunteer with the HRC to do ANYTHING to help. several weeks later, I finally got a phone call back from someone at HRC to say "thanks for signing up but we really don't need you right now. We'll probably be needing help when it gets closer to election time."
    WTF?!? if the argument is that we need more time, then why are we still just sitting on our hands???

    Posted by: redbearded | Aug 12, 2009 2:21:02 PM

  9. I think Carl Luna has a point. Not only do younger voters turn out for presidential elections, but 3 years from now is, to be ghoulish, enough time for several thousand seniors who'd be AGAINST gay marriage to pass on, and several thousand young people who are FOR it to turn 18. It also gives more time for the public to see that Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, New Jersey, etc. are all doing fine and that the world didn't come to an end. (Maybe another couple states will OK marriage in the interim as well.) Mind you, I'm not being cavalier about this--I got married in February 2004 at SF City Hall, and it was subsequently invalidated. But I want us to take this on with the most weapons and ammo we can get in our arsenal.

    Posted by: Dback | Aug 12, 2009 2:29:51 PM

  10. Makes sense to do it right in 2012 instead of getting kicked in the teeth again in 2010.

    Posted by: Kugel | Aug 12, 2009 2:34:55 PM

  11. I'm renouncing my homosexuality. The movement is dead.

    Posted by: mrmnyc | Aug 12, 2009 2:37:19 PM

  12. Lets hope the Courage Campaign comes through.

    I don;t even know WHY anyone is hanging onto Equality California after thier MAJOR fumbling and waste of assets after 2010.

    Even this whole "well announce at 1pm Press Confrenece" thing was a show of power.


    I am with the Courage Campaign and so should everyone else.

    Posted by: Wolfie | Aug 12, 2009 2:42:19 PM

  13. Sorry.

    That should read....

    I don't even know WHY anyone is hanging onto Equality California after thier MAJOR fumbling of outreach, inclusion, public relations and waste of assets after 2008.

    Posted by: Wolfie | Aug 12, 2009 2:50:00 PM

  14. Why is the gay community continuing to subject ourselves to the bullshit that arises when we put our rights up for a vote? Every time "the people" have had their say, we have lost. The courts have traditionally been the arena for defending the rights of minorities and the LGBT groups continue to be reluctant to fully use that strategy.

    Like mrmnyc, I quit. Call me when they start putting us in prison or mental institutions.

    Posted by: Rainbow Rascal | Aug 12, 2009 2:50:06 PM

  15. I want to know what the people who are demanding 2010 intend to do if 2010 is picked to make that work. I want to know how it is you believe that a 2010 vote can be made to work.

    EQCA has a plan for how their 4-year campaign can work. Do you have any plan for how your hypothetical 2-year campaign can work? "Just go for it", incidentally, is not a plan. If "just going for it" worked, we would have won last year.

    "REDBEARDED", ignore HRC. EQCA is taking volunteers now all over the state and should be doing weekly events at least in all these areas. So, I think, is Courage Campaign (the org pushing for 2010).

    Posted by: mcc | Aug 12, 2009 2:53:49 PM

  16. This is stupid. There is no point in putting it off so long given that so many other states have shown it's not a big deal, and California is as liberal as nearly all of them. Equality California is just scared that, if it loses in 2010, it will stir up the same shitstorm and finger pointing that it suffered in 2008. Too bad; much of it was deserved. Hopefully Courage California will do a better job.

    Also, is this accurate? "They have raised $390,000 of a $500K goal with the help of 76,000 new donors." I don't mean to disparage people who don't have a lot of money, and every little bit helps, but that's about $5 per donor. Seems odd.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 12, 2009 2:55:10 PM

  17. Ironic isn;t it.

    We demand INSTANT rewpeal of DADT, DOMA, The Passage of The Hate Crime Acts and such but we allow these groups to jerk us around fpor extra years so they can get more money

    (And thus be employed longer)


    DEMAND 2010

    Posted by: Wolfie | Aug 12, 2009 2:55:56 PM

  18. @MRMNYC Renouncing your homosexuality? That is not an option for me as I was born this way.

    The movement is dead? Get the fuck over yourself. Just because you have the ability to post a comment does not mean that you should.

    Posted by: Andres | Aug 12, 2009 2:56:33 PM

  19. Good. Let's fight it when we can win it. In the mean time, there's a new Prop 8 in Maine for those with money or free time to spare. There's also the upcoming New York legislative session in September, and also ENDA / hate crimes / DADT in Congress. There's plenty for everyone to do before it's time to kill Prop 8.

    Posted by: Pender | Aug 12, 2009 2:57:46 PM

  20. So Iowan's can get married but Californian's are chicken shit? This is insane! When did the mid-West become more liberal than Cali? I'm shocked and deeply saddened. And who are these people talking to to make this decision? I'm guessing themselves... an internal conference call. Or maybe the Log Cabin Republicans. What a joke.

    Posted by: Wayne | Aug 12, 2009 3:04:11 PM

  21. No leader of any other civil rights movement has told their community to wait!

    Our leaders are weak and timid. They haven't challenged DOMA or DADT in court because fear a loss.

    They seem to forget that the SCOTUS upheld sodomy in 1986 and a decade and a half later changed their minds and overruled Bowers vs. Harwick.

    Sometimes losing is a good losing prop 8 taught us that our "leaders" are self serving self styled incompetents.

    Posted by: qjersey | Aug 12, 2009 3:13:52 PM

  22. COWARDS!!!

    This kind of BS is why we lost Prop 8 in the first place! This is why we let Obama and the system walk all over us in the first place. This is the same BS that would have prevented Harvey Milk from running for supervisor at all.

    Our supposed leaders wait, and play safe, and "strategize". The opposition isnt waiting. Did the Mormons, or Catholics, or religious right wait until it was safe to take away our rights? NO. They fought, and they planned, and they executed. If we wait for the system to be ready for us it never will be. These same groups who dont want to make a move until its "safe" are the same ones who try to stop the fight for equality. They are the ones too yellow-bellied to make a move and then try to ride on the coat-tails of the Boies-Olsen lawsuit. I am certain if they are allowed to intervene they will poison it with their indecision as well.

    Everyone STOP giving to HRC and the other groups who would take our money and give us nothing. Donate instead to Courage Campaign and other groups taking positive action. Fight with those who would fight for us. Put our resources behind those who will use them.

    Posted by: Robert Rhea | Aug 12, 2009 3:17:34 PM

  23. EQCA's FLAWED ANALYSIS. The word "Obama" appears only once and only in historical context for the 2008 election. The EQCA analysis not once raises the fact that blacks, who voted more than any other community against equality in 2008, will turn out in huge numbers again in 2012 to support Obama and presumably vote against equality.

    Cowards. Go for 2010.

    Posted by: Traveler J | Aug 12, 2009 3:33:48 PM

  24. what's cowardly is blaming blacks. have any of you actually been doing the work on the ground such as phonebanking or canvassing? people blame eqca but haven't lifted a finger to fight. there is a lot of work to be done and without the any organization between all the groups we would not be ready in less than 2 years.

    Posted by: Tony | Aug 12, 2009 3:37:44 PM

  25. Towleroad, thanks for covering this! A few quick comments from EQCA.

    We are not waiting to take action. We are eager to win marriage back, and each day we are working hard towards that victory. We have 18 full-time field organizers in nine offices across California who are focusing on communities where a majority of voters supported banning marriage for same-sex couples. There are multiple opportunities to get involved with this work each week in each region. We have recruited over 16,000 volunteers and knocked on more than 500,000 doors. This work will continue until we have restored the freedom to marry.

    We are also working closely with partner organizations on research to determine the best messaging and ballot language. We value our coalition partners, regardless of where they stand on when we should return to the ballot, and we will continue to work closely with each organization that is working to restore marriage. It is critical that all of the organizations working on this issue collaborate and coordinate.

    It is also critical that everyone in our community stand up and do their part to change hearts and minds. If you would like to get involved with EQCA, please visit if you haven’t already, and fill in the form. Our local organizer will follow up with you. We’re also fleshing out more opportunities for people who don’t live near our organizers to get involved in meaningful ways, so stay tuned.

    Also, please join our virtual town hall tomorrow to share your thoughts and ask any questions you have. Sign onto at 5 pm Pacific to take part. We’re taking in everything that is said here as well.


    Jay Davis
    Online Community Director, Equality California

    Posted by: Jay Davis | Aug 12, 2009 3:53:12 PM

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