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."


  1. Tony says

    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.

  2. daveynyc says

    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


  3. Paul R says

    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.

  4. Gianpiero says

    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.

  5. redbearded says

    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???

  6. Dback says

    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.

  7. says

    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.

  8. says


    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.

  9. Rainbow Rascal says

    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.

  10. mcc says

    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).

  11. Paul R says

    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.

  12. says

    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

  13. Andres says

    @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.

  14. Pender says

    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.

  15. Wayne says

    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.

  16. qjersey says

    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 thing…like losing prop 8 taught us that our “leaders” are self serving self styled incompetents.

  17. says


    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.

  18. Traveler J says

    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.

  19. Tony says

    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.

  20. says

    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 http://www.eqca.org/volunteer 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 http://www.livestream.com/equalitycalifornia 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

  21. says


    Whos Blaming Blacks?

    The blame belongs on the entire gay community. We let ourselves be led by witless groups unwilling to fight. We don’t volunteer to do the work. We are willing to be nothing more that savings accounts for political organizations that do nothing in return.

    We have got to be smart and strong to be powerful. We have got to get behind the groups who are willing to fight. If HRC and EQCA want to continue to have my support, they need to fight – not plan. i say NO to “Paralysis of Analysis”, make smart decisions but most importantly take action.

  22. Traveler J says

    @Tony: Outrageous ad hominem attack. You have no idea how much effort I have put into opposing Prop 8 and will continue to support repealing Prop 8. I stand by my comments fully.

  23. sugarrhill says

    @ TJ, if every eligible GLBT voter had actually voted no on Prop. 8 in CA the percentage of the AA community that voted yes, that also represents a much smaller fragment of the voting pop of CA, wouldn’t have mattered. We didn’t get out the vote. And remember there are plenty of AA gays too. Your views on our defeat are so simplistic because you refuse to acknowledge the part religion plays on the issue.

  24. Gianpiero says

    @Jay Davis. Thank you for your comments. I do appreciate that you are continuing to think of longer-term strategy, even if many of us (including me) strongly disagree with EQCA’s position.

    However, PLEASE don’t attempt to tell us–within two hours of EQCA having made its statement–that the organization is “not waiting.” That sounds way to much like the kind of double-speak we’ve heard recently from a certain former governor of a large state. But whereas her comments are off the cuff, youre “not waiting” is an all-too-obvious, calculated “message” (that also appears in EQCA’s report).

    Please also understand that even as I personally continue to work toward marriage equality, EQCA has just moved itself WAY down the list of organizations I will support with my volunteer hours or with my dollars. Organizations working on the 2010 effort in California, and this fall’s campaigns in Maine and Washington have completely supplanted any consideration I might have given to EQCA.

  25. Mike in Brooklyn says

    Wow — on the day the gay hero Harvey Milk’s memory is honored at a ceremony at the White House, EqCa cowers to the fascist wingnuts! Didn’t EqCa directors go see the movie “Milk”? Harvey lost THREE times (twice for supervisor/once assemblyman) before he became the first gay man to win.

    Of course we want to win in 2010; but if we don’t then on to 2012. And 2014, 2016, 2018 and every election until equal right prevail.


  26. says

    Dear Jay Davis & EQCA –

    I’m angered and disgusted by your decision. It has solidified my decision to not support EQCA in any way, shape, or form. I will instead donate my time and money to organizations that are actually doing something to repeal Prop 8. Not setting up offices, printing fancy letterhead and creating pretty PowerPoint presentations about a plan to try to accomplish something 3 years from now.

    In retrospect we in California should not be surprised. After the epic failure by EQCA in 2008, we should have expected more poor decision-making and bad ideas. We should be astonished that you even came to a decision at all, or that you decided to act as soon as 2012. Considering the level of incompetence that EQCA has demonstrated, 2020 would probably make more sense.

    By all means, continue hunting vacant strip malls for more office space, and be sure to tell your ‘field organizers’ that sans serif fonts make presentations easier to read. Meanwhile, those of use who want equality will be WORKING for it.


  27. Dave says

    Wait THREE more years for my (ashamed to admit it after last November) home state to get their shit together and grant us the equal rights we should have had ages ago already? Fuck that. Change comes in 2010.

  28. says

    @Gianpero and @JSH, I completely hear when you’re coming from, but we don’t mean it as doublespeak. We literally have 18 people working 40 hours a week, continually organizing door-to-door canvasses and phone banks across the state. Over the next week there are at least 18 events organized thus far. Our organizers are a hard-working group that is on the ground in neighborhoods that voted 50-60% against same-sex marriage.

    I totally respect your opinions, but I hope you’ll keep your minds open. We are hard at work here, with a focus on having one-on-one conversations with people in areas where there are votes we can win.

    Feel free to ask any other questions or share other thoughts. I’ll check back.

    Kind Regards,

    Jay for EQCA

  29. JohninCA says


    That’s the END of my contributions to EQCA, I urge others to do the same.

    Our gay friends and family need their recognition NOW, not three years from now. Unbelievable.

    Sad sad day.

  30. John D says

    I would believe ECQA more if they had been responsive to requests. I got an earful from the head of my local Democratic party because she couldn’t get any materials from the No On 8 campaign. Handbills anyone?

    So my partner and I started making calls, getting signs, and we made our own handbills (because No On 8 didn’t have these laid out in English).

    If ECQA repeats the No On 8 campaign, we will lose, not matter what the date is. If I’m waiting until 2021, I want a response campaign, not one that doesn’t know how to answer a phone call, respond to an e-mail, or to put campaign literature in the hands of people willing to distribute it.

  31. Motion34 says

    I find it funny that you’re working so hard canvassing and organizing and still have time to check back on Towleroad and update us.

    EQCA get your act together.

    What a shame.

  32. Gianpiero says

    You may not have meant it as doublespeak, but be aware (and communicate to others in the organization) that it clearly comes off that way.

    To be sure, I do believe that there are people working–I had a knowledgeable and earnest EQCA canvasser come to my door two days ago and was approached by another volunteer at the supermarket the day before. But these are people who are obviously committed to being involved NOW for marriage equality. As such, you can’t assume that EQCA will be able to hold onto them if and as other organizations gear up to to pursue results on a shorter timeline. EQCA is just one of the pack at this point and (ongoing work notwithstanding) will have to distinguish itself in some way if it wishes to win or retain volunteers and contributors. And frankly, as of today you’re all starting a few lengths back.

  33. Mike says

    This is bull! I’m not giving another cent to EQCA. I’m tired of waiting. If we lose, we try again in 2012 – you never know until you try. We should have won in 2008. I could see them say in 2011 — oops we need more money, let’s wait until 2016… ugh!

  34. says

    You know what REALLY PISSES me off about this. Equality California basically has held the Overturn Prop 8 Ballot hostage ON PURPOSE.

    They have had their 2012 decision for awhile. But waited 9 MONTHS befor announcining it. Any why? Because announcing it in Mid August would make it IMPOSSIBLE for any smaller organizations to collect the 1 million signatures needed to be turned in in 6 weeks to qualify for the to qualify for the November 2010 Election.

    They knew the longer the waited to announce this the more it became impossible for other groups to do it.



    Support the Courage Campaign!! because even if now we do have to wait until 2012. I’d rather have it in their hands than Equality Californias!

  35. Chitown Kev says

    I’m indifferent to the 2010 V. 2012 issue. I have donated money and I am ready to assist the California gay community as best as I can.

    Let us remember who the enemy is. And let us remember what Cato the Elder said about his enemy.

    Carthago delenda est.

  36. ramsydc says

    The online town hall is tomorrow we should all try to be there and let EQCA know waiting would be a waste of time. The time is NOW.

    This should NEVER have passed in the first place, our GOAL as a community should be to get this this Prop repealed ASAP.

    It is exactly THIS kind of thinking that is stalling the movement.

    Can someone post contact info for the following? Emails, phone numbers to voice concern on this pathetic decision?

    Geoff Kors, Executive Director
    Marc Solomon, Marriage Director

  37. chapotheother says

    EQCA = HRC = Gobs of money wasted on tone-deaf cowards in Armani suits and Prada loafers.

    Enough! It’s time that we booted out our so-called ‘leaders’ and their highly-paid ‘consultants’ and take back our movement and our rights!

  38. DougB says

    As an engineer, my tendency by training and temperament is to look at all of the data and history and make the logical choice. The facts show (if we simply project past trends) that 2012 will be a much easier win than 2010.

    But that ignores the possibility that our actions between now and November 2010 can accelerate those trends.

    And it ignores the game-changing reality that California already has 18,000 couples married in the first wave. In 2008, it had not yet been established that those couples were permanently married. Now it is. We should be able to make great use of these first-wave couples in our campaign – making the point that we already have same-sex marriage in California – so what’s the problem with adding a few more?

    And it ignores the tremendously important positive feedback loop that is sweeping the country where each state’s success makes it easier for other states to follow suit.

    And it shies away from the responsible role that California can and should play in the national movement by re-establishing the right of same-sex couples to wed here. Other states will have a better chance of adding same sex marriage in coming years if California and other states that are close to achieving it step up to the plate.

    So although I fully understand the logic that makes many well-intentioned individuals argue for waiting, I think that they are missing important points and I will be among those choosing to believe that we can and will make it happen without waiting that long.

  39. OnyxStud says

    I am SO TIRED of Racist White Gay Men blaming Black people for the passage of Prop 8. You guys are disgusting. A majority of every ethnic demographic in California voted in favor of Proposition 8. This includes a majority of Asians, Hispanics, and Whites. There is no need to single out Black voters.

    The fact that you Racist White Gay Men repeatedly single out the Black community in connection with the passage of Proposition 8 highlights your racial bigotry.

    I am a very successful, Ivy League educated, Black, Gay attorney. I have worked my ass off to make it to the highest levels of achievement in Corporate America. It is sad to say that I have encountered more racism from White Gays than I have from straight Republican Whites.

    You Racist White Gays should forget about marriage equality until you rid yourself of racism within your own community. You won’t be getting any support from wealthy Black Gay Men like me.

  40. says

    The insane and bitter hostility against Equality California is just the sort of thing that will cause us to lose in 2010 and probably in 2012. We’d rather sneer and bitch and moan than doing anything positive. We didn’t lose because EQCA and NoOn8 sucked. They made mistakes, for sure. But we lost because people hate us and people are stupid. Changing that in a 13 months will be near impossible. And it won’t be about donations. It WILL be about field offices and education in areas we aren’t visible. EQCA is right; there’s no way we’re going to win in 2010. The economy here is in a shambles, and the poll numbers haven’t moved since the election. We shouldn’t spend another $50 millions that we don’t have to wage another losing battle. We should spend that on propping up the AIDS services the governor just killed. Or on getting ENDA passed. Since that actually matters for everyone outside of this state.

  41. says

    Ted Gideonse

    No we lost because they SUCKED. This “hearts and mind” stuff is crap. Ots about fighting. All those anti gay commercia;s the Pro Prop 8 people used. Did EC had the guys to actually battle them, prove them false. NO. They wasted money on couple commercials. Thery attack us with pitchforks and we battle back with hearst and flowers.

    And Lori Jean did such a great job she took a two week vation to Alaska a month before the ballot in 2010.

    You want your rights YOU FIGHT FOR THEM. Every day, evey year, every week, and every year. You lose in 2010 you try in 2012. If they are worried about pay cuts. maybe the Executives could take some pay cuts and give back some of thier quater of a million dollar plus salaries.

  42. Jeffrey says

    EQCA completely botched the No on 8 campaign last year. I don’t trust them to lead on this in any year. They don’t speak for me. I say go for it in 2010 and support Courage Campaign and Equality Network. These organizations are the new face of GLBT rights and they are going to be successful where EQCA was not. I worked for EQCA and donated money before the election last year, but they will not get my help or money ever again after this pathetic announcement. EQCA sucks and Jay can relay that message to them.

  43. says

    You are not the boss of me.

    If I hear one more Gay person blame Black folks for Prop 8 I will scream!

    If EVERY Black person voted for Prop 8 it would not have made a difference. There’s far too few Blacks in Cali to swing that vote.

    To be honest, I’m hearing racism, not reason.

  44. says

    Ted Gideonse

    Not drunk. Just pissed. Sorry about the typos but you get the drift.


    Eveloution is happening

    COURAGE CAMPAIGN is the next rung in the evolution of this battle.

  45. Chitown Kev says

    To be perfectly honest, I have looked through this thread and I see far more people blaming EQCA than blaming black people and other ethnic minorities. Yes that happenened in a big and extraordinarily offensive way immeaditely after the passage of Prop 8 and the racism that still shows up on this site disgusts me. For that matter, ther may even be an undertone of it in these comments, but it wasn’t even mentioned until Tony’s statement about blaming blacks. But I don’t really sense that. All of us (whatever our ethnicity) need to get over our resentment and work with one other; calling each other out on bullshit when we have to.

    To be frank, I think some of my black brothers jumped the “racist white gays” far too quick in this specific thread.

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