|A huge rally and march was held on the steps of the California Capitol in Sacramento on Saturday.
Netroot activsts successfully mobilized hundreds of thousands of queers to demonstrate for marriage rights across the country on Nov. 15 through their Web site:
Now, they have a short-term plan to continue our action to show the world that weâ€™re serious about winning our rights back.
On Wednesday, the dailykos Web site reported that these demonstrations have significantly affected the voters in California. Eight percent of those who voted for Prop 8 say now they would not, as they have witnessed our reaction to the vote. That would be enough for the proposition to lose, were the vote held today.
And thatâ€™s how much public opinion has shifted less than a month out from the election.
So we have to keep it up. We have a long way to go.
And we need new leadership. This paper could be filled with the number of people who wanted to work with the campaign to defeat Prop 8 but were turned away at the door - told they werenâ€™t needed - people like Molly McKay from Freedom to Marry, who is one of the best grassroots activists ever when it comes to mobilizing for marriage rights. People like Robin Tyler, who put together an effective series of PSAs to reach people of color who may have voted with us had there been any outreach before the last week of the campaign. And hundreds upon hundreds (thousands, most likely) of regular community people who wanted to volunteer, to bring their experience in defeating the Briggs initiative, or to contriubte special other kinds of organizing they were well experience with.
So all that experience and expertise - all of that heart - was turned away by our so-called â€śleaders.â€ť In the most elitist, clique-ish, private clubish way imaginable, old political scores and turf wars were prioritized by the No on 8 leadership, who listened to no one outside their elite group, including lots of highly experienced campaign operatives.
Lorri Jean, the director of the L.A. GLBT community center, has released a campaign analysis that claims that the campaign leaders knew from the beginning that our community was behind 13 points in the polls, so really, we did OK to finish off just 4 points behind.
Donâ€™t believe it for a second. Every off-the-record conversation this publication had with campaign honchos over the summer was accompanied by a wink and a nod - and a reassurance, â€śDonâ€™t worry, weâ€™ve got this one beat.â€ť
And if Lorri Jean, who was supposed to be one of the primary movers behind the campaign, did believe we were 13 points behind in the summer, why did she take the month of July off to vacation in Alaska? And why did Geoff Kors, the other primary campaign decision maker, take off for Spain for over two weeks at the same time, if he knew we were losing? And why did people close to the heart of the campaign just keep assuring us that everything was fine?
The No on Prop 8 campaign was a disaster from the top down.
So now we have the jointhe impact.com folks who have put together an excellent action plan for the next few months. Their statement is below. Read it here or go to their Web site for even more details.
And now is the time for all of us to act, in whatever way we know how. Keep your ear to the ground, your eyes on Facebook and MySpace. We have a lot of work ahead of us.
Our movement for full Civil Equality has been infused over the past 2 weeks with so many inspired and powerful voices! JoinTheImpact has been working nonstop with members from many other organizations to ensure that we keep our visibility strong. We must also never stop this conversation. I know that many of you are tired from all of the hard work we have done over the past two weeks, so donâ€™t forget to take a moment and breathe. In just two short weeks, we have all come together to mobilize this nation and this debate. The JoinTheImpact team has been working incredibly hard to ensure that our voices do not go unheard. We wanted to announce to you our plans for the next 3 months and let you see how JoinTheImpact will be evolving:
1. Project Postcard. Keep sending out your postcards! This is now more important than ever as Barack Obamaâ€™s people just announced that he plans on delaying the repeal of Donâ€™t Ask Donâ€™t Tell. Letâ€™s remind President Elect Barack Obama of the promises that he made to our community and remind him that we are citizens of the United States of America too!
2. Nov. 28 - Dec. 20: The National LGBTQ Food Drive - Through this event, we will work to reach out not only to those who have worked alongside us, but to organizations and individuals that fear us and oppose our cause. Our efforts to alleviate the hunger America is facing in this difficult time will be indiscriminate with regards to creed or political philosophy. These are gaps we can and must bridge if we are going to achieve equality in this country. Read More.
3. Dec. 5: MILK Movement: Letâ€™s honor the memory of Harvey Milk and get everyone out to the theater for the national release of this film by Gus Van Sant. Gaining equality requires visibility. This world needs to know that we exist and that our numbers are huge. So many people donâ€™t understand just how many US Citizens are denied equal rights. Letâ€™s make MILK one of the top 3 grossing movies for the weekend of Dec. 5. And letâ€™s do it by going to the theaters that support our community. Please keep checking back for a list of pro-LGBTQ theaters to support the weekend of December 5th. This movie is something that will help keep this important conversation going so letâ€™s fill those seats! (More info to come soon).
4. Dec. 10: Day Without a Gay - Day Without a Gay is about an economic boycott. Our community contributes $700 billion a year to this economy (the same amount as the bailout), yet we are not given equal protections under the law that every citizen deserves. As such, it is time we make a stand. During the largest shopping season of the year, we ask that you do one very important thing: Donâ€™t Buy Anything! What would happen to this world if the LGBTQ community didnâ€™t exist? Why is it that we continue to contribute to an economy and government that does not contribute to us? Letâ€™s answer these questions on December 10th. Read More.
5. Dec. 20: Light up the Night for Equal Rights - On November 15th, we took to the streets and shouted for our rights and against the acts revoking rights on November 4th. We mobilized in ways this country has never seen and did so on the steps of City Halls and US Embassies throughout the world! On December 20th, we ask that you join us again for a demonstration that will make an impact on the private sector. Thanks to the great suggestion of one of our readers mixed with the brilliant ideas of the Civil Rights Front, we ask that you join us to Light Up the Night for Equal Rights. Read More.
6. Jan. 10: National Protest Against DOMA - Please join us to make history AGAIN. Letâ€™s march on our state capitols and remind President Elect Barack Obama that he promised to Repeal DOMA!
7. Feb. 12: Freedom to Marry Day Sit In - Feb. 12 is Freedom to Marry Day and we are teaming up with MarriageEquality.org to bring visibility of immense proportions to this issue. Letâ€™s exercise our freedom as citizens of this country! We ask that you join us at the steps of your City Hall and ask for a marriage license. If you are denied a license, donâ€™t leave. Sit with your community, your allies, and friends. Letâ€™s show this country just how many US Citizens are DENIED EQUAL PROTECTIONS UNDER THE LAW.
Moving forward, JoinTheImpact will invite multiple guest bloggers to join in this discussion. These include well known names of todayâ€™s movement as well as the names of those who came before us (Including bloggers who experienced history in the making: Stonewall). With their shared stories, ideas, and commitment to change, we hope that we can continue to engage our opposition in this important discussion. Finally, please share your stories with us at:
We have had MANY members contact us about conversations that they have had and allies they have gained. Your stories and lives are the foundation of this movement. The stories weâ€™ve heard have changed lives and shown us that this movement will not falter!
This is JUST THE BEGINNING. On Nov. 15 we all stood for change! Change will not come if we sit back and do nothing. Change comes through Visibility - Conversation - Demonstration - And ACTION! Prop 8 is not just Californiaâ€™s problem, it is this nationâ€™s problem. The debate of Civil Equality exists throughout our country and the world. We MUST join that debate. Join the impact, join the debate, and help us end hate!