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Frustration grows over tactics in Proposition 8 campaign

The recrimination over the passage of Proposition 8 continue. At a forum held in West Hollywood over the weekend, speakers discussed problems with the campaign against the measure, which banned gay marriage in California. And like previous discussions, this one ended up coming down hard on the tactics used by the No on 8 campaign. More from WeHo News:

Most of the voices heard expressed frustration and/or anger at what they called the insular and inept leadership of the campaign.

Organized by Robin Tyler, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that won Californians the right to marry, and the organization Marriage Equality, on whose board she sits, a panel of long time activists listened to speakers and then opined themselves on the No On 8 campaign’s shortcomings.

As the meeting wore on, it became apparent that a consensus developed that the grassroots part of the movement had been used poorly, at best, and ignored completely at worst.

Prominent gay movement icon Ivy Bottini, a West Hollywood Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board member and veteran of anti-gay initiative politics, having led the successful fight against 1976’s Proposition 6, the Briggs Amendment, noted immediately that she had not even been called by the small No On 8 executive campaign committee.

--Shelby Grad

Comments () | Archives (30)

Get over it Bottini, the campaign is behind us, and your not proving to be an effective leader either. Here is a recommendation.

Prepare prop 8 for a federal lawsuit challenge. We need to be ready to challenge prop 8 in federal court in case the California Supreme Court doesn't do the right thing.

If we decide to vote on it again in 10', and I don't think we should vote for our rights, we need to start with a revision of the constitution. We need to skip the signature gathering process and get a 2/3rds majority vote from the California Legislature to put recall campaign against prop 8.

At the same time, we need to go negative. Our positive approach to things don't work. We need to attack Mormons, Evangelicals, and Catholics. They will lie and cheat and do anything to prevent us from living our lives with equal rights.

Crying over spilled milk is useless and unproductive I myself never thought prop 8 would pass, I'm not religious and not gay but I followed the events on the net and in my mind nobody in California would accept such a thing and yet... But it's far from over they won a battle but it was the one battle they didn't need to win as it is leading to losing the war and they know it, Cisik is already changing his mind about it, you are making friends in unexpected quarters, go for D.C. and like it was said before "don't cry, scream".

Sorry for the pun above, but look at it in a positive way and it's good pun, it wasn't meant as a punt...

Are these women honestly still bemoaning the fact that the campaign wouldn't use them in one of their advertisements?

They are part of the same LGBT old-guard who fundamentally misunderstand the role of new media and grassroots campaigning.

It is time for (all of)them to step aside and let a new generation of leadership emerge (one whose vision of political engagement isn't rooted in a forty-year old war).

I worked with Vote for Equality back before the Supreme Court Ruling for about two years and I often voiced my concerns about the soft approach.

Here's the problem I've had with it from day one.

We have a done the assimilation thing to death. It's all well and good that we're the wacky neighbors on sitcoms and that the more fabulous of us appear on reality shows but at the end of the day, no matter how cute, adorable, entertaining and sassy we've become in the general public's eyes, we will not be taken seriously unless we show that we are real people with real feelings.

By feelings, I'm not just talking about the portrayal of the loving couple who is the "victim" of discrimination. I'm talking about showing, publicly the anger and frustration of being treated like a second class citizen.

I do not condone violent protests but I highly endorse loud and obnoxious ones like those from the time of Harvey Milk and the new ones inspired by Prop 8. I really didn't think the modern generation of LGBT's had it in them until now.

I'm one of the leather title holders in Los Angeles and I threw a fund raiser for No on 8 in August. When I was promoting it online someone in a Yahoo group asked why it's always drag queens and leather queens doing this kind of thing because "that type" of gay gives the rest a bad reputation.

Before I could reply, someone else jumped in and said that it's because those are the members of the community that always are first to get off their rears and do something. I was touched by the reply but after thinking about it, it's true.

We don't care if people don't like us even though we're trying to serve the community as a whole (most times it's a thankless role). The point is that someone has to be visible.

Someone has to take a stand that's not simply hiding amongst the straights.

To me that's just another form of being in the closet.

I didn't enter my contest just to be popular and as far as I'm concerned, civil rights should never be decided by the popular vote.

There's a lot to be said for "old guard" activists because they got things done and because of that, they will always have my undying respect and gratitude.

The idea of Ivy Bottini having the gall to say she wasn't called to help with prop 8 is laughable. The woman has preached for years on how she is against gay marriage and that marriage is an institution that serves males to dominate women. The very essence of prop 8 is to MARRY. Nix Bottini.
Robin Tyler, who has seemimgly brought nothing but harm and discourse to anything she is involved with, has only herself to blame on not being wanted to help in the fight for marriage equality. She started this off sadly, by making sure that she was married first when no one else could marry. She ruined the movement by making people think we want special rights, because she had a special time for her wedding. Shame on her. If you google her, you will see that the very marches in Washington that she yammers on about organizing, asked her to leave. She had to settle with them. SHE WASN'T WANTED.
These women need to take a backseat and stop whining, and stop pointing fingers. They are HARMFUL TO THE MOVEMENT AND PROVIDE NO SOLIDARITY.
Ivy Bottini should try to retire with dignity, and avoid Ms Tyler like the plague.

I know its difficult at the moment, but cheer up - we will win at last. Just imagine the day when all relationships can be recognized as marriage. Chins up people, everything is going to be alright. Furthermore, all relationships and lifestyles will be equal under the law. Think of it, how wonderful it will be to have a relationship with the same sex and be able to call it marriage. Who knows, maybe someday other types of relationships can marry and will be held "equal under the law", like siblings, or father-daughter, or even animals to people. I can't wait til we come together and recognize that everyone must be free and have the freedom to express it and to label it as we please...Marriage of course. So stand up and we can do this, YES WE CAN!!!

To hear that Ivy Bottini is frustrated that no one called her to participate on the No On 8 campaign is laughable at best and ludicrous at worst. Ivy Bottini has been an ADAMANT opponent of same sex marriage and a VERY VOCAL and VISIBLE poster figure of what the community opposed. For her to have expectations of having received a call from the campaign is insane. Ms. Bottini is known in the LGBT community for doing little and having the expectation of receiving praise and credit, while others pull the long hours and do the heavy lifting. Not by coincidence she now partners with the other ego centered-person of the year, Robin Tyler. Ms. Tyler has few friends in the LGBT community and has burned enough bridges for not a single person, other than Diane Olson and Bottini herself, wanting to work or get close to her. Maybe, before they start crying wolf they should examine their own part on this alleged frustration.

To Flex and Fern: The No On 8 people protested at my Catholic church in Studio City the sunday before the election and this tactic obviously backfired. It just made church goers angry. They didn't protest across the street or on the corner where we would still see them. No, they had to GET IN OUR FACE. It was so PATENTLY OFFENSIVE to confront us on a Sunday morning as we were going to Mass. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF YES ON 8 PEOPLE PROTESTED IN FRONT OF YOUR GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY CENTERS HOLDING SIGNS???? As far as I know, none of them did. FYI -- the Catholic Church did not overstep the 16% threshold designated by the IRS for political activity. My church mentioned it a few times but it DID NOT dominate our sunday services. But how would you know? People like you rarely attend conservative and traditional institutions -- you just blindly criticize them. I know, I was a spoon-fed liberal born and raised in San Francisco during the gay liberation of the 1970's and then I finally grew up and put aside those beliefs. YOU NEVER HAD ANY MARRIAGE RIGHTS -- that was just a 6 month stunt pulled by S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsome and the Ca. Supreme Court. The voters and henceforth the rest of the legal system will prove you wrong and the Yes on 8 people are READY TO PROTECT TRADITIONAL MARRAIGE.

To MC: Yes on 8 Supporters *DID* picket the LGBT Center in San Francisco and were caught and arrested trying to deface the building by gluing signs to it. Thankfully they were idiotic enough that they didn't realize they wouldn't stick IN THE POURING RAIN.

What an offensive posting by MC.

What is really offensive about the Catholic Church??? It is the fact that it is incredibly immoral, and claims (quite falsely) to represent morality.

It is wrong on issue after issue. Birth Control in an overpopulated and on-the-verge of destruction? ---wrong moral stance

Gays----or yeah, what are they supposed to do with themselves---or the Catholic church just wants them all to stop having sex and go away... ---wrong moral stance

Gays & marriage---well, the Catholic church doesn't want them to partner up---wrong moral stance

The Catholic Church needs to adapt to the current world-----not one that they fantasize about 2,000 years ago....

This article is important for helping us understand what went wrong in the No on Prop 8 campaign so we can learn from our mistakes. We cannot change what we will not acknowledge.

I, for one, will not support groups responsible for No on 8's many failures, unless I see they are genuinely open to self-examination and criticism, and that they have learned from their failure.

But judging by the comments online: Wow, so much vitriole and animus within and from without.

It has often been said that when the gay community forms a firing squad it forms a circle.

Ivy and Robin have made tremendous sacrifice and are directly responsible for tremendous advances in the gay community. The failures of this campaign had nothing to do with age, it had to do with the stubborn insularity of organizations who ran a campaign of appeasement and refused to listen to its own community and that community's many experts.

Young or old, we were all shut out. And we should learn from each other and rally together. There were many electoral successes that were fought in California in the past: among them Prop 6, 64, 69, 96 and 102.

What some apparentlly do not know is that Ivy was the campaign manager for No on 6, an initiative that would have banned gay teachers in California. It is a measure that, not incidentally, was defeated. Her knowledge and experience are indeed important for others to consult and learn from.

Similar observations could be made about Robin. The Town Hall forum that is the subject of these articles is a testament to community organizing skill. That Robin could organize such an open and free discussion says so much more about community organizing than any of the so-called organizations that lead the failure on Prop 8 have done. They have seemingly hidden in bunnkers or gone on vacation to celebrate their loss at our expense. In contrast, Robin organized a town hall forum open to everyone.

We have alot to learn from each other; let us not misdirect our anger and disappointment and divide ourselves arbitrarily. Stay focused on the goal and on learning how to do better.

As for the continuing ruthless attacks from without:
There is no better example of why the gay community needs legal protection than many of these arguments trying to justify how gays should not be permitted into the same marriage 'club' as everyone else.

I hope members of the Supreme Court hear all of your arguments. They reveal more about your real motives to strip gays and lesbians of their rights of citizenship, marriage, parenting and respect than any legal brief ever could.

I had to hunt for the "No On 8" campaign on the web for weeks before finding anything, and then I gave them my email address and signed up for any L.A. activities that needed help. All I ever recieved were e-mails asking for money, which I gave at first but I was never asked to make phone calls, walk neighborhoods, pass out flyers at busy shopping centers, nothing. No wonder 8 passed.

Depending on the CA Supreme Court ruling in June 09, and how close to June 25th that ruling comes out. It very well may cause another wave of OUTRAGE when gays and lesbians are gathered by the MILLIONS at Pride festivals in most major ciities.

Our community can bemoan the fact that the No on Prop 8 campaign was poorly thought-out and run. The basic constant, however, remains: Marriage is a religious ceremony, and should have nothing to do with legal and civil rights. If we continue to fight that particular fight, we lose. We've already lost in more than half the states in the country.


It's not yet time (I'd give it about 15 years) but EVERYONE will need to get a "Civil Union" - straight or gay. And then you can take your sanctity and marriage to your place of worship or dance on a mountaintop during the summer solstice.

They are two different things. It is time to lead, not get caught up in 'their' argument. Let's lead this country to "separation of church and state," instead of getting caught up in an outdated argument.

It is Time to Lead. And Aim Higher.

Okay, I have to ask this question again because I can't seem to get an answer. All we hear is how we must vote, how we must honor the vote, how people died for us to vote, be an american and vote, etc, etc, etc. So, we voted and we voted NOT to have gay marraige. However, the gay community is indulging in gestapo tatics likes "outing" the people who donated, spitting and pushing around little old ladies, getting people fired, profaning church services, physically attacking people and all manner of mayhem. God said that it is an abomination for men to lay with men.

Whether you agree or disagree, whether you like it or not, it does not matter, that is what the Bible says. You can bring all the other examples of sinful things that other groups and other churchs or other people do but it does not change the fact that Homosexuality is abhorrent to God. I am not saying to hate the Homosexual.

The same God that made me, made them. But there are certain lifestyles that are not acceptable and this is one of them. So now are we to keep voting, and voting and voting until the gay community gets the votes that it wants?
People need to stop being afraid of being labled "homophobic" and do the right thing and stamp out the entire gay rights movement. How can you teach your child in Bible study that God is against homosexualtiy and then teach him in school that it is okay?

We keep hearing about the hate againt gays but the only hate I see is in their actions. Society has been apathetic and asleep and has allowed Homosexuality to become too strong and now only a strong hand can take it down. God is moving all over the country eradicating gay rights and thank goodness. A phobia is a fear and I do not fear gays. There should be no such thing as civil rights based on sexual orientation, and that a group like NAMBLA, which advocates sex between grown men and young boys is allowed to even exist shows that society is dropping the ball.

In the old days, no such group would dare try and form but now they have "rights" too. People of God, I say to you don't be afraid to stand on the word of God and fight this thing. We need to save our children and our children's children. If you notice the age demographic on who voted for Proposition 8, you will see that the young people voted against it, while the older people who know better, voted for it. Let's do the right thing before we become another Sodom and Gomorrah. If you look at Sri Lanka, the country that had that Tsunami, they had a 1 in 3 rate of children under the age of 16 involved in the sex trade and over 30,000 boys a year are sold to homosexuals over the internet, with Americans being the biggest buyers. If you think you can live anyway you want without consequence, keep thinking.

The LGBT community needs to stop their ad hominem arguments. They need to accept the fact that the government does regulate behavior through laws and guarantee protection through the constitution. (Marriage has an age of consent. Marriage limits the number of spouses to one. Marriage is probibited between siblings.) The LGBT have compared their marriage struggle to the civil rights and equal rights movements. After reviewing case law, I am unconvinced that the LGBT marriage struggle is the same as the civil rights and equal rights movements. I look forward to the decision of the California Supreme Court.

The gay community, as with every other counter-cultural rebellion, likes to go after religious people and their churches because these are the last institutions standing up for traditional values - modesty, monogamy, responsibility and a life that doesn't revolve around pleasuring oneself. It doesn't matter that those within and without the church often fail at hewing to these standards, the value of the standards still hold. Look around - there's little to be optimistic about in this narcissistic culture. Same-sex marriage is not the cause of the current devolution, it's one of the effects of a breakdown we've been experiencing since the sixties. People voted for people 8 for many reasons, and I know if feels good if you're gay to take it personally and play the hate card - but prop 8 also served as a referendum on the direction this culture is going, and few are happy about it.

What do gays represent to straights today? They are symbols of libertine exhibitionism - a movement that prioritizes sexuality over morality. Of course this is simplistic, gay people, on the whole, have the same concerns and motivations as anyone else, and we are all swimming through the same cultural sewage. But the gay male culture defines the movement for most straights who don't seek out balance. So the admonition that victimized gays alienate themselves further by shock and rage would be counterproductive considering that most admit the trend toward sexual relativism is leaning toward acceptance. As a proponent of prop 8, I welcome the shock and rage approach to remind Americans how radical the gay community is.

Logic dictates that the traditions that restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, once destroyed, will open the doors to recognition of any relationship between consenting adults as legitimate - homosexual, polygamous or incestuous. There's no reason to think the reasons denying polygamy can hold against the justifications legitimizing same-sex relationships - if the pre-requisite is only love, then with the acceptance of gay marriage comes a slew of challenges to traditional relationships and the priorities that inspire them. The legalization of same-sex marriage will not end the cultural battle, it will open up a new front, and hasten the day when the pendulum will begin to swing back the other way.


Pedophiles and homosexuals are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

Homosexuals have relations between TWO CONSENTING ADULTS.

Pedophiles abuse children. There are not two consenting adults in the relationship. Pedophilia is wrong.

We need a seperation of church and state because not everyone believes in god. A "god" I don't believe in should not rule my life and my choices.

I'm fully No on 8! Stay the high road, we will get equal rights!

Flex, for the record, Evangelicals with a capital E are one of the denominations that supports marriage equality. They're one of the three denominations that merged to form the United Church of Christ (along with the Reform and the Congregational [as in the Puritans] churches) in 1957, and were behind the controversial "God is Still Speaking" ads that got banned from television for preaching inclusion of gays and lesbians. http://www.stillspeaking.com/

Small-e evangelical fundamentalists are the ones you mean to attack. It's important that we don't let all Christians take the rap for the views of the leaders certain denominations.

The sanctimony of the radical right is very entertaining were it not so damaging to those who fall into disfavor with them.

In response to Noella and others who ask the same question, the answer is in a basic civics textbook that every American citizen is supposed to be familiar with. California like the rest of the United States is not a democracy but a republic governed by laws that must comply with our constitution.

The foundation for our constitutional form of government, established by our founding fathers, is that the tyrrany of the majority may not trample the fundamental rights of a minority. This was important to them since many of them fled to America because they were persecuted for their religious beliefs by those belonging to a different majority religion.

We have 3 branches of government: judicial, executive and legislative. All must comply with this constitutional standard.

Only one branch is entrusted with judging what is and is not constitutional -- our judicial branch.

This is why the people or the legislature cannot vote to enact laws that violate our state constitution, as many argue Prop 8 does by violating the equal protection, privacy rights, and separation of church and state clause, among others.

These are constitutional rights guaranteed to each of us that are not subject to a public vote, except under narrow conditions following very specific procedures. In this case those conditions do not exist and those procedures have not been followed.

Before you then rail against 'activist judges', this is their primary and most important job and constitutional mandate.

Regarding how many of the radical right have tried to impune the judiciary over rulings they do not like, the following, borrowed from another site, states it best about such arguments. It also points out the hypocrisy of those who think they can write discrimination into a constitution but think they are above the very constitution they claim to revere:

"If the Judge(s) rule in a way I do not like, then they are ACTIVIST JUDGES.

But if they rule the way I want, then they are Protectors of the Constitution and Upholders of Civil Rights."

To TonyJazz, No On 8, Calm Voice of Reason:

Ok, so ONE group of Yes On 8 protested in S.F. in front of a gay community center. That took some guts since I know 95% of the wacked-out population there was against them. But overall there hasn't been these overt efforts by Yes On 8 to protest in sensitve areas, to "out" people for their donations to DEMOCRATIC causes, to humiliate employees at their job sites and run them out of their jobs.... They just used very good strategies to get people to VOTE and the their vote WON. And don't scream that our ads were lies --- gay marriage was being taught in Massachussetts and San Francisico public schools to 1st and 2nd graders -- it's a FACT -- and a perversion that a type of sex education was introduced to children so young.

As for the Catholic Church -- we don't CHANGE with the WINDS OF TIME which is why we have LASTED SO LONG. FYI -- we made radical changes with Vatican II in the 1960's. Following the life of Christ and his teachings is NOT the wrong moral stand. I find it interesting that radicals always want to protect the life of every type of animal but unborn children should be exterminated on demand. What kind of moral stand is that???? And your view that the world is overpopulated is the same type of thinking that leads totalitarian governments to engage in genocide and ethnic cleansing. The Catholic Church teaches that all life is precious and, guess what, they're against the death penalty too and we get a lot of flack for that one as well. It seems pretty darn MORAL to me...even if it is uncomfortable.

Yes On 8 does NOT discriminate. All it did was seek to define traditional marriage as between one man and one woman in the calif. constitution. No more, no less. The Yes On 8 organization has NO PROBLEM with citizens seeking to legallly adjust civil unions and domestic partnerships to attain the same rights as a married hetero couple. They will NOT STOP the gay community from changing civil unions, etc. Read it on their website.

I'm looking forward to the court review in 2009 as well and I'm confident Yes On 8 will prevail. The same court did not overturn the voters decision to impose the death penalty (after their activist ruling to stop it) and did not consider the death penalty a "revision" to the consitution. Believe me, the dealth penalty is far more of a "stripped" civil right than your phoney, Gavin Newsome imposed, 6-month stint of gay "marriage."

To those of you who keep quoting the Bible as though that is some definitive statement in our secular civil society, it is hogwash.

You can have whatever religous view you choose; which, ironically is more than you grant gays and lesbians. Your rights stop when they infringe on mine.

With Prop 8 you have tried to impose your beliefs on the rest of us. No amount of Bible thumping can justify such bigotry and hate.

My religion allows me to marry and performs gay wedding ceremonies. Your right to your religion should never infringe on mine yet that is what you want to do.

Take your false claims about the Bible and pray for forgiveness that will be necessary to redeem the stain you have created on your churches for the hate you are spreading in the name of your religion.

MC, do I take it from your comments that you would be OK with converting all heterosexual civil marriages to domestic partnerships? That's the only way to make the rights and responsibilities the same for heterosexuals and homosexuals, since we all know from experience that "separate but equal" cannot create equality.

To those who are against same-sex marriage: Enjoy your honeymoon. Your days are numbered. The tide will turn.

It might not happen until 2010, or 2012, but it could happen as early as next year. Same-sex marriage will be legal again in California.

I know you'd like the issue to be settled and to just go away so you can stop thinking about gay people, but it's not going away. It will likely be in the news for the rest of your lives. Enjoy.

To More No on 8

A few points. First, you state that there we were making false claims about what is in the Bible. Well, the last time I checked Leviticus 20:13 said and I quote, "If a man also lieth with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death: their blood shall be upon them. So your statement is false. Then, you say pray for forgiveness. Why? Since God said it was an abomination to Him, I don't need to pray for forgiveness. Then, you go on to say that your religion allows you to perform gay ceremonies, well I would love to know what religion that is because I know of NO religion that condones gay marriage. The only people showing hate are the gays with their campaign of lies and mis-information. Gays already have way more rights than they should and the atmosphere towards gays has been exceedingly tolerant and permissive. Based on the fact that you say that you perform gay weddings, I have to believe that you are what a minister or something? Well just remember what Jesus said. Any one who obeys the law and teachs others to do the same will be thought of as great in the kingdom and he who does not obey the law and teachs others to do the same will be thought of as least in the kingdom.

Now, to the person who felt it necessary to distinguish the difference between homosexuals and pedophiles, NAMBLA advocates sex with boys, not girls, so that makes it homosexual. Having sex with young boys makes it pedophilia, so what do you have? Homosexual Pedophiles and that such a group can exist is horrifying. They even go so far as to teach adults ways to approach and lure boys into relationships in such a way that their parents won't get suspicious.

Gays keep on and on about hate but I don't see hate, I see morally responsible people finally putting the lid on a lifestyle that God has condemned. Don't shoot the messenger.

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