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Proposition 8 foes hold gay marriage boot camps

Prop8protest Determined to avoid the mistakes of their last, losing campaign for gay marriage, gay rights activists are launching the first of what they hope will be many “marriage equality training camps” in Los Angeles this weekend.

The idea is to train activists in “the practical, hands-on skills to organize in their communities to restore marriage equality for same-sex couples to California.”

Though Proposition 8, which amended the constitution to ban same-sex marriage, passed with 52% of the vote in November, both sides expect the matter to come back on the ballot in the next few years.

That  likely will happen no matter which way the California Supreme Court rules on a legal challenge to Proposition 8. The camps are based on training sessions held by the supporters of  Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

This first training in Los Angeles is generously underwritten by Dr. Bill Resnick and Dr. Doug Cordell. Co-sponsors include the 150,000-strong SEIU-United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU-UHW), led by openly gay president Sal Rosselli; the California Nurses Assn.; and MoveOn.org Political Action.

"The Camp Courage training, inspired by 'Camp Obama,' is based on grassroots organizing models that have developed leaders and nurtured progressive social movements for many years, including the fundamentals of community organizing; volunteer recruitment and management; voter persuasion and more," according to a statement.

--Jessica Garrison

Photo: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (61)

db, your post is riddled with falseness. For starters:

"Historically marriage has been to protect women and children, and reasons of inheritance."

Very convenient of you to say that but marriage has also "historicallY' been a matter of joining two families to increase power, it's been about trading a daughter off in exchange for something else, it's been about a lot of things.

But we have CHANGED THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE so much over time that's it's hard to say it's only been historically about this or that.

Then you say: "When gay or lesbian couple co-habitate there will NEVER be children."

Have you ever heard of this thing called adoption? How about surrogacy? Invitro fertilization? Not to mention the many times when a gay person has a child from a former heterosexual relationship before they came out.

Gay couples raise children all the time. They deserve all the same protections and rights under the law as any other children.

The rest of your posting is an opinionated, simple-minded rant. Talk about ego. You should really get over yourself. No one who's gay gives a rip what you think. Why would we? How can someone like you profess to know what gay people think or want? What a loser. Are you gay? Because unless you are you're really not in a position to know what gay people want Honey.

So why don't you take your big windy bag of hot air and find something productive to do. Gay people are YOUR EQUAL under the law, whether you like it or not, and we will NOT go sit at the back of the bus for you anymore.

i agree with db. marriage is natural, gay is different. its not ever about hating someone, refusing to deal with them, etc. because their different. but in the same way, why is it cool for gays to trip out on people who voted their opinion which happend to be in support of prop 8? if prop 8'ers did stuff like boycotting businesses of gay people, the gays would be probly calling it hate, right? marriage has been the same throughout all history in almost every culture, why change it now as if it was a "fundamental right" all along? it isnt.

Children follow from heterosexual cohabitation, but not homosexual cohabitation, DB? That must come as a shock to old or sterile heterosexual couples, and to gay couples who do have children. That the former marry freely and the latter cannot shoots your argument down completely.

Obviously you've not considered these things, or why homosexuals have spite for heterosexuals such as yourself who demand that they accept separate but equal as good enough. That's a "personal dysfunction?" No, it's a reaction to a social dysfunction called discrimination, which leads people like you and subwarrior to replace the facts of this matter with what you desperately want to believe about constitutional law and marriage history.

Wow.... first, gay marriage proponents are publish privacy-violating maps of the homes of private citizens. Now, paramilitary-style training camps.

How, um, "anti-fascist".

Orwell was right.

I've been with my partner for 7 years. We've been through a lot together, including the death of my mother. We've had ups and downs with our jobs, financial matters, big decisions, small decisions, buying a house, getting closer to each others' families, you name it.

Everything we do, we do as one. When I have good news I can't wait to tell him. When he needs help I would do anything to help him or take away his problems (or help him through them).

My biggest wish is that he could meet my dad, who's been gone for 10 years now. I know they would think very highly of each other.

I can't imagine my life or my future without this man. I love him more than I've ever loved anyone or anything. I used to think it was crazy when people said this, but now I understand: I would give my life for him.

Nothing about gay rights is about sex, it's about love. How any of you can be so mean and so vicous toward gay people, just because you don't personally understand the feeling of falling in love with someone of your own gender, boggles my mind. It's cruel.

The love my partner and I feel for each other is the same deep, caring, amazing love that married heterosexual couples feel for each other. Our lives, intertwined with each other in commitment and mutual trust, respect, and support are just the same as yours.

I don't see any reason why under the laws of our society we should deserve something lesser in terms of how we are regarded by the state. It's wrong and it has to change.

Let's get our facts straight. Marriage had been a civil process until the 15th century. The blessing by a religous person happened beginning in 11th century. So if we really return to traditional marriage, then we should not allow any religous person to "consumate" a civil union (marriage) ban divorce and allow men to remarry only in cases where is wife died through natural causes or he stoned her to death for multiple biblical allowances. Let's really make it TRANDITIONAL. Thats what you really want right? Or maybe you want your idea of TRADITIONAL? Wouldn't that mean that you leaving something out?

For anyone who is curious what gay families are like take a moment to actually find out:


If you see those families, and still want to continue to deny same sex couples legal marriage rights (it's a license we pay $80 for! what do you care!), then I really need to know WHY.

"shawn b" you asked, "why is it cool for gays to trip out on people who voted their opinion which happend to be in support of prop 8?"

The answer to your question is the same answer that would come to the question, "Why were black people so upset when people voted for segregation laws? They were just doing what they thought was right."

I know most supporters of Prop 8 are not hateful people (although some are, but most not). I know this. I believe the vast majority of Prop 8 supporters are acting out of the very best of intentions. They have reasons that they think are very good reasons to vote that way.

But there is something more. Those same people are often uncomfortable with the idea of loving relationships between two people of the same gender. I understand. If I never knew such feelings I can imagine I would probably be uncomfortable with it too!

But the answer is not to feed those discomforts or to tiptoe around them at the expense of the decent equal treatment under the law of ALL human beings in our state. That might be the easy way to deal with it, but that doesn't make it the right way.

So for those of you who are NOT hateful people ranting about gays going to hell, take a moment to ask us about our lives. Find out the painful struggle many of us had once we realized we were gay and had to decide whether to live honestly or live a covert life of lies and deceit. Again, one option being easier but wrong and the other option being difficult but right and true.

There's no reason to be afraid of, or uncomfortable around, gay people. Find out who we are and you'll see we are exactly like you except for one tiny thing that frankly is nobody's business anyway, and which we never chose, and which should not relegate us to 2nd class in society. It's just not right.

Here's a thought: Lets go to Civil Unions for EVERYONE with the same bennies as a marriage contract. How would the opponents feel about that?
Better yet, when the state decides to make all the marriages of the LGBT community illegal, lets do the same for everyone that voted Yes on 8. Bet they sing a different tune then.
I personally know of not one gay couple that is beating down the door of any church demanding a ceremony. What the hell is the problem with people loving people, no matter who they are??

STOP THE H8!!!!!

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Teressa noted that Prop 8 people are doing what they think is right, not being hateful. I'm sure that's true for the most part. However, I'm reminded of a quote from "V for Vendetta," when V confronted the pleasant doctor who'd allowed awful things to happen. As she described what she'd hoped to accomplish in her attrocities, and he stopped her saying, "I didn't come for what you hoped to do, I came for what you did."

Prop 8 advocates may not have been malicious, but they were thoughtless in the treatment of their fellow man. You wanted to preserve use of a word, so you made gay families and children go without. You put inequality into our constitution, and reinstated shameful "separate but equal" provisions not seen for decades. Now you have your word, has anything changed for marriage any more than it did last year when you "lost" it? I don't think most of you considered the practical result at all, just the idealism. That continues today, as some people are apparently still clueless as to why anyone is upset about this. It's really a simple thing to understand, if you try for a moment to consider it from another's perspective.

shawn b, I feel I should also point out that gay and gay-friendly businesses have been the target of boycotts repeatedly over the years. I just recently heard another called against a major soft-drink manufacturer. Before the election, a yes-on-8 group threatened boycotts against businesses that opposed Prop 8. Strangely, these boycotts never seem to be effective. So, either you have nothing to fear from GLBT boycotts against the anti-equality businesses because boycotts aren't effective, or the anti-equality crowd is actually whining not because of "intimidation" but because they're losing!

The question I have: Why are so many straight people SO concerned about what gay people are doing? Focus on your own lives and you'll be a lot happier. I know I've got plenty to worry about without sticking my nose into how other people conduct their personal lives. Get a grip, people.

Our wedding was magical. She was so beautiful and I fell in love with her all over again as she walked down the aisle. I had joined the Church Emily was attending and has already told the pastor my story. His unconditional love still amazes me... But, I still faced the wedding night. While I don’t want to get into specifics our wedding night was not successful. I now know that I had put too much pressure on myself. But, my sweet wife just held me and allowed me to cry. The following day on the way to our next stop I read a book by Christian authors about sex. Once we arrived I relaxed and the rest as they say is history.

The act of love between a man and a woman is like nothing I had ever experienced. It was all that it should be and it was because of the love of my wife and the grace of my savior. We settled into daily life. There were hard times, but, we worked through them and now I cannot imagine my life without her. Every day I thank God for her. Three years ago we decided to have a baby and on July 19, 2005 our daughter was born, one day before my birthday.

Now, I want to share my story with others. I want those involved in the gay lifestyle to know that there is freedom in Christ. Homosexuality is not a sickness, it is a trap. It is not the nice tidy life that the media shows it to be. It is empty and sad. It is a trap that one can get free from but it is not easy. There are those that say I am living a lie. I would say to them that for the first time in my life I am living the truth. I have said in the past that I am here despite the Church not because of the Church. I hope that my story will help others in the Church to realize that homosexuality is an issue that needs to be addressed. These are people that Christ died for as well. Their souls are valuable to him and he loves them. Most of them are not evil people with an agenda. Most simply want to live their lives in peace. All of them are lost and trapped by a lie that needs to be revealed. It is my prayer that my story will help with the healing process for many.


To those who believe gays and lesbians are making a mockery of the institution of marriage: In its historical structure, Marriage, was not the joining of two souls of a life long union, but instead was the institution for a man to take a woman into a lifetime of servitude (slavery). The easiest method to detect such a message was found in, 1)The old marriage vows; where the woman had to promise to "Love, Honor and Obey" the man. The man had no such vow or obligation in kind; he had the option to do as he pleased, which he often did. In some orthodox faiths, this philosophy of female submission still persists today. 2) Let's investigate the Term Mrs. Clearly, there is a typo here. Mrs signifies ownership of a woman by a man. With the typographical error corrected, the spelling is, "Mr's". This more accurately denotes the state of ownership the man has over the woman. I know of no gay or lesbian who wants to enter marriage with the intention of taking their beloved into an oppressive dynamic. I suppose if ownership is the definition of marriage; then gay marriage, which is marriage on balanced terms, is indeed a mockery and an outrage of an old tradition of enslavement.

Raising four young kids, the reason this is so important, is I do not think it is the governments place to teach my children about sex. Whether it be between a man and a women, but definitely between two people of the same sex. If this is passed, it is proven that it will be taught in schools. Some is already being taught. In states that have gay marriage, it is being taught in their schools currently. What kid in kindergarten needs to know about gay marriage. Let them have an education, and not educating on any personal beliefs. I definitely believe that the people voted on the issue of prop 8, and we should up hold the vote. The Supreme Court should of never allowed gay marriage. This would not of been a problem, had they just waited until the election.

I know there are wonderful gay couples who have adopted children, and are doing well, but so many studies have showed the importance of having a mother and father. Each of them play a specific role in parenting a child. A man and women come together to be married than are able to have children. It is the only way children are created. Between man and woman.

Also, gay couples already have all the same rights as married straight couples, except the word married. This is a special union between a man and women. Let history stand.

Also, I am so sick in tired of schools holding a gay straight alliance day. Talk about kids being persecuted for not supporting this. Talk about hate. Kids who do not support this, are treated awfully, and many times just have to stay home. This should not be on school grounds as well. Talking about people being unkind, and unexcepting, it happens everyday at school. Let's agree to disagree. We can all be get along but please respect our opinions too.

Erosion. Erosion of society. Erosion of ethics. Erosion of peace. Erosion of tradition. Erosion of religion. Erosion of God. Erosion of the Constitution. Erosion of the Republic. All equals a slow and painful destruction of this great nation. For those who believe in a marriage between man and woman, stand your ground and be proud of your position on this matter. Don't let our great nation fall further into this acidic and destructive abyss. It's never easy to hold onto your Christian value system, but it certainly is worth it.

I really appreciated the attitude of Dar and Teressa, especially the part
by Teressa about not all prop 8 supporters being hateful. I supported the measure, but I certainly don't consider myself to be hateful!! I even chose a lesbian couple to rent the house next to me and we were great neighbors! I vote according to my conscience and believe marriage was instituted by God with Adam and Eve. The fact that he chose a man and a woman was not a mistake. I don't believe it's man's privaledge (including preachers and pastors)to redifine what God set in place. However, I understand that not everyone believes the way I do, so where does that leave us? It leaves us with a vote, and everyone has the right to vote according to their conscience. I respect others' right to vote without consequence, and expect the same. We may not agree, but let's at least be good sports!!

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Thomas, that would be a very nice story if you were heterosexual. The fact that you're gay makes it tragic (and yes I do call it living a lie when a gay person marries the opposite gender).

Your wife might be a lovely woman but now she is married to a man who can never love her in the way a heterosexual man could. She is robbed of a true, true love that only comes when someone is with the person they love with all their heart. You love her basically as a special friend.

And your children will grow up with this plutonic dishonest love as their example of what a marriage is--the biggest tragedy of all.

The irony is you are fighting tooth and nail allegedly on behalf of marriage at the very same time you are denigrating it with falsehood.

That is your business, and your choice is something between you and your wife. My choice is to live truthfully as exactly who I am, proud of my good deeds in the world, and sharing love that is 100% true and 100% honest. And that is none of your business.

You and I are both gay and if the entire country could see the different paths we've taken I'd like to think they would applaud honesty and true love over appeasing the pressures of people who judge others' worthiness to live a free, equal, honest life because they don't understand it.

I can't believe I'm keep hearing that domestic partnership affords us the same rights. Not even close! There are over a thousand rights and benefits granted to married couples that are denied to domestic partners.

If you really believe that domestic partnership is "good enough" I invite -- no, I implore -- you to give up your civil marriage and get a domestic partnership instead.

No "Emma", no I will not respect your opinion when your opinion is that I should have lesser rights than you do. How incredibly conceited do you have to be to get miffed because gay people don't accept your bigotry. Unbelievable.

You wrote: "If this is passed, it is proven that it will be taught in schools." That is a LIE. We all know that no marriage of any kind is "taught" in schools. That is a false statement used to scare people. In California that State Superintendent himself has stated that is a lie. The only thing that is taught in schools is legal equality. Parents who are KKK members probably don't like it that equality for African Americans is taught in schools either.

I'm sorry that equality for all citizens is such an inconvenience for you. But bigots like you will not stand in the way of marriage equality.

By defining our varying attractions with two different words, "homosexual" and "heterosexual", we've made it obvious that the unions entered into should also have two different names. Legalized homosexual unions are the new-comers to American law, so grant them a new and different name than that given to heterosexual legal unions. Laws can be drawn up to bestow any rights desired to the newly recognized legal relationship. This effort was begun when rights were granted to domestic unions. Why treat traditional families so hatefully? Gays say they've been mistreated for years. So does that make it right to mistreat traditional families? Hunting down prop 8 supporters online and destroying their careers is wrong. History cannot be changed, but that doesn't excuse mistreating others in the present , and plotting new ways to continue in the future.

Schvinn, while you might not be a hateful person, voting as you did still makes you guilty of discrimination. Take your lesbian renters for example. You will gladly take their money but then you turn around and vote that they should have lesser civil rights than you. That's discrimination.

The heart of the problem is you are unable to distinguish between the religious ritual of "marriage" (for which you are entitled to any feeling you want) and the civil contract of legal "marriage" (which must be granted equally).

A church can make any qualification it likes for its rituals. In the United States, that is protected. But a civil government can not rightly grant an entire set of protections and priveleges to one group of its citizens and (heterosexuals) and deny those same rights to another group (homosexuals).

I think when more non-hateful people think about the fact that God does not issue marriage licenses they will stop being so discriminatory. Gay people have no intention of infringing on anyone's religious beliefs. But religious beliefs do not dictate civil rights. Except maybe in Iran.

talkinmama, how about you get back to us when that second union you describe is done and in place? (My bet is it will never happen.) Until then I deserve the same rights you have, and see only one way to get them.

I see nothing "obvious" at all about what you assert. In fact, I would like you to explain how granting marriage license to gay couples affects you at all. I don't think it does. Which makes your opposition seem difficult to understand.

It comes across as you refusing to allow *some* people the basic set of liberties you already enjoy. Maybe that's why gay people are so angry. Did you ever think of it that way? I wonder how you'd react if a big group of people decided YOU will not receive equal rights under the law.

So really, I'd like to know: how exactly does it become any of your business or affect you adversely if a gay couple down the street gets a marriage license?

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