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Proposition 8 foes hold gay marriage boot camps

January 22, 2009 | 11:43 am

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