Saturday, November 15, 2008

News Coverage on Nation Wide Protests

Unfortunately, due to the major fires here in Southern California, the local news media here in LA had its focus elsewhere. But here are some articles:



CNN's iReport site has video from across the nation here

I went to YouTube to find some video coverage. In a grassroots movement, sometimes we have to rely on ourselves to provide the coverage.

Unite the Fight! photo album of the LA protest, from which you can order prints, is on its way!

Today's Rally

We will be at today's rally downtown, so we'll be away from blogging for the rest of the day. Keep posted for reports and pictures of the protest tomorrow!

See you there!

Protest Info

Ethnic Civil Rights Groups Petition

One of biggest challenges in the gay community as we move forward with this movement is to unite us, and I don't simply mean coordinating and communicating. It's reaching out to all aspects of our community - Asian, Pacific Islanders, African-Americans, Latinos, Indian, White, male and female. We are one diverse group, and that's something to be proud about!

On top of this, we have many ethnic straight allies. Uniting as a group will only give us more opportunities to reach our allies. And our allies are already acting! They're coming together to petition the California Supreme Court to stop the enactment of Prop 8.

Read: Equal Justice Society
Read more: Here
Read the lawsuit petition: Here

Take action and show your support of their work!

Friday, November 14, 2008

No on 8 Campaign Post Mortem at UCLA - first hand account

Last night, a post mortem on the No on 8 campaign was held by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School. An associate of mine, Marc, gave a first-hand account:

"The post mortem panel included Geoffrey Kors, Executive Director of Equality California. As you know EQCA spearheaded the No on 8 campaign. The organization has done some amazing work in Sacremento and is directly responsible for getting the gay marriage bill through the state senate and assembly twice. I've admired the work they done up until this campaign. . . .

Normally, questions are taken directly from the audience at these forums, but last night due to the "huge turnout," questions were to be written down and posed by the panel's moderator.

The moderator, however, took it upon himself to group similar questions and then paraphrase each group. Needless to say, bullets were dodged and the panel was spared from answering any tough questions.

The tension in the room, however, became palpable when Kors tried to explain that it was actually the gay community's tepid response at the beginning of the campaign that played a large part in the proposition's passing. He noted that No on 8's internal polling from the start of the campaign had indicated the numbers were against us. He also added that they sent press releases to the media indicating this as the public polls from the start had us winning. He said the media (and our community) didn't pay attention to their message until the public polls reflected what No on 8 had been saying all along. He said that it wasn't until the public polls showed us losing that the gay community truly became involved in the campaigned AND THAT BY THEN IT WAS PROBABLY TOO LATE FOR US TOO WIN.

He claimed that they had been sending out fundraising emails for weeks beforehand . . . . HE THEN SAID HE BELIEVED THAT THE COMMUNITY IGNORED EQCA'S PLEAS AT THE BEGINNING BECAUSE THE COMMUNITY BELIEVED THAT EQCA'S NUMBERS WERE JUST A MARKETING PLOY TO RAISE FUNDS. At no time, however, did Equality California, communicate the urgency of their findings directly to the community at large or the gay press at a press conference or such.

This is when I finally shouted, "Why didn't you tell us?"

Kors replied, "We did."

At that point, the overly polite crowd shouted back, "No you didn't." Kors got a panicked look in his face and stammered through the rest of his answer.

Several other questions were shouted from the audience when the moderator took over and began a five-minute monologue about how things were going to be different this time around. When I shouted, "Why should we trust you?", the moderator ignored me and finished the summation and ended the post mortem panel.

Kors was nowhere to be found during social event held afterward.

. . . our "leaders" were unwilling or unable to listen to the very community they are supposed to lead. The moderator also said this was time to look forward, which indicated to me (and many others) that our leaders where unwilling to discuss the mistakes made in this campaign. (The most expensive in this country's history I might add.)

In the end, Kors seemed indifferent to the type of work we all are planning to do, chalking it up to blowing off steam.

I didn't leave the room smiling."

This is some heavy reporting. What are your thoughts? What can we, as a community, do to move forward past the mistakes we've made from the No on 8 Campaign?

Voice your opinion on Larry King's blog!

The debate is on same-sex marriage.

Larry King's Blog

Email the leader of Yes on 8 Campaign

I received this email that's been going around from Ron V. Thought I'd share it with all of you, too.

"Protests and boycotting seems to be bothering Ron Prentice, leader of Protect Marriage. The following was taken from today's Los Angeles Times:

'No matter your opinion of Proposition 8, we should all agree that it is wrong to intimidate and harass churches, businesses and individuals for participating in the democratic process," Ron Prentice, of Protect, said in a statement. Boycotters were "unabashedly trampling on the rights of others," he said.

Would you help me explain to Ron Prentice a little bit about the rights we do and do not have in the Constitution of this state and this country? He's a little confused. His email is

Here are some tips:

1. To get him to open you email, use a subject line that does not give away your political stance
2. Afraid that the organization has your email? Use a newly created email where you do not mind getting Protect Marriage spam.
3. Don't have much time to write an email? Use my email. See below.

Thanks. Please spread the word.

Ron P,

I'm sorry to hear that my losing the right to "marry" my partner is inconveniencing you, organizations, and businesses. It must be nice to still retain all of your rights as provided by the Constitution of this country and this state. Although the slight majority just 'REVISED" the state Constitution to take away rights, I think someone should explain to you that I still have some rights. I have the right to free speech, to protest, and to spend my money where I want. Or does your organization want to take those too? Yes, we all have the right to participate in the democratic process. NOBODY is taking ANY of your rights away, as provided by either Constitution. What we are doing is "unabashedly" inconveniencing you with our freedom of speech and our right to protest and our rights to spend money where we want.

Again, I'm sorry to inconvenience YOU.

Ron V"

Saturday's Protest (LA Information)

Want to find out when and where? Need a shuttle ride downtown? Want to volunteer to help on Saturday?

Where: 200 N. Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012
When: Nov. 15th, 10:30am

F.A.I.R. is coordinating the protest and needs 3,000 volunteers to help!

VOLUNTEER or email

Need shuttle service?

Go Here

Want to print some No More Mr./Mrs. Nice Gay signs?

Go Here

Want to find out what's happening in your city?

Go Here

  1. USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! There will be no parking. Metra is running extra trains with extra employees. Use the Red Line at the Civic Center, or the Purple and Gold Lines at Union Station. I believe it's only $3 for all day use. TAKE IT!
  2. It's going to be a SCORCHER! Bring plenty of water. Though water will be supplied, with a crowd this large, there will be no guarantees.
  3. Wear sunblock! No one likes a sunburn for Thanksgiving.
  4. Be sure to have an ID on you. I say this only in preparation for the worst. THIS IS TO BE A PEACEFUL PROTEST. BUT, if you get caught up in a fray, and the police arrest you, you're going to want that ID.

Wear what you believe!

El Coyote Protest Coverage

I have to say, the KTLA reporting doesn't make us look very good. Plus, they report that it was Marjorie Christofferson's daugther that donated, not her, and they called her a manager, not the co-owner.

Read my first-hand account of Marjorie's open brunch to the gay community here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Event: Prop 8 Protest at the CNN Building

Why: "LARRY KING LIVE" is covering an hour on Prop 8 and Same-Sex Marriage
Host: Everyone who cares about the issue
Where: The CNN building, 6430 W. Sunset Blvd.
Start Time: Tomorrow, November 14 at 4:00pm
End Time: Tomorrow, November 14 at 7:00pm

Want to debate a Mormon?

Here's your chance, and you can do it from the comfort of your living room.

Live Chats with Mormons

Last night's NYC Protest

My friend, Randy, emailed me a first-hand account:

"We arrived a little after 6:30 (the scheduled beginning time) and there were masses of people in front of the temple. So many signs, cameras, candles, chants. A lot of the NYC gay "glitteratti" were there - Michael Musto, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Marc Shaiman, Jake Shears - and it was very well-organized, thanks to a great behind-the-scenes team led by Andy Towle over at The police were present and were very accommodating. The temple had some burly bodyguards out front, too, but the police made sure no one got too near the entrance. We stood in front of the temple for a good half hour, and then began marching down Broadway to Columbus Circle. I don't think the police or the organizers were planning on the amount of people that showed up, because there were no lanes blocked off for us to march down. So we just shut down the street! It was the only way we could march. I'm sure it frustrated some drivers, but no one honked or got in anyone's face. We had lots of well-wishers along the way too, some even joining in the march. Once we arrived at Columbus Circle (only a few blocks south of where we started), I could tell people just wanted to keep marching. Unfortunately, we didn't have anywhere to go, so the crowd just swelled and swelled, chanting, yelling, singing. It was a very upbeat crowd - anger mixed with sincere optimism that we will ultimately prevail over these nonsensical pieces of legislation."

Want to hear and see more? This blog has great pictures and videos.

get angry WITH me

Mormons? No. African-Americans? No.

Old people? Well, yes.

I know Dan Savage probably isn't the final word on this issue, but let's hear him out.

However, Nate Silver, known to be an excellent pollster, uses hard voting data, and after close analysis, he actually agrees with Mr. Savage. Read his analysis.

With this in mind, take another look at the recent map that I posted earlier today diagramming who voted what and where in LA County. See post This only furthers our knowledge of the opposition and will continue to fine-tune our strategy to reach out to those who were lied to and misled about Prop 8.

KEEP POSTED ABOUT THE TOWN HALL. Together as a community, we're going to determine exactly what this strategy will be.

No on 8 Campaign leader fesses up

We have all been a vocal critic of the No on 8 Campaign and its role in the passage of Prop 8. Finally, we hear a response: Bay Area Reporter article

Here is the critic's point of view.

Also, another article on the issue from Los Angeles Times

Your thoughts?

Boycott El Pollo Loco?

Well, not all, just those owned by the WKS Restaurant Corporation, in turn owned by Roland Spongberg, who donated to Yes on Prop 8.

That is so Queer . . . has done a great job on reporting which ones Mr. Sponberg owns.

So do we boycott all of them? No. Just These

Here's proof he donated $6,000. Secretary of State's List of Prop 8 Donors

Thanks, Faith, founder of That's So Queer, for your great reporting!

Looks like an El Coyote protest

shutupiknow blog

Thursday, November 13th @ 7:00pm
El Coyote Cafe
7312 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Our Face

Many complained that the No on 8 Campaign didn't give the gay community (and our allies) a face to the state, or for that matter, the nation. However, others did, and here's a beautiful example.


Map of LA County shows who votes Yes, No on Prop 8

This is extremely helpful in showing where in LA county the opposition is and who we need to reach.


Note: sometimes an annoying ad blocks the map from loading - click the "X" in the ad's upper right corner to get rid of it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

With good news comes bad news . . .

Naturally, with all of us and our allies fighting the legal battle to overturn Prop 8, there's going to be opposition. And one of my mission statements is TO KNOW YOUR OPPOSITION. Well, folks, here they are:


Here is their motion: (Lots of legalese, but important to read)

It makes me cringe to think that I have to oppose a campaign that has "California Families" in its title. If anything, isn't the No on 8 PRO-FAMILY, which protects ALL California families?

When I heard about this motion to stop our work against Prop 8, I flipped. I got so angry. Sometimes it just hits me what they are doing, and I wonder, "What is their problem? What does my right to marry and protect my family have to do with them?" My boyfriend tried to calm me down saying, "Well, actually, they DO think it has everything to do with them."

After I heard that, I tried to relax. I'm usually good at putting myself in other people's shoes, even my opposition. This was a tough one. Why do they care so much? But the thing is, they do.

We need to know the very moment they move. The very moment they decide to act in ANY capacity. And at that very moment, we communicate to our community and protest IMMEDIATELY. This is a chess game.


Folks, this is going to be a long fight. Get prepared. But stay vigilant!

Let's Remember Our Allies!


As I had written earlier today (see post) , the Board of Superintendents had a meeting to discuss whether to join in on the law suits against Prop 8 and voice their support for the California Supreme Court. Result? THEY JOINED! Voice your gratitude to the head of the board, Zev Yaroslavsky by writing him at or call at 213.974.3333. We need to voice our support to our allies as much as we protest those who oppose us. See Los Angeles Times article

They're not our only allies. The following have also voiced their support for the Supreme Court and the abolition of Prop 8:

The Bar Association of San Francisco et al.

Forty-Four Members of the State Legislature

Anti-Defamation League et al.

Beverly Hills Bar Association et al.

Click on the links above for their actual statements.

Requires action NOW! LA Board of Supervisors Discussing Prop 8

Just found out that a meeting to file a lawsuit to overturn Prop 8 by the LA Board of Supervisors is being held RIGHT NOW. You can listen in live until about 1pm if you dial in toll-free at 877.873.8017 Access#:111111

Here's the agenda:

Unfortunately, many of us weren't aware of this and as a result, unable to attend to voice our support. If you think you can make it in time, it's at 500 W. Temple downtown, on the corner of Temple and Grand. Park at the Music Center.

You can however, email the head of the board, Zev Yaroslavsky, and voice your support to overturn Prop 8 at

Pass this on!

Town Hall Meeting development

Since last week's passing of Prop 8 and the amazing movement for change amongst both the gay and straight communities, I have been calling for a Town Hall meeting to not only support these groups and websites that have sprung up, but to coordinate our efforts.


Currently, there are efforts to get this done here in LA (hopefully soon to reach out to other cities to do the same). However, it's a hefty task that we're hoping to pull off, and we're making no promises. It'll take some time, but not as long as you think. Some people have asked how they can help. Once I know, I'll be sure to take you up on it.

Please stay tuned here for developments.

Congratulations Connecticut!

We are happy for you! Keep up the fight!

CNN Story

Local News Video

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To boycott or not to boycott El Coyote

There's been lots of talk circulating through the community about how one of the co-owners of El Coyote, Marjorie Christoffersen, donated to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign and that we should boycott the restaurant. Yet she's been quoted as saying that, since she's Mormon, she only gave money to the Mormon Church and didn't know how her money ended up going to the Yes campaign.

"I love you guys, I would never do anything to hurt you, I wish I hadn’t done it," she's said. Unfortunately, her name appears on the official Secretary of State's List of Yes on 8 campaign donors.

Marjorie wants a chance to speak to the gay community and explain what happened. I believe if anyone wants to engage us, especially someone who claims to love us, we should give them that opportunity and respectfully listen before jumping to any conclusions.

Majorie is holding an open brunch tomorrow, Wednesday, November 12th, 11am at El Coyote, open to anyone who is willing to go.


Pictures from Silver Lake march

20,000+ people. You could be in these pics! Your support is amazing. Keep up the fight!

Click Here

Monday, November 10, 2008

What now? What are our next steps?

The burning question of the hour is, "What do we do now?" We can only march and protest for so long before the nation doesn't listen anymore. In order to answer this question, we need to ask ourselves a few more questions first:

1. Who's the opposition?
2. What's our goal?
3. How do we unite?

My thoughts on the answers:

1. Who's the opposition? See my first post. Know the Opposition or my guest post on

2. What's our goal? Sounds like an easy question to answer - regain our right to same-sex marriage. But is that all? Is that the only reason we're marching and protesting? If we really think about it, no. We're fed up with years of discrimination, harassment and lack of rights. What we want is equal rights. We want the discrimination against the LGBT community to STOP. We want to be represented in our government. Obtaining the right to marriage is just one step in the right direction towards our overall goal. But this doesn't just pertain to California. This pertains to all gays in the nation. That's the overall main goal. Yes, one step at a time. But we got to keep our eyes on the goal.

3. How do we unite? We communicate. I'm hoping that this blog can help us do that. I'm reaching out to all those websites and groups that have popped up in just this past week to talk to each other, to link each other's sites, to constantly email and call each other, to continue their specific agendas but to come together as ONE for the gay community to rally behind with a single purpose. A goal. And I say we hold a town hall meeting.

So now, back to the burning question. What now?

Practically speaking: LET'S HOLD A TOWN HALL MEETING FOR LEADERS. Let's get all our leaders together, the No on 8 Campaign leaders (Dr. Delores A. Jacobs of the Center Advocacy Project, Lorri L. Jean of L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Kate Kendell, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Geoff Kors, Equality California), Gay & Lesbian Center Directors, LA Pride leaders (Rodney Scott, and other cities' pride leaders), get our activist groups together, and discuss what's next. Create one website for different groups to update (while maintaining their own) - a one-stop-shop full of information on events and rallies, readily available, for the community. This will then activate the gay and straight communities to act as one with a single purpose.

Sounds hard? Sure. Impossible? No. Needed? DEFINITELY.

Time is of the essence. Contact these leaders (links listed on the right of this blog). Ask for a meeting. Ask them to communicate to each other. Send them my way if you want! Just . . .


KTLA Video of Silver Lake March