Saturday, July 18, 2009

California POC Groups Issue Call for Public Education Campaign on Marriage Equality - More Groups Sign "Prepare to Prevail"

HONOR PAC, API Equality Los Angeles, and the Jordan Rustin Coalition, the three POC groups who issued the Prepare to Prevail statement, which highly recommends the LGBT population in California to hold off on returning to the ballot hastily in 2010, have issued another statement. In it, they urge more time to be taken in order to build a "robust public education campaign."
“We want to win. And winning a political campaign requires ample preparation,” says Luis López, President of HONOR PAC. “The renewed energy and collaboration in our community will, with time and direction, become the fuel of a well-oiled campaign machine. For now, though, with little movement among voters on this issue and key components not yet in place for 2010, we need to take stock and focus on building our capacity.”

Ron Buckmire, President of the Barbara Jordan / Bayard Rustin Coalition, cites resource constraints. “We’ve got massive economic challenges in California right now. And our own LGBT service organizations are struggling. We are all being forced to make difficult decisions. Investing in a robust, coordinated public education campaign about marriage is a wiser investment than choosing to wage another very expensive electoral battle at this time.”

Proposition 8 was the most expensive ballot initiative over a social issue in California history with more than $82 million in contributions raised by backers and foes.

Doreena Wong, Co-Chair of API Equality-LA, says, “From the 2008 campaign, we know that all communities in California need to be engaged for us to win – including communities of color. And from our intensive work over the past four years, we know it takes time to build the trusting relationships and strong coalitions that make education campaigns effective. LGBT people exist in every community and have the same need as heterosexuals for respectful inclusion in marriage because marriage and family are core concepts for everyone —regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.”
Many groups have signed on to the "Prepare to Prevail" statement. Check out their website at Recently, more have joined in:

Service Employees International Union Local 1000
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Family Equality Council
Transgender Law Center
Asian Pacific Islander Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (API PFLAG)
Nicole Murray Ramirez, City Commissioner and Chair San Diego Human Relations Commission (who signed on in name only)


  1. Unbelievable. This seems like a "power" move to disempower the grassroots activists who have hit the ground running since January. I'm deeply saddened they they've chosen to take this to the press rather than waiting for the summit next Saturday.

    In my mind, there's only one reason they're doing this. Because they knew if they took this to the community and the community was allowed to discuss this, they would lose.

    It's the "No on 8" campaign all over again.

  2. I think you are right, Marta. At the same time, I keep getting begging letters from ECQA and other groups asking for money for the campaign. This seems very duplicitous to me.

  3. Comments like these are the exact same ones that just go to show that once again, the voices of the communities of color are being invalidated, just like in the last campaign. Reading comments like these from people in the LGBT community - the same community I belong to - is really disappointing to me, especially as a queer person of color. To see that people within my own community are saying my concerns are only being raised because of a power struggle or coercion by EQCA is frustrating. It's sad to me that in spite of POC groups talking about what concerns them, the grassroots are focusing on the fact that they weren't consulted before the POC could make a final decision. Who's really in for the power?

    "A power move to disempower the grassroots who have hit the ground running since January?" If you truly know anything about these POC groups, you'd know they have been hitting the ground running consistently for years before Prop 8 even had a name on the front page. Invalidating the work they've done is naive and pretentious.

  4. "This seems like a "power" move to disempower the grassroots activists who have hit the ground running since January."

    Its always entertaining to read such comments because it displays the complete disregard for facts, and the ultimate display of ignorance. This is more fun than watching Harry Potter 6. If any research was done, one would learn that API Equality - LA, and some others others, are grassroots organization. Or did I miss the re-definition of grassroots organization to "I support 2010, and if you're not white, you're not grassroots." WOO-HOO!

    "In my mind, there's only one reason they're doing this. Because they knew if they took this to the community and the community was allowed to discuss this, they would lose."

    Wrong, wrong, wrong again. Psychic are we now? The "community" effectively shuts out the voices of people of color. In fact, its endemic in the LGBTQ community. Time and time again, some spaces have made it unsafe for a person of color to voice concerns. Identity is so much more complex. For communities of color, its an intersection of identifies--gender, sexual orientation, race--not a simple, "Hey, I'm gay."

    Instead of idly waiting aside, I applaud these groups for making their voices heard. I applaud us for making sure that we're not silenced. And I hope I can applaud the broader community for allowing discussion, rather than shutting it down.

  5. I wonder if our enemies are using the divisions within the glbt community as a means of keeping the issue off the ballot in 2010 because they know they will have a better chance of defeating it in 2012? If one thinks marriage equality is important, then we need to go to the ballot as soon as possible and as often as necessary. However, one could make the argument that domestic partnerships are fine and concentrate instead on battles such as the one in Maine and the governorship of Iowa, etc. But if marriage equality in California is a significant issue, then it makes no sense to delay until 2012.

  6. There already is marriage equality for 1 man and 1 woman.Get over it queers,its unnatural and goes against God.You will never be accepted as normal because you are not you are sodomites and need to repent and take up the cross of Jesus,otherwise you will meet the same fate that the sodomites met @ sodom and gomorah through Gods wrath.

  7. I really think this board needs to be moderated to remove blatantly homophobic remarks. It is annoying to read them. We face enough homophobia in daily life without having to encounter it on gay sites as well.

  8. "But if marriage equality in California is a significant issue, then it makes no sense to delay until 2012."

    Who says that the ballot is the only way to bring marriage equality front and center?'re ignoring the facts made on the Prepare to Prevail statement. What makes you think that going to the ballot in 2010 is better for us? Because there'll be less people voting? WRONG. If you've been following the news you'd know that there's a huge anti-immigration initiative up for the ballot in 2010. This is going to draw a huge number of conservatives. Couple that with same-sex marriage and it's even worse. To say we have a better chance at the ballot in 2010 because of that is a huge fallacy.

    Things like this don't seem to have been considered by pro-2010 groups. Read the Prepare to Prevail statement again and give some LOGICAL facts to counter them. I'm sick of hearing about momentum and enthusiasm as the primary strategy for winning a multi-million dollar campaign. We all want this badly, and that's the reason why we should think with a little more clarity about the campaign.

  9. @Ron i think you meant to say that though harry potter 6 is fun, it's more fun to read people making stupid ignorant comments.

  10. @Ron i can't believe you even mention harry potter. what are you? 12? oh tweens. please leave the commenting to adults.

  11. Jay, I do moderate but I don't believe in deleting comments even if they are homophobic (unless they are clear threats to someone's safety). Who am I to strip someone's freedom to speak their mind, however ignorant?

    We go to anti-gay sites and engage in conversation. Some of us even leave angry remarks that are seen as equivalent to what this commentator left, and then we rant about how they're deleted (NOM deletes pro-gay comments all the time and are called out for it by us).

    In all fairness, I don't believe it would be right to delete. I'm not going to stoop to our opposition's level. You either respond to the homophobic comments, or you ignore them and not validate their point in posting.

  12. PS. Jay, I do welcome intellectual conversation with those who disagree with us - it's happened on here. However, this homophobic commentator doesn't seem to qualify. :)

  13. I suppose we could wait until polls say that 70% of the people are in favor of same-sex marriage. But, hey, even that may not be enough: after all, 70% of the people are in favor of the repeal of DADT, but it is still in place because we have a weak president and timid leaders. All of the points made by Prepare to Prevail are subject to question. Surely, our opponents are faced with the same financial issues as we are (after all, we raised more money than they did in 2008). The reason we lost in 2008 is because the campaign was stupidly run. As long as we continue to use the same "consultants," then we will get the same results. Domestic partnerships are wonderful. If you are satisfied with them, hell you might as well wait until the Supreme Court in 2022 rules that they are unequal. The reason we are second-class citizens is that so many of us are comfortable in the back of the bus.

  14. @Jay: The points raised in the Prepare to Prevail statement are subject to question? You need to take into account who the statement is coming from. I'm not sure about where you live or what your community is like, but here in Monterey Park where the community is vastly Chinese, the main media outlet we get our news from is CHINESE television and radio. What did I hear in the last campaign? I heard the DJs on Chinese radio urging non-English speaking immigrants like my parents to vote Yes on 8, and they used the most ridiculous reasons. No matter how much work I did and no matter how much money I helped contribute and raise, this was still the REALITY I had to face. Unfortunately non English-speaking immigrants can't understand progressive talk radio, CNN, and mainstream media, so the next time around how are they going to understand our reasoning? To say that points like this that were made in the Prevail statement are questionable is downright offensive. Not to mention that viewpoint is from one of privilege privilege privilege.

    Who says we're waiting around? It's not like work around the ballot box is the only way to win this. It's a matter of public education because even if we do win by that small margin, you think that people will really accept our marriages? Not so much. These groups are already doing public education work - they've been working for years in their communities. They didn't just spring up recently and focus all their energy on a ballot initiative. They speak to their communities (both lgbt and non-lgbt people) in languages they understand.

    If you did any work at all in the last campaign you'd realize that these POC groups were grossly underfunded by the No on 8 "strategists," and weren't given an opportunity to do necessary work in their communities. Right now it seems the 2010 bandwagon jumpers are claiming that they're the say all, end all decision makers. If they can show me that they can reach out to Chinatown, Koreatown, Historic Filipinotown and Thai town better than these POC groups can, then hell I'll jump on board too. But until then, I'm gonna go with the groups that are thinking with some clarity here.