Prop 8 and Race: Who’s Really To Blame?

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Jim Burroway

January 9th, 2009

When I first looked at CNN’s exit polling data on November 5th for Prop 8, my first reaction was pretty simple — and I quote, “We have done a very poor job in reaching out to the African-American community.” That was on seeing the exit poll which said that African-Americans voted for Prop 8 by a 70%-30% margin. Leave aside whether this figure is accurate or not, it was emblematic to me of a plain and undeniable fact, one that Andrew Sullivan recently backed up with other polling data — that “African-Americans are more opposed to gay equality than any other ethnic group.” And we failed yet again in reaching out to make a dent in that dynamic.

But to my dismay, that wasn’t the larger reaction. Instead, people pounced on those numbers and said, “Ah-hah! That’s why we lost!” The polling numbers became a sort of get-out-of-jail free card for many of us who fought to defeat these marriage amendments in California, Arizona and Florida. We get to wash our hands and say, “If it hadn’t been for those people, we would have won!

The problem, of course, is that we know the dangers of blaming a minority group for someone else’s troubles. Graveyards around the world are filled with the results of that kind of scapegoating. And yet, that is what this morbid debate has devolved into. One side says it is the African-American community’s fault that Prop 8 passed. The other side says no it isn’t; the exit polling data is flawed.

Well thankfully, the NGLTF came to the rescue with a study which lets that besieged minority off the hook. Which is good as far as that beleaguered minority is concerned, because now everyone’s rushing to embrace it with a palpable sense of relief. See? It wasn’t their fault after all! Whew! Well okay then, let’s talk about something else…

But then, all of the sudden, this humble little web site stirred the pot again, and we’ve gotten an awful lot of attention around the blogosphere lately because Timothy Kincaid looked at the study and saw some things he felt didn’t add up. And now the grand debate is back on: are African-Americans to blame or aren’t they? And there’s an added twist this time: What’s the deal with Timothy not letting them off the hook? (For an answer there, I encourage everyone to re-read Timothy’s last five paragraphs — they deserve a post of their own.)

Let me say that I have not looked at NGLTF’s study, nor have I looked into Timothy’s analysis of it. That means I have some homework to do this weekend. I generally trust Timothy’s judgment and his analytical skills. But beyond that, I won’t comment on this particular study until I get a chance to look at it myself.

But I think we all can agree — in fact, I think it is indisputable — that there is a very large divide between the gay community and the African-American community. That the problem of homophobia is higher in the black community than it is among Latinos and Whites. (And that homophobia isn’t exactly a small thing among Latinos and Whites either.) I don’t think anyone who has been paying attention can dispute any of this.

We don’t need studies or polls to define the problem. All they do is throw quantitative numbers at it, and allow us to operate under the delusion that if we can only somehow change the numbers, the problem will somehow go away. NGLTF changed the numbers — or at least they gave us a study with numbers we’d much rather see. Okay, maybe the Black vote didn’t lose the election for us, I don’t know. But somehow I don’t think the problem of Black homophobia is any better. Yet it appears that too many of us like NGLTF’s numbers so much better that we’d rather pretend the problem just went away so we could go on whistling happily in the dark.

Or worse, we can conclude — as the No on 8 campaign did before the election — that the number of voters among African-Americans were small and not worth engaging after all. Even though Black leaders were at the ready to speak out against Prop 8.

So let me say this loud and clear: It is not the African-American community’s fault that Prop 8 passed. And I do agree with at least one point in the NGLTF’s press release: To say that African-Americans caused Prop 8 to pass is a myth. It is an evil, pernicious, odious myth.

It is axiomatic in politics that the glory of winning a race goes to the winning campaign. The corollary then is that the blame for losing a race goes to the losing campaign. And as one who served as chair for a grass-roots effort to defeat Prop 102 in Arizona, I bear the blame for what happened here as well. In fact, I’ll cop to a huge failure right now: I cannot even claim that many of my best friends are Black with a clear conscience. I suspect more of us White LGBT people share that failure than we care to admit.

If we aren’t willing to admit to our own failures, then we’re just doomed to more failures in the future. And our failure in not asking specifically for Black votes — using Black voices, Black media, Black leaders, Black entertainers, Black opinion makers — while addressing Black concerns and misconceptions, well that was a whopper. The black vote may or may not have ensured Prop 8’s passage. But our failure by not asking directly for the Black vote meant that we got precisely the result what we asked for.

That is clearly our fault, and we need to own it if we want anything to ever change in the future. In fact, we need to regard the entire failure of Prop 8, Prop 102 and Amendment 2 as though they were our fault. That is the only way we can generate the sense of urgency it will take to change how we deal with propositions like this in the future. Because after thirty some defeats, we clearly need to do something different, and we need to do it urgently.

So what do we do now? Do we continue to engage in the false debate over who’s to blame for Prop 8’s passage? Does anyone really think that such a debate gets us anywhere? Or do we instead roll up our sleeves and try to find opportunities to actually talk to Black people — including leaders and opinion makers — to listen to their concerns, address them, stand up with them, and show by example that we’re all in this together? That when one of us is diminished, we all are diminished?

Or do we continue to diminish someone else? Because right now, that’s the path we’re on. And that does nobody any good, especially Black LGBT people who are caught in the middle of all of this with all too tragic consequences.

So, who’s really to blame for Prop 8’s passage?

I am!

And I am committed to making the hard changes required to keep it from happening again. I am committed to changing what hasn’t worked before.

As long as there is anyone else we can blame, we will have an excuse to sit back and do nothing differently. And if we do nothing differently, then we will have no right to expect a different result.

Who else has the guts to join me?

Ben in Oakland

January 9th, 2009

Well, i can’t accept responsibility. I do not and have never blamed black people. I blame our idiotic leadership totally.

I personally made every effort I could to get the No on 8 idiots to listen to me about their in-the-closet campaign. No one was interested. I have made every effort I could after the election to get people to listen. A few people have said they were interested, maybe even read what I wrote. but beyond those two or three luke-warm comments, nothing.

I’d be happy to send what I wrote to anyone interested.


January 9th, 2009

Gay people are not to blame for the passage of Proposition 8. Maybe there’s more that we could have done, maybe we could have prevented its passage, but morally we are not at fault. Even our leaders at No on 8 headquarters, whom I have always thought tragically ineffective, did the modest best that they knew how to do.

Who is to blame? People who voted Yes on 8 and people who funded Yes on 8. And no one in that group — be they black, white, Mormon, or pagan — is excused because of their upbringing, or their religion, or their skin color, or the lack of local leaders of their respective demographic bloc willing to explain to them that bigotry is wrong, or the lack of glossy color pamphlets to educate them. They are guilty.

Frankly, it’s more than a little offensive for you to claim that gay people are to blame. You don’t speak for all gay people, and it’s no different in character than when someone says that black people are to blame for racism.

Should we talk about what to do differently next time (and there will be a next time)? Absolutely, 100% yes. But what you’re doing is blaming the victim, which is wrong and offensive, and you don’t deserve a free pass for that kind of behavior just because you happen to be a member of the group you’re abusing.


January 9th, 2009

I always find it rather odd that people talk about the divides between the black and gay communities without acknowledging that there are some people who belong to both.


January 9th, 2009

Thank you so much for this posting. I reading it has brought me as close to closure that I have been since the election.

I never considered homophobia in the black community to be a non-issue but the characterization of African-Americans as the most homophobic of all people is still pretty dubious. I think much of the African-American/Gay divide is wrapped up in the greater Black/White divide.

Being both black and gay, the reaction to prop 8 was a painful reminder that, in terms of public discourse, I am an oxymoron. In Black media, I don’t exist and in gay media and in gay media I don’t exist unless I have a white boyfriend. When that changes, I think the black/gay divide will fade away into history.

I don’t live in California but I’m willing to accept responsibility for Prop 8. I could have used facebook and twitter to spread word about my No on 8 reservations amongst those who listed but I didn’t. Hindsight is 20/20 after all.

Jim Burroway

January 9th, 2009

KevJack, Charles,

I’m sorry that my including Black LGBT people amounted to one very short sentence in my long-winded post. You’re right. It is a very real problem when it looks like an either/or situation. It’s as if an awful lot of people don’t exist, which is probably about the worst aspect of the current debates over race, racism and homophobia.

Hindsight is 20/20. Which means we can see perfectly what we would change in the future. That’s always a good thing.


January 9th, 2009

Great article. I knew there was something fishy about the new claims that the African-American community just loves the glbt community and was slandered by claims otherwise. Hello? The bogus study tried to eliminate all factors like “church goer” or “education level”. WTF? The sociological plight of the African-American lifestyle has as much to do with their hatred of gays as anything else. Nothing will ever erase the fact that they voted over 70% to forcibly divorce us against our will. Sorry, but you can’t sugar coat that.

Emily K

January 9th, 2009

“I broke the dam.”


January 9th, 2009

We’re all to blame. Us, them, white, brown, black, whatever. No one should be excused from blame, be they pro-gay, gay or neither.


January 9th, 2009

Back in the day, yet not to long ago. . .I lived in Spokane WA. A hate incident centering on race occured and sparked Spokane’s Task Force on Race Relations. It had two figure heads, the Mayor of Spokane and the President of Gonzaga University. The Task Force I believe morphed into the Spokane Regional Task Force on Human Relations but as of today, I couldn’t find much activity of either and I no longer live in Spokane. I joined the advisory committee in the early days of the Task Force on Race Relations and participated as an out gay man, a representative of not only the GLBT community but also as an HIV advocate, for I was a community Health Educator. . .Enough on the background.
(Side note: I did get to work with Mayor Jim West. .)
In working with the Task Force, which was 90% WHITE and very heavy on the faith-based leaders, it was important to get the some of the leading members of the Folk of Color. It was also important to me to build relationships with these leaders for my work in HIV prevention. HIV infections were growing in both Black and Hispanic communities on the national level and the local HIV outreach was pretty ineffective.

I was successful in bringing several religious/spiritual leaders from the black community. But as a GAY WHITE man I didn’t go knocking on their doors. I met with people close to them, their neighbors, their family members and attended social events without intentional mingling, but rather just an attempt to increase familiarity. Then I was able to get a couple to join the task force. One of my stronger allies was a cute African American from the local Air Force Base.

I met with local folk of color, gay and lesbian Hispanics and Blacks, and chatted them up. (It is not and will not be fair to ever ask them to challenge the homophobia.) Once GLBT folk of color can feel secure and have a sense of beloning and support from the GLBT community, maybe they will be able to help build allies in their own communities.

There are the folk on the other side of the fence, those with set ideas-beliefs that are very hard to change.

Then there is ‘our’ folk, supporters, allies, like-minded folk. Some say it is useless to preach to the choir, but I always say ‘a good choir’ takes time to practice and work on new deliveries. Also, sometimes other folk need to be given the chance to become the lead soloist.

And in the middle are the fence sitters. These are the ‘I have gay friends’ folk. . .but. . .These are also the people who have a gay family member, who they know is struggling in the closet. The one who is either solo at the family events or has the outstanding ‘beard’ at their side.

The strategy is simple. Start conversations with people you know will listen. Let people know who you are. Dissolve the boogey man syndrome of homophobia.

But Jim is right, change starts with the person in the mirror. If we don’t like what the leaders are doing, provide some constructive ways to increase the productivity.

Prop 8 had the ‘shotgun’ approach in it’s delivery. Effective change, just like anything worthwhile, will take some time. So now is the time to start.


January 9th, 2009

“That is clearly our fault, and we need to own it if we want anything to ever change in the future. In fact, we need to regard the entire failure of Prop 8, Prop 102 and Amendment 2 as though they were our fault.”

Right on! My grandfather tried to tell the Negroes that during the Jim Crow era they were to blame for their own situation. MLK, Malcolm X, and other Black leaders failed miserably to inform White Southerners with their tactics. Their message was so off base that it resulted in their own deaths.

We need to learn from the failed campaigns of the African-American community that led to so many unnecessary deaths. At least the glbt leaders have not screwed up that bad. But still we need to take responsibility for this horrible situation and stop scapegoating groups like Right-Wing Republicans, Fundamentalists, and Mormons.


January 9th, 2009

Just as an aside. . .

I always feel a little weird when someone says that there is a divide between the gay and African American communities. I sort of feel a queasiness in my stomach. Then I look at myself. Then I sort of touch my face, feel my chest and belly. Look at my legs. Then I conclude, hmmm, I seem to still be in one piece. No divisions here. Then I go about my business.

Seriously, this was a nice post. As was said during the Civil Rights movement, keep your eyes on the prize.

Allen M

January 10th, 2009

To all my Family and Supporters,

My husband and I were married on Feb 14th, 2005 in Niagara Falls Canada.

I live in San Francisco, CA and wanted to let you know that I am one of those people who the NoOnProp8 Campaign considered a ‘Super Volunteer’. I don’t say this to toot my horn so to speak but really to say that because of my deep level of commitment I got a chance to know several permanent staff members in pretty high positions within EQCA and HRC.

The campaign was run well but there absolutely were mistakes made and we do have to own up to that. I am continuing to work with folks in the Campaign and I have email addresses of EQCA board members which I received directly from Geoff Keors at an appreciation event in San Francisco last month.

There are two key areas where I see that mistakes were made. 1) We did not reach out to the African American community well enough. 2) The TV and radio ads were too ‘soft’.

Quite honestly I can tell you that I believe there was an assumption (not on purpose) that the African American community would be WITH US because they know all too well what oppression was like. I think it was sub-consciously assumed that they would just automatically understand our plight.

Regarding the TV ads, the political strategists felt strongly that having ads which depicts same sex couples (particularly ones with children) would back-fire on us and turn more people against us than it would FOR us. So instead they opted for ‘softer’ ads which really did not put a ‘personal face’ on the issue. In their defense I have actually been on forums where some who voted NO said they would have voted YES if we HAD aired ads like that.

However, what I think we know now is that both of these assumptions were inherently wrong. We really should have reached out to the African American community more actively and let them know WHY we equate this struggle to the Civil Rights movement they were engaged in.

I think we also realize that the ads should have been more FORCEFUL. E.g., we SHOULD have had ads which really put a ‘personal face’ to the issue of Marriage Equality! We should have let the public see REAL LOVING SAME SEX COUPLES and their children – let people know from a PERSONAL level just how much damage to FAMILIES Prop 8 would really do!

In the end I think these ‘personal face ads’ would have turned a LOT more undecided people to our side!

But we are where we are and we have to move on and somehow undo the damage which was done with Prop 8.

We should reach out to all people and let them know of our stories. Ask them to engage in our struggles while we show concern for and become engaged in theirs. There are many Ultra Conservative people who will NEVER be convinced (you can see many examples of this on TH) but there are a LOT more who just need to hear our personal stories and they will become involved in our JUST struggle for Equality.

We are hopeful that the CASC will do the right thing and overturn Prop 8 as an improper Revision (not an amendment) but we obviously cannot afford to count on this and lose ground in the mean time.

It will be up to all of us to turn this around, for as CA goes so goes the NATION!! If we are the ultimate victors in CA we WILL win the NATION in time. This is why the anti-gay forces (most from out of state) were willing to spend MILLIONS on this campaign, because they know this too.

Please visit and for ways to stay involved.

By the way, this is not to lay blame on our LGBT community but rather to just acknowledge that the campaign was not perfect and like anything in life, mistakes were made.

Like everything else in life we learn and do better next time. And next time we WILL WIN, because TRUTH and JUSTICE are on our side!

Let’s hear it for the LGBT community!!


January 10th, 2009

Jim, considering the consistent, superior quality of this blog, and the fact that, more than any other single source, this blog has been the place I go to arm myself with knowledge for today’s ongoing debates, I do not make the following statement casually or carelessly: This is the best post I have ever read here. Thank you.

Ben in Oakland

January 10th, 2009


I’m reallygoing ot have to disagree iwth you on this issue of the campaign being “well run”. I have written extensively on the subject, so I won’t repost all of that stuff here.

In short: it was run from the closet, with a closet mentality. It hasn’t worked in 30 campaigns in the last ten years, and it won’t ever work.

At the campaign kickoff, I asked Mark Leno personally if campaign leaders were going to do the liberal-tolerance-equality strategy again, pointing out that it has failed repeatedly. Or, were they going to show actual gay people, actual families, and actual lives. You know: reality. He said that focus groups indicated that everybody-make-nice and civil liberties were the way to go. This would move the undecided voters who were so crucial. I made the same point to HRC’s Marty Rouse and several campaign leaders, and got the same response. The approach would be political rather than human, in every sense of both words.

What a concept! Let’s ask straight people who are afraid of gay people about how to win gay rights, instead of asking gay people what has worked in their lives. You can see the result of focus group viewpoints. We have been focused over big-time.

Politics may move undecided voters, but the movement is only as valuable as the last person they spoke to. Human connections move hearts and minds, even minds that are made up. People who know gay people don’t usually vote against them. But it’s easy to vote against someone who is invisible, faceless, a menacing other, instead of friend or family, or even someone you just met on the street. And in No on 8, we were invisible. We saw the supportive, loving parents, but no gay daughter, no grandchildren. No on 8 was uninterested in a speakers’ bureau to reach out to community groups and churches; I gave up asking. They wanted volunteers for phone banking and sign waving, not personal contact with real voters. At a training we were told NOT to use words like children, because Pro-8 people had appropriated the issue. Because we refused to claim it– to claim reality– it was used against us. Likewise, we can’t talk about this ancient and deeply rooted anti-gay prejudice, either, because by calling attention to a reality in our lives, we might offend the very people who call us a threat to family, faith, and country. Newsflash! Our existence offends them.

This all may make sense to professional political people in their world and culture, but not in mine. It fails as a strategy because it embraces THE CLOSET, which is our real enemy. The closet is US. It is making ourselves invisible and unknown, rather than showing the simple fact and humanity of our lives. It is our consent to the lies, our silence in the face of naked prejudice. It is us not standing up for ourselves, and when we don’t, who else will stand with us? I absolutely praise and thank our leaders for their efforts and sacrifices and dedication. But frankly, if our leaders don’t know that we have to stand up for ourselves, as ourselves, then they shouldn’t be our leaders. Because here’s the result: we gay people were barely visible, and more people thought that the standard of living of California chickens was more important than the families of their fellow Americans.

Allen M

January 10th, 2009

Hi Ben,

Actually I don’t think we disagree at all – I am in complete agreement with you. When I said the campaign was well run it was within constraints of the framework that it was housed in.

What I’m really trying to say is that the choice to not put a personal face on this issue was wrong and I think they really do understand that now. But that choice if you really think about it, caused a HUGE ripple effect throughout every aspect of the campaign! Had that one decision been made differently, then many things would have been handled differently in the day to day operations and interaction with voters. Because that decision NOT to put a personal face around this issue SHAPED the entire framework of the campaign. The children of same sex couples would have turned some away from us but I think it would have brought MORE *TO* our side than it would have turned away by far! I believe that decision was the most key flaw in their approach, with the failure to truly reach out to the African Americans being a secondary but also important piece.

I met quite a lot of people in pretty high positions within the campaign but not to the level where I could have influence one way or another over that key decision. I was always skeptical over not having same sex couples represented in the ads myself and I brought it up a few times but they were convinced it was the best way at the time. They were wrong, quite simply put. I know they had a consulting company who suggested this approach and it significantly influenced this decision.

BTW, I finally had a chance to meet folks like Mark Leno, Gavin Newsom, Ron Dellums and so many other supporting politicians through my involvement with the campaign. Mark and Gavin particularly are very riveting speakers and so passionate! We do have some really wonderful and supportive politicians in this state!

Ben in Oakland

January 10th, 2009

I’m glad we agree, Allen. I wasn’t sure if that were the case.

One of the things i remember from my work against Briggs was how accessible the people running the campaign were. I remember walking into the office (I think it was on 24th St) and saying “Hi, My name is Ben.” I was asked what I could do. I said, “I’m out of the closet. I can write. I am presentable. I’m not afraid on anyone.” (I was 180 lbs of castro clone muscle, sans mustache, and I wasn’t.)

I spoke a to a few community groups. but I noticed there weren’t enough speakers who knew anything about gay issues. They were merely willing. I remember saying to (I think) Anne Kronenberg, “We need a speaker’s handbook to address all of these issues and questions.” She said that if I wanted to write it, please to go ahead. The 50 page handbook I wrote in about a week’s time was used statewide.

We had one disagreement. I was told that the handbook had to pass a review board of some sort to make sure it was politically correct (the first time I ever heard THAT sarcasm). I replied that I would be happy to remove anything that wasn’t FACTUALLY correct, but they would have to provide a citation. I was a very careful researcher. If it was a matter of someone else’s opinion, being politcally correcter, or merely different from mine, no, that would not be removed, but the differing opinion could be added in. If they didn’t like that, they didn’t need my book. I won on that one. There were a few addendums, but no changes. Nobody telling me I wasn’t on message, or to make things look pretty lest we offend some hypothetical undecided voter, or to avoid certain words like children, religion, and prejudice. That closeted and shame-filled mentality, masquerading as political wisdom, offended me.

I tell this story because it illustrates the difference between the two campaigns. Briggs was open to anyone willing to help, and using them and their abilities to the fullest. I was encouraged this time to phone bank, as if I had nothing else to offer. I tried it and hated every single insincere, dishonest moment of it. Our current leadership– and I use that term with some intention of irony– ran a very closed, insulated campaign. They were listening only to themselves and their political culture, the political equivalent of a hand-job.

Frankly, I knew we were going to lose when Mark Leno told me that they were once again trying to appeal to liberal values, rather than facts. As I wrote earlier: “Let’s ask straight people who are afraid of gay people about how to win gay rights, instead of asking gay people what has worked in their lives. You can see the result of focus group viewpoints.”

Their hearts may have been in the right place, but their heads were suffering from severe recto-cranial inversion.

Allen M

January 10th, 2009

Hi Ben,

Yes I know – I just hope that this mistake will not be repeated next time. I just got through writing another long-winded email to one of the board members of EQCA and among other things it again listed the importance of putting a ‘human face’ to this issue.

It is to me undeniable that we could have and SHOULD have won this fight! When you look at how close it was even with those key mistakes, to me it is clear that we would have won had those things been handled differently. For anyone in the LGBT community to deny that would be encouraging those mistakes to be made again.

I am committed to working with EQCA to get these critical changes made a REALITY, going forward; not just for the fight to undo the damage of Prop 8 but for future struggles which we will most surely be involved in.

Though I disagreed with the AD issue in particular I worked closely with the campaign to do everything I could to help make it a success. In that regard I have NO feelings of guilt because I know I truly did everything possible both financially and volunteer wise.

As an aside I wanted to ask you something. Feel free to say no if you want but I was wondering if it would be possible to read a copy of your handbook? You impress on me that you have some very enlightened views and I think it would be a good learning and growing experience for me as well.

One thing I am ashamed of. Prior to Prop 8 I was not very actively involved in issues I believed in. I mean I voted, donated financially and such but I realized this is NOT enough – at least not for me! The very personal nature of the discrimination of Prop 8 was a pivotal moment in my life when all at once I realized that I HAD to take a more active role in affecting change for causes I believe in. I know in my heart that this will continue to be true for other causes I firmly believe in – not just this one. But it took Prop 8 to make me see that and for that I feel a little ashamed.


January 10th, 2009

Jim Burroway wrote:

“So, who’s really to blame for Prop 8’s passage? I am!”

So let me get this straight. People hate us, and it’s OUR fault if they do?

Jim, if your own White Guilt were a planet, it would be Jupiter: the size of hundreds of Earths.

In related news, she was just asking to be raped. Didn’t you see what that slut was wearing?

Allen M

January 10th, 2009

SuprKufr: That is not the intent here, don’t you see? I certainly don’t blame our community and I’m sure Jim did not intend it that way either.

At least for me, this is only about acknowledging that the campaign was not perfect. It is only about learning from our mistakes and always striving to do better.

It is just about coming together as a community and finding a way to reverse the damage done to us. I don’t want to lay blame at anyone’s doorstep because I don’t want to be stuck in the past. I want to move forward and do my part in fixing this. I know that is what we all want.

We are all in this together and we WILL make it right! Like almost everyone else I felt ANGER and a DEEP sorrow when this divisive Prop had a majority vote on the wrong side of fairness.

We have to have faith that we only lost the battle and NOT the war!! As much as it hurts, as angry as it makes us, we WILL win this war because we are on the RIGHT side of Justice.

This was a defining moment in our history of oppression and it has re-energized a movement that goes way beyond our CA borders!

I have faith that I will live to see the day when marriage equality will be a reality across the USA, the day when TRUE equality will reign once and for all! Am I hoping for too much? Possibly, but I’m still going to do everything I can to strive for it nonetheless.

Ben in Oakland

January 12th, 2009

allen: sorry, I was pretty much not avialable during the weekend. The husband had kidney stones, we had an important client dinner, blah blah.

I would love to give you a copy of the handbook, but I don’t have one. I kept it for aobut 15 years. When the oregon anti-gay wars started in the early ’90’s, one of their people I was in contact with requested my copy for the speakers. I didn’t have time to make a copy myself, so I sent him the only one i had with the proviso that he send it back to me after xeroxing. He didn’t, and it is gone.

I admnire that you are so much more positive about our leaderhsip and the campaign than I am capable of feeling. I’m still really angry about their density.

At the beginning of the campaign, I went to speak to (I think) the communications director. I told her I wanted to speak to community groups, and had put my business on hold to allow me lots of time to do so. She said, “We’re not seeing any demand for speakers.” I replied, “Then lets go out and create some.” She said she would get back to me.

Of course, she didn’t. That, and another incident concerning the words we were not supposed to use– children, rleigion, and prejudice– told me that the campaign was a definite waste of time.

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When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.