Please tell me that this isn’t going to be OUR strategy

Timothy Kincaid

August 4th, 2011

Today the anti-gays begin gathering signatures on their petition to overturn California’s law requiring inclusion of GLBT contributions in the education curriculum.

And also today I heard a radio advertisement warning that you shouldn’t sign petitions. Because then they have your address and you could be a victim of identity theft. “They even have my signature” says the newly incensed woman. And then they go for the real danger:

I read that the names and addresses on petitions were sent to other countries, including India! Who knows what they did with it!

This is, of course, nonsense. Without giving your social security number there is not much threat of identity theft. Even from those nefarious Indians.

A San Diego Union Tribune reporter followed up and discovered that “Californians Against Identity Theft” are a project of a construction workers labor union. There are several signature campaigns to limit the exposure to guaranteed pension benefits that can come from public funds and, in some cases, require public employees to contribute to their pensions.

But considering EQCA’s shift in identity away from a gay organization and towards a progressive coalition agenda, this doesn’t give me comfort. So please, will someone please tell me that this incredible stupid, fraudulent and xenophobic ad is not part of our strategy?

UPDATE:

Ugh. An email from EQCA was in my inbox.

We’ve seen these campaigns before.

So we know that our opponents are spreading lies and using the usual scare tactics to misrepresent the FAIR Education Act and collect signatures for their effort to overturn it at the ballot box next year.

Extremists are also pushing a broad anti-progressive agenda, including ballot measures for next year, that will harm our fight and the work of important coalition partners.

Working in close collaboration with our partners, including Service Employees International Union, we are fighting back.

So I guess that, yeah, EQCA is has aligned our community with this crap. I especially love the comment about “spreading lies and using the usual scare tactics.”

What, are they saying that the FAIR Act is sending their children to India? And who know what the Indians will do with them!!

TampaZeke

August 4th, 2011

I guess when you keep losing each and every one of these things to people who lie and scare people you finally give up on the moral, truthful and righteous path and go with the scheme that your opponents are winning with.

I don’t know how WE are going to win but I know how THEY have always won and how we have always lost.

If we don’t get more ruthless we will never win one of these referendums.

JCF

August 5th, 2011

“overturn California’s law requiring inclusion of GLBT contributions in the education curriculum”

I still hold this referendum can’t POSSIBLY be legal (it’s a dead-on parallel of the anti-gay referenda of the 90s which SCOTUS threw out).

I don’t want to see us waste time&money organizing on this, when the law is CLEARLY on our side. [Can’t we keep it off the ballot, merely by court action? Even if it DID the required signatures?]

Agree that xenophobia is an immoral strategy.

Loki

August 5th, 2011

And I see we are still shilling for conservatives, with something that’s not even tangentially related to anything to do with gay people. Oh, wait. Equality California is in some sort of informal alliance with the nation’s largest labor union which has… what connection with the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California (you left that bit out)? Which in turn has some financial connection to Californians Against Identity Theft.

This is an incredibly sloppy, shoddy, propagandistic piece that alleges some sort of connection that spans through four separate organizations (one of which you didn’t even bother to mention the connections between). Ridiculous assertion and rampant speculation does not even begin to cover it.

What, are they saying that the FAIR Act is sending their children to India? And who know what the Indians will do with them!!

Why no, they did not. Do you know why? Because of the fact that Equality California, at least according to even your wildly overstated claims of connection between these four organizations, had nothing to do with the ad in the first place. Shameful.

Ellie

August 5th, 2011

Apparently we’re that desperate, so why not? Lying worked so well for the anti-gay side.

elaygee

August 5th, 2011

He’s right that the reason the far right gets what it wants is that they fight it to win it and Progressives are wishy washy and aren’t.

Wanna save your country from facism? You have to (not literally) kill some people to win the war.

Matt

August 5th, 2011

The ballot-box method for getting Prop 8 overturned involves gathering signatures, doesn’t it?

Are the powers-that-be in California simply assuming that Olson and Boies will be successful?

I don’t know how WE are going to win but I know how THEY have always won and how we have always lost.

Working in close collaboration with our partners, including Service Employees International Union, we are fighting back.

It sounds to me like the same exact strategy is being pursued as in past times — forming progressive alliances with other groups generally identified as Democratic or liberal-leaning, building you-scratch-my-back coalitions, and then hoping that that gets us to 50 + 1. So if “we have always lost” by going that route, these “Indians might steal our identities!” radio ads are going to make the difference?

Mario

August 5th, 2011

Look, simple enough: commercial opens with pictures and contributions of LGBT persosn that contributed to our American culture and past, just note their names and contributions. Fade to black and say, “Some peoe don’t want children to learn about these great people and what they contributed to our livelihood… Just because they happen to be gay. Let’s not alter history because of bigotry.”
End of commercial!

Timothy Kincaid

August 5th, 2011

Mario,

I’m totally with you. And it serves the dual purpose of informing the public (and ourselves) about to whom they really owe a debt. When you start looking at the list, the names are staggering.

(Only one difference, I would use “not heterosexual” as the understanding of being gay may not exactly match up with some folks who clearly were not heterosexual.)

One other idea:

Commercial opens by panning from a diverse class of students to a teacher showing them pictures saying, “Here’s Martin Luther King writing from the Burmingham Jail, here’s Cesar Chavez organizing farm workers, here’s Betsy Ross sewing the first flag” but every picture she puts up is of a middle aged white man.

“Contributions to our state and culture have come from all kinds of people and some of them were gay. But there are those who want to keep that a secret. let’s not alter history because of bigotry”

EZam

August 5th, 2011

A judge just removed the proposed San Francisco Circumcision ban from the ballot. We should try doing the same instead of wasting millions trying (and failing) to fight it.

Ben in Atlanta

August 5th, 2011

As a progressive, I’m often irritated by your writing. I think I’ll skip the rant this time. There is more than one way to be.

J. Peron

August 5th, 2011

The labour unions are doing precisely this sort of tactic in California. Friends of mine do petititoning to earn income. They said the unions have continually come up with ways to destroy petitioning in the state.

In one case they wanted to scuttle a campaign collecting signatures and went out to “hire” the best petitioners for another campaign. The other campaign collected signatures for NO reason whatsoever. It had no legal standing at all. They paid a higher rate to soak up the petitioners. In one case the best among them were just told to sit in a building under their supervision each day for pay, doing nothing, so they couldn’t collect other signatures.

People petition in front of stores and most stores allow one such petitioner at a time. The unions would send people out to those spots to “petition” to close off the spot so others, with real petitions, couldn’t be there. At other times they had “employees” of the union watching for people collecting petitions. If they saw any a team of them would surround the individual and start yelling at one one who tried to sign the petition.

The unions are not particularly targeting that petition, they have other targets that they find more appropriate for their agenda. So they aren’t trying to use thuggish tactics to protect the gay community, they are after other petitions. Once ECQA announced they were going “progressive” and putting gay issues lower on the burner I dropped all support of them.

Matt

August 5th, 2011

@ JCF and EZam:

What’s the argument for having a judge declare that the FAIR education law not be subject to a citizen recall?

I’m aware of Romer v. Evans but I don’t see how it’s parallel.

David C.

August 6th, 2011

The best thing that could happen to better regulate the gathering of signatures for referenda is to outlaw the use of paid signature gatherers.

Theo

August 7th, 2011

I have yet to see any reporting as to whether the anti-gay repeal effort is a serious effort with the requisite million dollar budget to collect a sufficient number of signatures. There are many, many proposed referenda that never make it. Not clear whether this effort has meat on the bones, given the obsession of the Religious Right with gay issues, I assume that it does.

Assuming that it does make it onto the ballot, it would need to be actively opposed. “JCF” above, doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about. The proposed repeal is nothing like Colorado’s Amendment 2. The repeal simply eliminates a recently passed statute and returns the law to the status of a few weeks ago. In that regard, it is little different from Maine’s Question 1, which repealed a marriage equality law, but made no other changes to the law. You will note that there was not a single lawsuit filed to challenge the constitutionality of Question 1 after it passed.

By contrast, Amendment 2 changed the Colorado constitution to prohibit all governmental entities at any level – from the state legislature to state courts to the lowest clerk in the smallest CO town – from enacting any law or regulation that would “entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination.” It was the most devastating – and the most diabolically clever – weapon our adversaries had ever devised, because its effect would be to instantly destroy decades of gay rights efforts, even while the true scope of the measure was not readily apparent to the layperson.

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