Fight to the Finish
BY Neal Broverman
May 08 2009 12:00 AM ET
A day after Maine
became the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage,
The New York Times
Los Angeles Times
on Thursday reported on efforts by California
marriage-equality groups to initiate a ballot campaign to
overturn Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state.
But to Robin Tyler, one of the plaintiffs involved in the suit
currently being considered by the California supreme court that
challenges Prop. 8's constitutionality, talk of
ballot campaigns is premature, if not outright dangerous.
Tyler says there was an
understanding between herself, a vocal advocate for marriage
equality, and members of the Courage Campaign and Equality
California that any announcement on a ballot effort should wait
until after the supreme court handed down its Prop. 8 decision.
That decision can come no later than June 3.
Torie Osborn, the
codirector of Camp Courage, a leadership program funded by the
Courage Campaign, gave a speech on Sunday night in
Oakland, Calif., and said, "We are who we've been
waiting for. If not now, then when?" A Monday
post on the Courage Campaign's blog,
Unite the Fight
, later expanded on Osborn's message: "Torie pointed
out that the grassroots, which was denied a role in the No on 8
campaign, is ready for the daunting challenge to take on a 2010
initiative. If the grassroots is ready to go, the Courage
Campaign will be there to support them every step of the
Los Angeles Times
featured Courage Campaign founder and chair Rick Jacobs and
Equality California marriage director Marc Solomon talking
about overturning Prop. 8 at the ballot box, and Solomon was
quoted on the same topic in
The New York Times.
"All of us had
made an agreement that because of our legal
argument -- that the rights of a minority should not
be voted on by a majority -- that we would not bring [a ballot
initiative] up as an alternative, that we wanted the
supreme court to throw Prop. 8 out as illegal,"
Tyler says. "So everyone agreed not to say
anything, so I was shocked that Torie had called for it. I
think it was entirely inappropriate to do this."
Tyler believes her
case's legal argument is undermined by discussion of
another ballot initiative that puts civil rights to a vote.
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