Basically, Equality California (one of the largest, if not the largest, LGBT groups in the state) has decided that they will not press for a ballot initiative to return marriage rights to same sex couples until 2012. Many smaller groups are upset at this and want to get back on the ballot this year, or next year at the latest.
I am of the opinion that if these groups push it to the limit, they’ll be walking on a razor’s edge. 2012 will remain the big crowd – if a ballot initiative in 2010 trumps Prop 8 from 2008, then the people who hate gays will be back in 2012, and the LGBT community will be exhausted from two fights within four years. Financially and mentally. Presidential election years have a mental stigma with them, as well. When things happen those years on ballots, they have a firmer implant in our minds – we know that there were more voters that year, that more democracy happened, as it were.
It makes sense to move in 2012 when there is the possibility of stronger candidates at a state or national level to ally with. In 2009 there will be no such candidates. In 2010, there will be Barbara Boxer and whoever runs statewide, but in 2012 you’ll have the Senate and the Presidency. The President’s support for LGBT groups is waning, and I’m not a fan of that. It’s my least favourite part of the O-Man so far. However, he still has 3 years to get his act together. I’m waiting.
By 2012, there won’t be just one fight going on – the fight in Iowa might be brewing (depending on a lot of things), there may be more pro-ssm fights in a few places. The more this community combines its efforts the stronger it becomes. Colorado is a new target, so is NY. It can be done, but you need to be smart and pick your battles. Don’t fight because you’re angry – fight when you’re smart enough to know you can win.
In 2008, the LGBT community didn’t get to pick the fight; they were on the defensive, clawing with tooth and nail to defend the rights given unto them by the courts. If they lash out in 2009 or 2010, they’ll end up weakening themselves, by being divided. Fight in 2012. Fight when you can win, and win big.