Online extra: Wedding Bell Blues: Coalition behind No on 8 dissolves
by Seth Hemmelgarn
The coalition behind the No on Prop 8 campaign in 2008 is dissolving.
The executive committee of Equality For All announced Monday, June 28 that it had voted "to formally wind up operations and dissolve the corporation." The announcement came in an e-mail blast from Cary Davidson, Equality for All's counsel.
Equality for All is the coalition of LGBT and allied organizations against Prop 8, the measure California voters passed in November 2008 that amended the state constitution and bans same-sex marriage. The campaign's formal name was No on 8 Equality for All.
"Pursuant to decisions made by the Equality For All Campaign Committee in 2005, all remaining campaign assets will be provided to and managed by Equality California," the statewide LGBT advocacy group, Davidson wrote in the e-mail.
Equality for All was formed in 2005 to fight a potential anti-gay 2006 ballot measure. That initiative never materialized and Davidson said the coalition remained inactive until 2008, when anti-gay groups began collecting signatures for want became Prop 8.
Last week, Davidson told the Bay Area Reporter that with a campaign as large as No on 8, which raised about $43 million during the unsuccessful effort to stop the anti-same-sex marriage ban, it's normal to take this long to wrap up the campaign's internal operations.
"There was a lot of clean-up," Davidson said, including paying invoices, a mandated audit by the Franchise Tax Board, and other post-campaign activities.
Geoff Kors, EQCA's executive director, was among the executive committee's members. Other members included Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Lorri Jean, of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.
The audit, required by law for all ballot measure campaign organizations, is in process. Once the audit's done and paid for, it's not expected that any financial assets will remain, according to Davidson.
What is left are data sets developed during the No on 8 campaign, which EQCA will manage.
"In the interests of transparency and furthering efforts to learn from the experiences of the No on 8 Campaign, the Equality For All Executive Committee has voted to take the unprecedented step of releasing extensive polling materials developed during the campaign," wrote Davidson.
The materials are available at www.eqca.org/efadata. They include the results of internal polls of which some in the community have long called for releasing. Equality for All leaders had used the data to help guide the campaign, but had been reluctant to release any of the data for fear it would clue Prop 8 proponents in to what opponents were seeing.
Weeks before Election Day in November 2008, the No on 8 campaign had taken the unusual step of releasing some internal data. That polling showed No on 8 running behind, and the campaign was encouraging people to make donations for the final advertising push.
Many groups, including EQCA, have supported moving ahead in 2012 to try to repeal Prop 8.
But at a June news conference announcing a report on same-sex marriage polls, Kors suggested even 2012 could be too soon.
"Before we go back, we need to see solid majority support" for repeal, said Kors. "We're close to that, but we're not there yet," he said.
Children's book explores dads and dads, and moms and moms
The author of a book published earlier this year is hoping to give children of same-gender parents a story to which they can relate.
Sandro Isaack, who's gay, said DadDadMomMom is the first book he's self-published. The single Isaack does not have children.
It follows the story of Dad and Dad, who are tired of waiting for the Stork, and decide to find her and ask for a baby. They search for the Stork around the world, with the help of Mom and Mom.
Isaack, who's 36 and lives in New York City, indicated he didn't intend for the book to be part of the same-sex marriage debate, but it's likely to invoke the theme of marriage equality in the minds of readers.
He said he was "trying to avoid anything political, but it's inevitable."
"I would love to go to San Francisco with the book," he said, adding that he has sold over 1,000 copies since in came out in February.
More information is available at www.daddadmommom.com.