Thoughts: Alan Klein

My Thoughts on the No On 8 Campaign

Marriage Equality and No On 8 made some incredible missteps — some that I feel led directly to us losing this important battle in the war against hatred and bigotry faced by the LGBT community.

Arrogance.  Both organizations took it for granted that Prop 8 would not pass. Fundraising efforts were not aggressive. The PSA's were also not aggressive and failed to frame the civil rights issue at all. In fact, No On 8 allowed the opposition to frame the issue (a real PR blunder) and allowed lies to become the predominant message. If we are to win this issue, both at the polls and in the court of public opinion, we must have media-savvy people at the helm of our organizations.

Ignorance.  People of color were 'educated' about Prop 8 by their churches. We were not there. There were no representatives of No On 8 dispatched to communities of color, until it was too late. There was no No On 8 signage or collateral in Spanish, nor Korean, nor Tegalic, only English.

Courage.  We need leaders that are not afraid to speak the truth!  We do not want to be coddled or treated like children. We need real strategies to meet real-world challenges. Mistakes were made and people are pissed! They have every right and reason to be pissed. Don't just blithely try to mollify our just concerns. In order to win, we must be able to critique the campaign without being told we are too angry, or worse, that we are part of the problem. Only by looking at the campaign against Prop 8 objectively can we hope to defeat it!

-Alan Klein, ACT UP Founding Member / Co-Founder Queer Nation
11/07/2008


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