Explained: The Clusterfuck That Lost the Proposition 8 Campaign

During testimony, filings, and deliberations in the Proposition 8 trial, an unasked question reverberated through the federal courthouse in San Francisco: Why, exactly, are we here?

A step outside into the reality of still separate and unequal California provided an answer: An inept anti-Prop. 8 campaign fumbled what should have been a winning campaign. This quote from Rolling Stone was representative of anecdotes, quotations, blog posts and other accounts describing what a rotten organization the umbrella group Equality California oversaw: “The gay rights groups that tried to stop (Proposition 8) ran a lousy campaign.”

There hadn't been an engaging roadmap to this sad business, however, until Monday, when  Equality California — set up in 2005 as an umbrella organization for efforts to confront an anticipated anti-gay marriage initiative campaign — filed a legal brief in response to a request for campaign strategy records. To read Equality California's Geoff Kors describe in the filing the group's strategy formulation, it's possible to imagine a gymnasium full of people engaged in an unrefereed shouting match, in lieu of actually playing a basketball game.

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