The Courage Campaign, led by Rick Jacobs, will be at a rally along with a host of other orgs across the street from the Beverly Hilton on Wednesday as President Obama holds a fund raiser with industry donors.
He says that plans are in the works for someone inside the event to try to hand the president some 140,000 signatures calling for an end to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Although Jacobs says he remains a supporter of the president, many progressive groups have been disappointed by the pace of the administration in ending the policy.
As for same-sex marriage, Jacobs says his group’s ads will be shown on cable, probably starting today, in Fresno, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego.
Jacobs has been pushing for a 2010 date for a ballot initiative, fueled by the Courage Campaign’s own poll showing that 82.5% of its members favored such timing. His org has been training some 700 activists through “Camp Courage” weekends, modeled on those that trained Obama campaign volunteers.
Jacobs noted that a recent poll showed that the state was evenly split among likely voters, and “I think that is probably where we are.”
He cautioned, however, against “living your life looking at polls.”
“The way we will win on this issue is through personal contact, conversation and engagement.”
Equality California, which has spearheaded the drive for same sex marriage in the state, also said that it planned to send organizers throughout the state in the next few days.
Via executive director Geoff Kors, they issued this statement this morning: “Our worst fears have come to pass. The California Supreme Court just ruled that a slim majority of voters could eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. This unjust decision flies in the face of our constitution’s promise of equal protection.
“Although we are relieved that the Court did not forcibly divorce the estimated 18,000 couples who married before Prop 8 passed, our community and our allies will not allow this on-going discrimination to stand.”
A coalition of orgs are highlighting the dissent from Justice Carlos Moreno, the solve vote against upholding Prop 8. (The court ruled unanimously to uphold the existing marriages. Moreno wrote, “The rule the majority crafts today not only allows same-sex couples to be stripped of the right to marry that this court recognized in the Marriage Cases, it places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities. It weakens the status of our state Constitution as a bulwark of fundamental rights for minorities protected from the will of the majority.”
California Democratic Party chairman John Burton issued this statement: “Today’s decision, while heartbreaking, doesn’t end the historic struggle for marriage equality. It renews our dedication to making sure all California families can again enjoy the dignity, commitment and responsibility of marriage.
“I commend the California Supreme Court for validating the rights of the 18,000 lesbian and gay couples who married last year before Proposition 8 passed. These couples and their children will continue to enjoy the full security and legal protection of marriage.
“Within the next few years, I know California will restore legal, civil marriages for gay and lesbian couples. The California Democratic Party will play a leading role in ending marriage discrimination in California and I look forward to the day when that happens.”
Antonio Villaraigosa: “These two situations reflect a chilling truth we must face as a community and as a state: That when a bare majority can strip away a fundamental right – yet it takes a two-thirds vote to pass a budget – then our system is fundamentally broken.”
Dianne Feinstein: “I know today’s decision is a tremendous disappointment for many people. But I also know that the opinions of Californians are changing on this issue, and I believe that equal marriage rights will one day be the law in this state. This is already the case in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont. So, I believe this issue will come before the voters again, and I am very hopeful that the result will be different next time.”