I’ve been following the massive repercussions on the Proposition 8 vote in California – which amended the state constitution to protect traditional marriage. Since the vote passed by a significant margin on November 4, the gay community has organized protests across the state, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed that the “fight isn’t over” (call me crazy but I thought a governor was sworn to uphold the law), and the LA Times (who supports the protests) has reported the huge web organizing on the issue. The question becomes, will the violence, protests, blacklisting, and more, end up hurting their cause?
I’ve already mentioned the theater director, Scott Eckern, who resigned amid a flurry of protests after gay activists exposed his support of traditional marriage. And the blacklisting continues. The Los Angeles Times reports today that gay activists are targeting studios, film festivals, and distribution companies. Richard Raddon, the director of the LA Film Festival has been personally targeted as well. It’s been amazing to hear leaders in the homosexual community demand that people should be fired and marginalized because of the their support of traditional marriage. A protest is even planned at the Sundance Film Festival. Although the gay community’s historic position has been about “tolerance,” I have to admit not seeing a lot of it in their post-election strategy.
The question is – by reacting so strongly – including staging major protests outside of Catholic and Mormon churches, blacklisting entertainment professionals, plus, the complete repudiation of the electoral process, will this create a backlash against support for the gay community?
One thing I’ve learned is that extreme measures like boycotts, protests, and sit-ins, can backfire very easily. I caution that these measures should be a “nuclear option” only, when all other possibilities have failed. But the interesting thing here is how quickly the gay community has gone negative. It’s as if they were completely ignorant of the thousands of years that people of faith have valued traditional marriage.
Another development is how the gay community has marginalized the African-American and Hispanic communities who hold traditional marriage as something very precious. They’re even blaming them for losing the vote.
Strategy matters – no matter what side of the issue you’re on. I’m thinking the gay community has misfired and will regret this direction. What do you think?