The crowd that gathered outside the California Supreme Court in May of 2008 let out a cheer that you could hear clear across the city when they got the news: the court had just overturned the state’s marriage ban. Same-sex couples could finally marry.
What followed was a summer of sheer bliss, with 18,000 couples typing the knot. But looming on the horizon was Proposition 8. The idea that anyone could take marriage equality away was simply too painful for many people to confront.
But leaders like Kate Kendell were doing everything they could to sound the alarm. Faulty polling, lackluster fundraising, and a backwards campaign strategy were just a few of the red flags. Longtime grassroots organizers like Molly McKay were aghast to see a campaign that wanted nothing to do with them or their years of experience.
While the campaign sputtered and organizers struggled, the clock was counting down to what was looking increasingly like the end of marriage.
Parisian Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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