On Wednesday, Love Makes a Family, a gay rights activist group, declared victory in the state of Connecticut and discussed plans to follow gay "marriage" advocate Tim Gill’s strategic plan by re-deploying their lobbying and financial resources to focus on overturning traditional marriage laws in other states and on the national level.
In a letter to the organization’s members, Ann Stanback, Executive Director of Connecticut’s Love Makes a Family, said her group will "cease operations" in the state "on December 31, 2009" and will begin work on the national level to repeal the 1996 Federal Definition of Marriage Act.
Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled in October of last year that gay "marriage" was Constitutional, making Connecticut one of three states where gay marriage has been declared legal by state Supreme Courts: Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa.
Stanback told her supporters that she has enjoyed the last eight years working to win acceptance of gay marriage, feels confident that gay marriage is "secure for all time," and now wants to "spend time with [her] very patient wife, Charlotte."
Detailing the group’s next steps, Stanback says priorities include: to "smoothly enact marriage equality," secure support of Connecticut Congressmen to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, lobby for more protection of the "transgender community," elect a "pro-equality" legislature that is friendly to the gay community, and to share their "successful strategies" with other states.
The Love Makes a Family website lists successes over the last eight years including: 20,000 active gay marriage supporters, shifting public option in support of gay marriage to 53%, incrementally introducing the public to gay marriage through an adoption law in 2000, "a handful of rights to same-sex couples" in 2002, civil unions in 2005, and finally "marriage equality victory in 2008."
While groups like Love Makes a Family are claiming success and "ceasing operations," multi-millionaire Tim Gill, who has reportedly donated over $150 million to gay marriage causes, is still behind the scenes directing the U.S. gay marriage strategy.
Last August, CNA reported the details of Gill's strategy at the Democratic National Convention. He laid out a plan and declared, "The only way that bigots will learn, is if we take their power away from them." His strategy encourages donors to focus on winning strategic local and state level legislative offices, and promoted sharing ideas and donating money across state lines on key winnable races.
In April of 2007, Denver political analyst Floyd Ciruli told Time Magazine "Gill [and his people are] incredibly strategic. They simply don't waste money. They put their funding where they can take control of legislatures." Ciruli adds, "People were unaware of what was going on for quite awhile, but now I think everybody knows that they have really changed the direction of [Colorado]. I'm not sure that everyone really understands how potent [Gill] is, but he now has to be the number one gay rights advocate in the country in terms of funding and strategy. They're taking significant contributions and putting them brilliantly in legislative environments where a few seats changing will change the entire control of a state."
Now that gay "marriage" is "secure" in Connecticut, the big money from donors like Gill is likely drying up and being reallocated along with out resources to new winnable races in other states.