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Queer Town: Chad Griffin to Lambda Legal: Buzz Off!


Big dispute developing in the gay rights movement over a federal, Proposition 8 lawsuit . . . the Associated Press reports that Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union now want to hitch their wagons to the bright, shiny star of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and its prime-time lawyers David Boies and Ted Olson, who filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Prop. 8. But AFER Board President Chad Griffin, who's based in Los Angeles, has told the johnny-come-latelys to buzz off!


''You have unrelentingly and unequivocally acted to undermine this case

even before it was filed. Considering this, it is inconceivable that

you would zealously and effectively litigate this case if you were

successful in intervening,'' Griffin wrote to Lambda Legal and the rest in a recent letter. ''Therefore, we will

vigorously oppose any motion to intervene.''

Frontiers News Editor Karen Ocamb just wrote a profile on Chad Griffin, who was a veteran of the unsuccessful "No on 8" campaign and secured high profile donations from Brad Pitt and billionaire Ron Burkle last fall.

The most recent brouhaha started up when U.S. District Judge Vaughn

Walker put a case that challenges Proposition 8 on the fast track for a

possible U.S. Supreme Court showdown.  American Foundation for Equal

Rights lawyers Boies and Olson, to the very public chagrin of Lambda

Legal, the ACLU and the NCLR, first pushed the case into federal court.

But

now that the lawsuit has the makings of a landmark case, folks like

Lambda Legal's Jenny Pfizer and other honchos at the ACLU and NCLR seem to want a piece of the action.

Widely-read gay blogger Andy Towle of Towleroad, who obtained a full copy of the toughly-worded Griffin letter, observes:

"It would appear Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights and

the ACLU LGBT Project are either realizing the case might actually be

successful and therefore want to ride its coattails for credit and

relevancy, or -- depending on your capacity for cynicism -- are intentionally

dragging down a suit from a rival group working for the same cause."

Proposition 8 has constantly caused power struggles within the gay rights movement, with gay honchos and organizations angling for their piece of the glory, which L.A. Weekly recently detailed in a cover story titled, "Setting the (Gay) Wedding Table."  On the face of it, the newest skirmish, instigated by Lambda Legal and crew, looks no different.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.