Over the past few days, Courage Campaign, one of the leading political organizations in the fight to overturn Proposition 8, has been asking supporters to donate $200,000 so it can help launch a pro-gay marriage ballot measure in 2010. The self-imposed deadline for this major fund raising effort is quite soon: Thursday, August 13.

In an email sent out to supporters, Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs writes that his group “has mobilized 45 Equality Teams and trained more than 1,000 organizers across California in 2009.” The gay politico also reveals his group has “been working with the smartest, most

experienced campaign professionals in America,” including “people who ran Barack

Obama's campaign.”

But, Jacobs writes, “the only way a 2010 campaign can

be launched is if the marriage equality movement raises

$200,000…That's how much money it will take to determine — through


polling and focus groups — the initiative language and messages that

will move voters to support marriage equality.”

Jacobs' challenge to raise cash quickly, though, may be the least of his problems. Although influential gay rights activist Robin McGehee sent out her own email fully supporting Jacobs, other gay groups such as the Jordan Rustin Coalition and HONOR PAC aren't so thrilled about 2010, as Ron Buckmire writes on his blog.

HONOR PAC and Jordan Rustin Coaltion worked closely with the shot callers in the failed “No on 8” campaign, which was run by such mainstream, gay rights organizations as Equality California and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. McGehee has a working relationship with Courage Campaign, which she's open about.

Which points to what kind of groups are battling each other over the 2010/2012 question — for the most part, grassroots organizations, like Courage Campaign, want 2010, while corporate groups, like Equality California, either want 2012 or are leaning towards it.  Equality California, for example, has been hedging its bets about 2010 or 2012.

Recently, gay rights activist and Democratic party insider David Mixner wrote an inspired series of posts on his blog. For him, now is not the time to play it safe.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

LA Weekly