Selected writing

The following is a collection of my work, consisting of some pieces that have received a great deal of praise, and others that I think reflect my best writing.

Op-ed: The Case for Victory in North Carolina, The Advocate, April 2, 2012: This is a piece arguing that the conventional wisdom on North Carolina’s Amendment One is incorrect, and supporters of equality have an opportunity to win.

The Prop 8 trial and the strategy of going forward, Prop8TrialTracker, February 9, 2012: This is a piece examining the potential legal strategy of vis-a-vis the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (en banc) and the U.S. Supreme Court following their loss with a 3-judge panel from the 9th Circuit ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.

Top 10 questions on next steps in the Prop 8 trial, Prop8TrialTracker, February 8, 2012: This is a piece answering the most common ten questions from laypeople following the Prop 8 case, now that a 3-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.

How single-issue donors in New York State may delay chances for full equality, Prop8TrialTracker, February 2, 2012: This is a piece arguing that donors who reward Republican State Senators for their vote in favor of the 2011 same-sex marriage bill may prolong the delay for full equality for LGBT people in New York State.

What’s missing from World AIDS Day, Prop8TrialTracker (originally published at OpenLeft), December 1, 2011: This is a piece getting into how leaders in the movement to end AIDS too often ignores work to find a cure through developing a vaccine, particularly on the annual World AIDS Day, and instead focus on prevention/treatment in contrast to other movements such as efforts to end breast cancer.

Why yesterday’s Senate vote to repeal DOMA matters, DailyKos, November 11, 2011: This is a piece explaining why passage of the Respect for Marriage Act to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) matters in the long-term movement to repeal DOMA, even when odds of passage in the full Senate are unlikely in the short term.

Op-ed: Movements Don’t Stop and Start Every Two Years, The Advocate, November 10, 2011: This is a piece arguing that supporters of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) need to build a mass movement to end the statute as quickly as possible, not wait until there is a pro-repeal Congress in place to start.

Stop SB48 campaign: “We’re working on an initiative”, Prop8TrialTracker, November 1, 2011: This is a piece looking at the announcement by the Stop SB 48 campaign (working to repeal California’s FAIR Education Act) that they are seeking to qualify a new initiative for the 2012 ballot, and their chances of doing so.

Trust but verify: Learning our lesson in New York State, Prop8TrialTracker, May 12, 2011: This is a piece looking at what circumstances in strategy led to failure to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in 2009, and how to avoid them the next time around.

Demanding full support for equality: A “Sophie’s Choice” or not, and whether it’s worth it, Prop8TrialTracker, May 4, 2011: This is a piece looking at the successful pressure on the law firm of King & Spalding to drop its legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, and whether such pressure on law firms and for-profit entities in general is appropriate.

Making cultural norms catch up with laws (or, why straight allies matter so much), Prop8TrialTracker, April 24, 2011: This is a piece reflecting on my brush with homophobia at an NHL hockey game, how it reflects where society and sports culture are as a whole right now, and how it could change. I wrote a follow-up to this piece regarding the You Can Play project.

Paul Clement is not a public defender and DOMA is not entitled to a defense, Prop8TrialTracker, April 21, 2011: This is a piece countering the points made in a Los Angeles Times editorial. The editorial chastised LGBT advocates over pressure on Paul Clement and King & Spalding for their legal defense of DOMA and proclaimed that DOMA deserves a defense.

We are two votes shy of repealing DOMA in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Prop8TrialTracker, March 17, 2011: This is a piece reframing the fight on DOMA into an achievable goal that will advance the movement forward, using a simple whip count to note that our movement was two achievable votes short of an important milestone in terms of momentum and public education.

Policy is not the only metric of a movement, OpenLeft, May 5, 2010: This is a piece arguing the importance of other metrics for the success or failure of a presidency or a movement beyond policy accomplishments or failures.

We are not all HRC’s zombies, OpenLeft, April 14, 2010: This is a piece exploring misconceptions about the abilities of HRC and “legacy” organizations, as well as their relationship with grassroots activists.

We all have a role to play, OpenLeft, March 23, 2010: This is a piece responding to Dan Choi’s criticism of HRC’s Freedom Plaza rally with Kathy Griffin, fundraising gala events, and some more extended thoughts on the different types of roles people play in the LGBT movement.

Essay: The value of constructive criticism in the LGBT movement, OpenLeft, February 25, 2010: This is a longer meta essay on the value of constructive criticism and what is often called “infighting” between “legacy” LGBT organizations and external activists. It includes some historical analysis and an interview with HRC President Joe Solmonese on the topic.

The importance of remembering why we lose- not just that we lose, OpenLeft, December 10, 2009: A piece focusing on the narratives that emerge from electoral losses, relating to poor arguments in favor of moving away from marriage equality activism in the wake of losses in California and Maine.

The question of LGBT incrementalism, Part 1 and Part 2, OpenLeft, November 16-17, 2009: A series examining the arguments in favor of pro-LGBT equality activists focusing on measures delivering lesser forms of equality for same-sex couples, and moving away from marriage equality for the time being, in the wake of defeats on marriage initiatives in California and Maine.

Analysis and Improvement, Part 1 and Part 2, OpenLeft, November 5-6, 2009: A series of posts examining what went right and what went wrong in Maine around Question 1.

DNC Treats LGBT Community As Awkward Party Crasher, OpenLeft, November 5, 2009: This is a piece analyzing Organizing For America’s error in asking Mainers to help in New Jersey elections instead of Maine, and the DNC Treasurer’s leaked e-mail response to the embarrassment.

Maine Election Results Thread #1 and #2, OpenLeft, November 3, 2009: These two posts made up my live-blogging coverage of the election results, which I was covering from the No On 1 boiler room. The two posts were the 4th and 5th highest-trafficked posts, respectively, in the history of OpenLeft.

No Bittersweet Victories, OpenLeft, October 28, 2009: This is a piece launching the 3-2-1- Countdown for Equality project I organized along with Julia Rosen, then-of Courage Campaign, and Karl-Thomas Musselman of Burnt Orange Report. It was an effort to illustrate the LGBT-oriented ballot initiatives coming up in a few days and what each campaign needed as greater numbers of LGBT community members started asking how they could help in the remaining days before the election.

The Bishop vs. The Grassroots, OpenLeft, October 22, 2009: This is a piece examining the tensions between the Catholic Diocese in Maine and parishioners over the Bishop’s response to the issue of Question 1 in Maine. It includes an extensive interview with the founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality.

An Interconnected Movement, OpenLeft, September 24, 2009: This is a piece I wrote arguing that a win or loss on the Question 1 initiative in Maine regarding same-sex marriage will have broad effects across the progressive and conservative movements beyond just LGBT circles. It was also the post that raised funds from readers to cover travel expenses to Maine so I could cover and work with the No On 1campaign on the ground.

You Made the Bed, Now Sleep In It (Alone)?, OpenLeft, September 3, 2009: A piece focusing on the moral hazard issue regarding LGBT activists rallying around a then-troubled National Equality March.