Out Against the Right: An Organizing Handbook for Queer Activists and Grassroots Organizers
For lesbian activists and grassroots organizers fighting the Christian Right.

Our Relationship to other Anti-Initiative Groups

One of the premises of LACROP is that there are as many ways to organize as there are organizers and constituencies. We believe that an out, direct-action, grassroots approach is probably the best way to both fight an initiative and build a community that lives beyond the campaign. However, we have also tried to maintain good relationships with groups which fight ballot initiatives and do community organizing with a more traditional style. (See "Finding Allies".) We try to focus on fighting the right-wing, not other organizers.

On the other hand, we have found that no matter how hard we have tried to accommodate "mainstream" campaign groups, there have been occasions when they actively tried to prevent us from doing our work. We interpret this as indicating that these groups view our work as a threat to their strategies and their goals. Since, as we discussed earlier, many of these types of campaigns are tied into national organizations and usually have access to a lot more money and influence than direct-action type groups, they can sometimes put a lot of pressure on smaller, newer and less well known groups. It can be very difficult to withstand the pressure, especially when you are told that the lives of all lesbians and gay men in your area "will be ruined" by your actions. (See Section on Backlash: Who's To Blame for Homophobia, for more on this subject)

As much as possible we have tried to avoid direct negative confrontation with oppositional mainstream campaigns or lesbian/gay groups since they are not our enemy. We have often gone to public meetings of groups we don't see eye to eye with because we have found that there are lesbians and gay men in attendance who would rather do our type of organizing but don't know there is an alternative to the mainstream group. Occasionally, when there has been no other way to stop such a group from blocking our work, we have had to stand our ground against their attacks, and call them on their behavior. If such a confrontation becomes necessary, we try to do it in a way that will create the least drama, and divert the least of the general community's attention from the vital work of the campaign.

If you are honest and your actions are morally and politically defensible, you will be less vulnerable to other organizers' attacks. You may want to have a community debate or analysis of the work of the campaign after the dust settles. That is often a less intense time to work out organizing differences. In the meantime, every organizer in the campaign doesn't have to agree, they just have to give each other the space to work. In most cases, knowing the community in which you're working will help with these issues.

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