The debate in 2006 over the federal marriage amendment is a classic example of how these two misjudgments crippled the movement's effectiveness. Facing a vote that everyone involved knew we would win, HRC's Hillary Rosen (Elizabeth's then-partner) bought into the Democrats' partisan strategy of avoiding the gay marriage "hot button" in favor of attacking President Bush and the Republicans for pressing a "non-issue," which was only a distraction from "real issues" like Iraq and rising gas prices.
It was colossal missed opportunity for a gay rights group to agree to the Democratic Party's self-serving strategy of avoiding gay marriage linkage and instead calling the movement's signature issue a distraction -- thereby punting on the free-media opportunity to educate the public about why we want to marry in the first place.
OutFront Minnesota used the same message when lobbying against this bill. I expect that type of junk from the Democratic Party that does not share the same interests gays do. I expect more of organizations that supposedly "represent" gays.
I find it unforgivable that HRC focused on helping specific Democratic candidates over putting resources in some of the anti-gay marriage initiatives. HRC resources could have made a difference in Wisconsin and in South Dakota.