Is Yes On 8 Ashamed of Its Past?

As the vote on California’s Proposition 8 neared last November, the organizers of the Yes on 8 effort suddenly began working hard to appear moderate and fair-minded in hopes of downplaying the radical nature of the groups that had endorsed the effort, including:

Alliance Defense Fund
American Family Association
California Family Alliance
California Family Council
Concerned Women for America
Coral Ridge Ministries
Eagle Forum of California
Eagle Forum of Sacramento
Family Research Council
Focus on the Family
Liberty Counsel
Pacific Justice Institute
Traditional Values Coalition

Liberty Counsel’s appearance on this list is especially interesting, considering that since Prop 8’s passage, the folks behind Yes on 8 have gone into overdrive trying to prevent the organization from getting involved in the subsequent lawsuits and regularly fighting LC’s efforts to interveneand succeeding:

It was a sunny summer morning, but inside a San Francisco federal courtroom the outlook for Rena Lindevaldsen of Liberty Counsel was cloudy.

Charles Cooper, representing the official anti-gay marriage forces in a federal court challenge to Proposition 8, wasn’t fighting hard enough, she insisted. He wouldn’t try to prove, for instance, that homosexuality is an “illness or disorder.”

“Individuals should be entitled to treatment to change your sexual orientation,” Lindevaldsen argued.

Cooper’s team quickly deflected Liberty Counsel’s attempt to intervene, saying it just wanted to fight battles that “can’t be won.” That left Cooper — a consummate Beltway insider who avoids the kind of language favored by Lindevaldsen — and his firm the sole legal representatives for 7 million Californians that supported Prop 8.

The official Yes on 8 effort has tried to distance itself from “fringe” groups that are too “strident or combative,” [Yes on 8 General Counsel Andrew] Pugno said.

“I think it’s fitting that the demeanor and tone of our lead counsel would reflect the demeanor and civilized tone that we tried to maintain during the campaign,” he said.

So it seems that Yes on 8 was perfectly happy to have Liberty Counsel’s support – along with the support of other militantly anti-gay organization like TVC, AFA, and Faith2Action – when they were trying to pass Prop 8, but now wants to distance itself from those sort of “strident and combative fringe” groups, even though those groups were the backbone of the organization and played a key role in its passage.