When Litigation Collides with Grassroots Organizing: The Impact of the Perry Lawsuit through the Eyes of Asian Americans Organizing for Marriage Equality


In less than a decade, marriage equality has moved from the margins of political and social consciousness into the mainstream as a result of grassroots organizing, ballot measure campaigns, legislative advocacy, and litigation on both sides of the issue. For those who support the freedom to marry for same-sex partners, these strategies have worked in tandem to advance the issue overall. But there exist internal and inherent tensions amongst the different strategies in pursuing marriage equality, particularly between the work at the grassroots level and the efforts to address this issue through the legal system. In this essay, I describe how the Asian American community in Southern California began actively organizing around the issue of marriage equality; the impact of the passage of Proposition 8 on the marriage equality movement in California; and the impact of the federal lawsuit against Proposition 8 on grassroots efforts to advance equality for same-sex couples.

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