By Michelle Lin
On the evening of April 28, National Public Radio station KPCC hosted a panel discussion at the Crawford Family Forum titled “Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality.” This program discussed and promoted Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jo Becker’s newly released book, Forcing the Spring.
The panel included San Francisco attorney Terry Stewart and Liberty Hill’s former executive director and longtime social activist, Torie Osborn, who has also served as Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center.
KPCC reporter Frank Stoltze moderated the discussion, leading audience members through Becker’s account of the fight to restore the marriage equality to gay and lesbian individuals in California. Forcing the Spring documents the fight to overturn Proposition 8—the California ballot initiative that removed the right of gay men and women to marry—following the lawyers, plaintiffs, and political stakeholders in the case. While some commentators have heralded the book as thorough and a definitive account of the battle for same-sex marriage, a number of gay rights activists believe her story grossly misrepresents the importance of many who contributed to the movement, and say the book is a “distortion of history.” This panel convened to discuss both the content and the controversy.