A grassroots effort to force a November 2010 ballot-box vote on
repealing Proposition 8 failed to collect enough voter signatures by
the April 12 deadline to get the measure on the ballot.
Groups pushing the 2010 repeal effort faced an uphill battle from
the get-go because California's gay-rights leadership refused to
support the project, believing that 2012 will be a better year to
return to the ballot.
The lead 2010 organization, Love Honor Cherish (LHC), did not say
how many signatures it did manage to collect. Just under 700,000 valid
signatures would have been needed.
"This is a heartbreaking moment," said LHC executive director
John Henning. "Despite the dogged efforts of hundreds of volunteers
across California, we did not get the signatures we needed within the
150-day window set by the state. Regrettably, Prop 8 will remain as a
stain on our constitution until at least 2012, and perhaps later."
LHC was one of 40 mostly grassroots groups working for a 2010
vote within a coalition called Restore Equality 2010.
"Our signature-collection effort may have fallen short, but we
stand tall as being the only statewide campaign that fought for
repealing Proposition 8 in 2010," said Sean Bohac, chair of the Restore
Equality 2010 Statewide Advisory Panel. "Our campaigners carried the
torch of Harvey Milk, who showed that change only happens when we get
out of the bars and into the streets. And our efforts are reflected in
the new polls that show increased support for extending marriage to all
Bohac told The San Diego Union-Tribune that the number of
signatures collected "was not particularly close" to the 694,354 needed.
"We won't be making it public," he said.
Recent polls by the Public Policy Institute of California and by
the Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California have shown
that, for the first time, a majority of Californians now support
same-sex marriage, suggesting that top gay-rights groups Equality
California (EQCA) and Courage Campaign may have made a misstep in
refusing to support the 2010 effort.
EQCA and Courage expressed fears that voters would not be ready
to reverse themselves just two years after re-banning same-sex marriage.
But EQCA executive director Geoff Kors said the poll results
haven't caused the group to second-guess its decision.
"Equality California still believes 2012 is the right time to go
to the ballot," Kors said. "Those polls were not of likely voters for
the 2010 election. When you dig deeper into those polls -- and our
internal polls during the same time period -- what's clear is young
voters are the ones who move the most."
Restore Equality 2010 said it now will join up with the 2012
effort. Signature collecting for that project is expected to begin in
the summer of 2011.
A California Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage in
May 2008, and weddings began June 16, 2008. The court said preventing
gay couples from marrying violated the state constitution. Even more
groundbreaking, the court also ruled that sexual orientation is a
"suspect classification" -- which made any type of discrimination based
on sexual orientation constitutionally subject to the strictest level
of scrutiny by California courts.
California governmental entities now have to prove they have a
specific "compelling interest" -- rather than a mere "rational basis"
-- when they treat gay people differently in any way. The change made
it dramatically harder for any level of government to defend itself in
any arena where gays, lesbians and bisexuals are not treated the same
A federal lawsuit led by famous attorneys David Boies and Ted
Olson to overturn Prop 8 as a violation of the US Constitution is
ongoing in San Francisco. The trial paused on January 27 after all
testimony had been heard, but before closing arguments, because Judge
Vaughn Walker said he wanted to review the testimony before hearing the
attorneys' final statements.
You are not logged in.
No comments yet, but
click here to be the first to comment on this