December 17, 2011
By Jacob Combs
As the San Jose Mercury News reports, the Los Angeles-based marriage equality organization Love Honor Cherish received clearance yesterday to begin gathering signatures in an effort to place a repeal of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California, on the 2012 ballot. The organization will have to collect 807,615 signatures by May 14 in order to qualify.
Earlier this fall, Equality California, another marriage equality organization, announced in an email to members that it would not be seeking to place Prop 8 back on the ballot in 2012. EQCA cited the fact that public support for marriage equality in California has not significantly increased since the 2008 election and the difficulty of mounting a repeal campaign in a tough economy. At $83 million, the Prop 8 battle was the most expensive political race regarding a social issue in the history of the U.S.
Love Honor Cherish’s decision underscores the disagreement in the California LGBT community (which many have spoken quite convincingly about in the comments here on P8TT) surrounding the best options for bringing marriage equality back to the state. While a win at the ballot would certainly be one of the quickest ways to repeal Prop 8, a loss could be costly both financially and emotionally. When EQCA decided not to seek Prop 8 repeal in 2012, it cited the ongoing Perry v. Brown trial as a slower but more definitive win for marriage equality in the Golden State that would set an important legal precedent protecting the rights of LGBT couples.