Opponents of California's gay marriage
ban, Proposition 8, have been cleared to begin collecting signatures
for a measure that would repeal the constitutional amendment, the AP
The Los Angeles-based gay rights group
Love Honor Cherish must collect 807,615 valid voter signatures by May
14 to quality for the November 2012 ballot.
Voters narrowly approved Proposition 8
in 2008, five months after the California Supreme Court legalized gay
marriage. Roughly 18,000 gay and lesbian couples married during the
brief period of time that such unions were legal.
“This is severely impacting people,
loving couples who cannot get married. It has severely impacted me
not being able to get married,” said Tom Watson, board chair of
Love Honor Cherish. “It's been more than three years since Prop 8,
and a majority of California residents have realized that it is a
mistake to deny loving same-sex couples the right to marry and are
ready to reverse the mistake that was made at the ballot box. We
should give them that opportunity.”
Love Honor Cherish announced it would
back the effort after Equality California, the state's largest gay
rights advocate, declined to do so. Equality California cited
divided support for marriage equality in the state, the economy and
an ongoing legal challenge to the law in
explaining its decision.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals in San Francisco is expected to rule shortly on a lower
court's decision that struck down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional.
arguments in the appeal were heard earlier this month.