Whether to move forward with plans to place a referendum on gay marriage before voters in California in 2010 or wait till 2012 will be answered this week as two major groups announce their preference.

One news outlet is reporting the answer is more likely 2012.

San Diego's 10News.com says it has learned that Equality California, California's largest gay rights group, has decided to sit it out till 2012.

Money and time to organize appear to be the major considerations driving the decision on when to attempt to repeal Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban approved by voters in November.

“In 2012, you get younger voters,” Carl Luna, a Mesa College political science professor, told the news service. “They tend to be disproportionately in favor of gay marriage, and that could be the difference in a close election of overturning Prop. 8.”

Big donors appear to favor 2012, including David Bohnett, a millionaire philanthropist who gave more than $1 million to last year's campaign to defeat Proposition 8.

“In conversations with a number of my fellow major No on 8 donors,” Bohneet said in an e-mail to the NYT, “I find that they share my sentiment: namely, that we will step up to the plate – with resources and talent – when the time is right.”

“The only thing worse than losing in 2008,” he added, “would be to lose again in 2010.”

Equality California is expected to announce its decision on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Courage Campaign, a liberal grassroots group, will weigh in with theirs.

The 70,000-member Courage Campaign has been one of the most vocal backers of a 2010 attempt, having filed the initial paperwork for a referendum. But its leaders have sounded less optimistic of late.

In July, Sarah Callahn, chief operating officer of the Courage Campaign, suggested to the New York Times that plans remain in disarray, saying: “No one is going to invest in chaos. The money will come if you can show you can win.”

And in an e-mail to supporters, founder Rick Jacobs said, “We will have to accept that our movement is not ready to repeal Prop. 8 in 2010” if a preliminary $200,000 campaign challenge grant was not met.

However, many smaller groups remain committed to 2010, including the Stonewall Democratic Club.

“I find the language of some of the organizations really self-defeating,” John M. Cleary, president of the Los Angeles group told the paper. “And I think we have a moral obligation to overturn this.”

Several backers say they need evidence that the next round will result in an overwhelming victory, to ensure gay marriage opponents won't pursue another challenge. But such evidence remains scarce, and with a looming September deadline to submit 2010 issues approaching, groups are being pressed for commitments now.