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
“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