California's leading gay rights group
said Wednesday that they were prepared to sit it out until 2012 to
mount an effort to repeal Proposition 8, California's November
voter-approved gay marriage ban.
Equality California (EQCA), the group
that led the unsuccessful opposition to Proposition 8 last year, said
it planned to wait three years before returning to the polls.
“After reviewing all the information,
research and feedback from our coalition partners and the
community-at-large and in view of our aggressive determination and
dedication to win marriage back as soon as possible, we support
committing our energy, resources and leadership to helping the
community win a ballot initiative to restore marriage at the November
2012 election,” Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality
California, said in a statement.
Money and time to organize appear to be
the major considerations being weighed by gay rights groups in the
state, some of which have arrived at a different conclusion.
“I don't know why we would say no to
the movement we've got now,” Rick Jacobs, the founder of the
Courage Campaign, a liberal grassroots group, told the Wall Street
The 70,000-member Courage Campaign is
expected to release its official recommendation of when – and how –
to return to the ballot box on Thursday, but the answer is most
“As of now, we are moving forward for
2010,” Jacobs told the New York Times Wednesday.
Many smaller groups have also 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.”
Raising money for the campaign during
the current economic climate is a big concern. Big donors especially
say they have their reservations.
“In conversations with a number of my
fellow major No on 8 donors,” David Bohnett, a millionaire
philanthropist who gave more than $1 million to last year's campaign
to defeat Proposition 8, said in an e-mail to the New York Times,
“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.”
Ron Prentice, chairman of
ProtectMarriage.com, the sponsor of Proposition 8, said any effort
“Notwithstanding the decision of EQCA
to shift focus to a 2012 election, which they readily admit is a
crass political decision, they will lose then just as surely as they
would in 2010 or any other year. The people have spoken twice on
this issue, both times reaffirming traditional marriage. If asked to
do so, they will indeed vote again to protect traditional marriage.”
“Based on ongoing conflict among the
pro-homosexual marriage groups, it is unclear if or when this issue
may appear before voters in California. But whether 2010, 2012, or
beyond, ProtectMarriage.com will be ready to defend marriage and
emerge victorious again,” Prentice said in a statement.