On Monday, California group Love
Honor Cherish launched its effort to repeal last year's
voter-approved gay marriage ban. The campaign to repeal California's
Proposition 8 started after Secretary of State Nicole Winger approved
final language for the 2010 ballot.
“We're taking names,” said John
Henning, executive director of Love Honor Cherish.
The group unveiled an Internet-based
effort to collect the nearly 1 million names need to reach the
will make history by using custom social networking tools, as well as
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, to support an all-volunteer signature
drive to repeal Prop. 8,” Henning said in a statement.
Proposition 8 reversed a California
Supreme Court ruling that granted gay men and lesbians the right to
marry. About 18,000 gay couples married before Election Day.
Gay activists originally attempted to
nullify Proposition 8, arguing in the state's highest court that the
amendment was unlawful because it fundamentally altered the state
constitution. Justices disagreed and told activists they would need
to put the question before voters.
But when to return to the ballot box
has become a contentious issue. Equality California, the state's
largest gay rights advocate, supports waiting until 2012 before
launching a new campaign.
“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 August.
Grassroots organizations like Love
Honor Cherish say they want to build on the momentum of last year's
campaign, while larger, established groups like Equality California
worry about raising sufficient money for the campaign during the
current economic climate. Almost $80 million was spent on last
In many ways California's gay marriage
divide parallels similar conflicts on a national level. For
instance, grassroots activists have threatened to cut off gay dollars
from the Democratic Party over its lukewarm support of gay rights,
while traditional suit-and-tie activists have praised President
Obama's commitment. Established groups plead for patience even as
grassroots groups demand action.
Los Angeles-based Love Honor Cherish
has 150 days to collect the nearly 1 million signatures needed to
qualify for the ballot, or until April 12, 2010.