Equality California (EQCA), the state's largest gay rights group, is expected to announce this week whether it will back a 2012 effort to repeal Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.

In April, the group launched a process to determine whether to pursue a voter referendum in 2012 or wait for the courts to decide the issue. Proposition 8 was narrowly approved by voters in 2008. A legal challenge resulted last year in a federal judge declaring the amendment unconstitutional, but supporters have appealed the decision.

“So what do we, as a community, do? Do we wait until the courts rule? Do we move forward and try to win marriage back at the ballot box? And if so, what level of public support do we need before we return to the ballot?” wrote EQCA's Jim Carroll.

“This year, Equality California has been engaged in an extensive process to evaluate whether to go back to the ballot in 2012. That process has included feedback from our members, donors, community partners and political experts. It is important to consider all of the variables that could impact the success of a campaign to overturn Proposition 8, including other potential ballot measures, the availability of support from funders, the capacity of our grassroots movement and our allies to execute the campaign and the level of public support,” EQCA said at its website.

“We will make an announcement about whether we intend to go back to the ballot by October 7,” the group added.

A 2010 petition effort failed without the support of major gay rights groups in the state, including Equality California.