Equality California (EQCA), the state's largest gay rights group, on Wednesday quietly announced that it would not back a 2012 effort to repeal Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.

“In 2009, we anticipated that 2012 would provide our best opportunity in the near term to overturn Prop 8 at the ballot, but after engaging in this comprehensive decision making process, we have opted not to lead a campaign to repeal Prop 8 in 2012,” the group wrote in a blog post.

The group cited divided support for gay marriage, the economy and an ongoing legal challenge to the law in explaining its decision.

“Since 2009, public opinion in the state of California has changed, but not as much as we had hoped – support continues to hover near 50 percent. But the political landscape has changed dramatically. The struggling economy and complicated 2012 political climate have created an environment that is considered less favorable to a campaign to overturn Prop 8 and significantly increases the risk of loss.”

“In addition, the Perry v. Brown legal challenge to Proposition 8 has provided hope that the freedom to marry can be restored in California.”

Losing at the ballot box “could also embolden our opposition to try to roll back other hard-fought rights and protections across the state and the country,” the group added.

Equality California was heavily criticized in 2010 for not backing a failed effort to repeal Proposition 8.