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