A group trying for a ballot initiative to repeal California’s Proposition 8 was on Friday given the go-ahead to begin signature gathering.
“This is severely impacting people, loving couples who cannot get married. It has severely impacted me not being able to get married,” Love Honor Cherish board chair Tom Watson, who signed as the initiative’s official proponent, said. “It’s been more than three years since Prop 8, and a majority of California residents have realized that it is a mistake to deny loving same-sex couples the right to marry and are ready to reverse the mistake that was made at the ballot box. We should give them that opportunity.”
The repeal initiative submitted by Love Honor Cherish would strike Proposition 8 and state instead “that marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion,” according to a summary prepared by the California Attorney General’s office. It also contains language stating that clergy would not be required to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs, if the initiative passes.
The most prominent equality group in California, Equality California, chose not to support this effort due to a combination of factors including the economy and a question as to whether there is enough support in the state to overturn the ban. They also cited that the Proposition 8 case may have larger ramifications for same-sex marriage throughout the United States and that repealing Proposition 8 at the ballot and thus rendering the case moot may not be desirable.
However Love Honor Cherish feels that, given that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has said that it will not allow same-sex marriages to be performed in the state while the federal Proposition 8 case is ongoing and the fact that the lawsuit could take years to be resolved, there is a pressing need for a quicker outcome and thus a push to repeal Proposition 8 via a public referendum is desirable.
Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to angela n.