Groups on Either Side of Prop. 8 Blast 2012 Same-Sex Marriage Initiative

Equality California's decision to hold off on pursuing a same-sex marriage voter initiative at least until 2012 is not being cheered by groups on either side of the Prop. 8 debate.

Reports the San Francisco Chronicle:

But the organization's decision appears to collide with other progressive groups fighting for marriage equality. The 700,000-member Courage Campaign said Tuesday it is "pushing ahead to file a ballot measure" in 2010, when state voters will decide their next governor, and its officials said today they have raised $135,998 to invest in research, polling and focus groups in an effort toward repealing the ban next year.

"It's time to keep this marriage equality movement going," urged Courage Campaign chair Rick Jacobs in a fundraising e-mail.

Chaz Lowe, the founder of Yes! On Equality--which says it was the first LGBT organization to file plans to go back to the ballot in 2010 after passage of Prop. 8--said this week that his group is also prepared and ready for the new fight.

"Any way we slice it, we find the (gay) community wants to move forward in 2010," he said in a telephone interview with The Chronicle. One key reason, he said, is that reaching voters through advertising and media may be considerably cheaper than during 2012, a presidential election year.

But Lowe added that there seems to be enough passion and momentum now for an effort to repeal Prop. 8, and in the gay community, he said, "it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when."

Meanwhile, pro-Prop. 8 ProtectMarriage.com's executive director Ron Prentice issued the following statement . . .
"While Equality California announced today that they intend to pursue a 2012 election year repeal of Proposition 8 and legalization of homosexual marriage in California, it is clear that they do not speak for a unified movement on their side of this debate.  The group known as the Courage Campaign said today they will still pursue a 2010 constitutional amendment, forcing Equality California to state that they will also support the 2010 measure if it qualifies for the ballot.
 
"Notwithstanding the decision by EQCA to shift focus to a 2012 election, which they readily admit is a crass political decision, they will lose then just as surely as they would in 2010 or any other year.  The people have spoken twice on this issue, both times reaffirming traditional marriage.  If asked to do so, they will indeed vote again to protect traditional marriage.
 
"The pro-gay marriage advocates had all the advantages they could ever hope for in 2008, including a misleading ballot title and summary, the sympathetic (and ultimately proven to be false) claim that a vote for Prop 8 would be a vote to 'divorce 18,000 couples,' the benefit of asking for a 'no' vote, and a very favorable electorate driven by the historic election of Barack Obama as President. They will never have these advantages again. But for all they had going for them in 2008, they failed, because the people are not with them."

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