Alex Blaze

California marriage advocates push ballot initiative

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 24, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: ballot initiatives, California, gay marriage, marriage equality, Prop 8, same-sex marriage

Well, California marriage advocates have california-gay-marriage-714000.jpgstarted their work for the 2010 ballot:

The measure, put forth by Yes! on Equality, would strike the provision in the state constitution stipulating that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized" in California. Residents voted for this language in the November 2008 election with Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that nullified the state supreme court's May 2008 decision that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutional.

The act also adds two provisions to the constitution to ensure that the change would not affect school curricula, nor would it require churches to perform religious marriage ceremonies in violation of their beliefs. During the Proposition 8 campaign, religious institutions made both arguments to voters.

Well, there's a plan.

It's being run by "Yes! on Equality" and I checked out who they list as staff on their site. I don't recognize any names from the No on Prop 8 campaign. They go so far as to write up how exactly they're doing things differently from No on 8:BREAK

In Addition to starting early, there are numerous factors that distinguish the Yes! Campaign. Perhaps the most paramount, is the inclusion of people. RollingStone, in a critical analysis of the No on 8 Campaign, noted that No on 8 failed to create a grassroots style organization and excluded LGBT community leaders. The Yes! Campaign recognizes this and has therefore built its foundation upon the inclusion of a diverse set of people. The purpose of this campaign is not to turn-away supporters, but rather to bring them together for a more effective outcome.

Connecting with other minorities is an imperative part of this cohesion. The Yes! Campaign is continuing where other attempts left off by targeting all groups in our society. Yes! is an active participant in many minority specific networking groups and we are pleased to be working with zealous members of our society. It should also be noted that the Yes! Initiative is a peopleĆ­s movement and we encourage all supporters to get involved and reach out to all. This level of dedication to the community is yet another unique feature to this campaign.

Naturally, we are committed to serving all groups, minorities and the majority included. However, we fear such efforts would be in vain if it were not for a modicum of organization. Our ability to organize is another defining characteristic of this initiative.

Here's the full text of their proposed amendment:

An act to repeal Section 7.5 of Article I of the California Constitution; therefore provisions to be repealed are printed in strike-through text.

Section 1. Title
This measure shall be known, and may cited, as the "California Marriage Equality Act."

Section 2. (a) Section 7.5 of Article I of the California Constitution shall be repealed, stricken, and removed as such:
Sec. 7.5 Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California

(b) This section is not intended to, and shall not be interpreted to, modify or change the curriculum in any school.

(c) This section is not intended to, and shall not be interpreted to, mandate or require clergy of any church to perform a service or duty incongruent with their faith.

Well, they included right there the two biggest arguments that the Yes on 8 campaign ran against same-sex marriage, even though since their arguments were such lies to begin with I don't know if much will have changed.

What 2010 will bring, should this go to the ballot, will be a much smaller amount of money being spent on the campaigns, what with the depression, California being particularly hard-hit, and the fact that it's a midterm election. But Barbara Boxer will be up for reelection, and the governorship will be on the ballot as well, so along with a ballot initiative to legalize same-sex marriage means that there will definitely be interest in the elections.

Whether that means it will pass or not, I don't know. The "Yes! on Equality," despite a name that denies that the campaign is either about LGBT people or even about marriage rights, is saying some of the right words when it comes to what they're going to do differently. We'll have to wait and see.

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Let me start by saying that I hope my first reaction is proven wrong. But that first reaction is that shooting for 2010 is a mistake.

By picking 2010, this campaign is locked into gathering a million signatures, raising millions of dollars AND doing all the public education work, organizing and voter identification that needs to be done to overcome a 600,000 vote defeat in just over a year-and-a-half. And if they don't win, who is going to want to do it again in 2012?

Again, I'd be ecstatic to be proven wrong. But having worked on a good half-dozen initiative campaigns, it just seems like a poor choice. Why not start this same campaign, today, with the 2012 election as the target and the focus on public education, coalition building and fundraising until the signature gathering can commence?

I'm glad those (unnecessary) clauses are included about churches not having to perform gay marriages. Anyone who knows law knows that was already the case but its just put in there to soothe the ignorant masses.

Now hopefully more people will see the true colors of the other side. They're not against gay "marriage", they're against gay relationships in general.

Let the spin begin!

I'm with you, Sam. Do it thorough and do it right and do it only one more time.

Our work in schools, where we BEGIN at the point of folks' discomfort with us (rather than stop there, per the last No on 8 campaign strategy), takes TIME. Yes we've been at it a long while, but we learned, painfully this last time, that yet more work is needed, and by more of us, in more places.

Likewise, I'd love to have my skepticism be proved wrong.

Does anyone know when the right started working on Prop 8? I think that when they started gathering signatures it was like in mid-2007 for 2008.

But, yes, they had less work to do and just because they started gathering signatures then doesn't mean that that's when they started working on getting it through.

The one problem this measure would have in relation to the goal its authors want is that there it does not explicitly codify the right to marry someone of the same sex.

Striking out between a man and a woman and replacing it with between two persons regardless of gender would be much more effective.