California Gay Marriage Initiative Fails to Qualify for November Ballot

From the Associated Press:

 

Gay rights activists say they have failed to qualify a measure that would repeal California's same-sex marriage ban for the November ballot.

Restore Equality 2010 chairman Sean Bohac says the volunteer-run group fell short of gathering the nearly 695,000 signatures needed to put the initiative before voters. Monday was the deadline for submitting the signatures to the Secretary of State's Office.

Bohac says Restore Equality's failed effort was undermined by the decision of more established gay rights groups not to participate in the campaign.

He says same-sex marriage supporters now are turning their attention to trying to repeal Proposition 8 in 2012.

 

I'm not surprised. I refused to sign it and chewed out more than one Restore Equality volunteer for participating in such an ill-fated venture. It was irresponsible of Sean Bohac to pursue this initiative to repeal Proposition 8 via the ballot box at this time. Another loss, the possibility of which could not have been discounted, would have set back the cause of gay marriage in California perhaps another decade. Mr. Bohac can attempt to blame the "more established gay rights groups" for his setback but the truth of matter is that this is his setback alone. 

After the 2008 debacle, the decision was made, rightly in my view, to not pursue another ballot initiative until 2012 to allow time for a legal challenge to Prop 8 to wind its way through the courts as well as to better court those who voted against us. Defeat is not an option and until we can be assured that a gay marriage initiative can comfortably pass, the better strategy was unfortunately to wait. Time is on our side and while it frankly sucks, for lack of a better word, that equality of marriage rights is denied us, the reality is that another electoral defeat would have been the worst of all possible outcomes. 

Nor is Equality California beyond reproach either. They continue to focus on mining for support in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles/Long Beach Metroplex when the real heavy lifting needs to be done in San Diego, the Inland Empire, the Central Valley and Orange County. These areas voted 3 to 1 for Proposition 8. No amounts of votes in San Francisco or Los Angeles can overcome such a margin. It is illusory to believe that gay marriage can win 75 percent of the vote even in San Francisco so the necessity becomes eating into the margin in the more conservative parts of the state. 

 

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