California gay activists won't try to reverse marriage ban till 2012

Sacramento BeeAugust 12, 2009 

SACRAMENTO — Bowing to the advice of political consultants and pollsters, officials from a major gay rights advocacy group announced Wednesday that they will wait until 2012 to return to California voters with an initiative legalizing gay marriage.

The leaders of Equality California, which calls itself the largest gay rights advocacy group in the state, said they won't try to qualify a measure on the subject for the 2010 ballot despite demands from many gay and lesbian activists seeking quicker movement on the issue.

That decision, however, hasn't stopped a liberal advocacy group, Courage Campaign, from collecting signatures for a 2010 ballot initiative on the subject. According to that group's Web site, it has already raised about $136,000 to "invest in research, polling and focus groups to repeal Proposition 8," the ballot initiative passed last year banning same-sex marriage.

Other gay rights groups are also working to put a same-sex marriage initiative on the 2010 ballot.

Geoff Kors, Equality California's executive director, said in a conference call Wednesday that his group has "knocked on 500,000 doors" to survey voters statewide about the issue and determined that such an initiative would stand a better chance with more time. The group plans to spend the next three years launching outreach and education campaigns about the issue to convince voters.

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