By Karen Ocamb
December 16, 2011
Love Honor Cherish’s ballot initiative proposed by gay attorney Thomas B. Watson to repeal Prop. 8 was cleared on Thursday by the California Secretary of State to start gathering signatures. The Los Angeles-based grassroots group has until May 14, 2012, to collect 807,615 valid signatures in order to qualify for the November 2012 ballot.
The title and summary prepared for the petition reads:
Reinstates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Repeals the current provision in California’s Constitution that states only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Provides 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. Clarifies that the initiative shall not be interpreted to require any priest, minister, pastor, rabbi, or other person to perform a marriage in violation of his or her religious beliefs. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Over the long run, this measure would likely have little fiscal impact on state and local governments. (11-0058) (Full Text)
A decision to move forward to at least be prepared to launch a repeal campaign was made by the grassroots group last October after Equality California decided not to lead a repeal effort because of the progress of the federal Prop. 8 case and because they were concerned about community apathy and raising enough money to be successful.
LHC acknowledged that an effort failed in 2010 because it was basically an all-volunteer effort. This time, however, the group has hired former EQCA Development Director Eric Harrison as an interim executive director to help the group raise money and help build and lead the repeal campaign.
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