Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2010 Prop 8 Repeal Ballot Initiative To Be Filed Thursday

Rex Wockner reports:
Love Honor Cherish announced today it will submit a ballot initiative to the state of California tomorrow to repeal Prop 8 in 2010. But key ally Courage Campaign, which has voiced support for a 2010 effort, is not yet onboard. Numerous other key California GLBT organizations, including Equality California, have said they want to wait until 2012 to go back to the ballot.

Some folks are wondering if there now is a 2010 sub-schism within the existing 2010/2012 schism, but LHC Executive Director John Henning told me today that the decision to file the initiative tomorrow is based solely on maximizing the amount of time repeal advocates will have to collect the needed 1 million voter signatures.

"We been aware for some time now that Courage Campaign was doing research and that their timeline doesn't match up with submitting ballot language by Sept. 25," Henning said. "We are still submitting by Sept. 25 because we feel we must preserve the ability to have (the full) 150 days to gather signatures ... for the November 2010 ballot."
Read the rest of Wockner's report, which goes into further details on Love Honor Cherish's efforts, concerns of a schism among the 2010 groups and words from Steve Hildebrand on behalf of the Courage Campaign.

In the middle of all this "who's filing what?", I wanted to find out where the official Restore Equality 2010 campaign stood.

"Our mandate is to organize the state," said Misha Houser, spokesperson for Restore Equality 2010. They're not involved in crafting ballot language. But "we're working with all groups who are developing language."

Misha added, "Restore Equality 2010 will help determine what ballot language will be used once research is completed by Courage Campaign."

Once it's determined, it's full steam ahead.

It is estimated that the research will be done in the middle of October. However, as a result, they will miss the filing deadline that will allow the full 150 days allotted for signature gathering.

Love Honor Cherish has been open about the need for 150 days to gather the necessary one million signatures to get the repeal initiative on the ballot. One of the main reasons for this is to avoid paying millions on professional signature gatherers and instead rely on grassroots volunteers.

"We have to be realistic," Misha said, "In that we may have to use signature gatherers to have enough signatures to qualify."

Love Honor Cherish told Wockner that if Courage Campaign comes up with better language, they will abandon what is filed tomorrow and use the new language.

This will leave fewer than 150 days.

The challenge will then be greater for Restore Equality 2010. It's all about the organizing. But from what I've gathered, they're up for it.

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