SACRAMENTO, CA -- Acknowledging that California citizens are not ready to overturn Proposition 8, a leading gay group in the state said Oct. 5 it would not seek to place an initiative on the 2012 ballot redefining marriage.
The news doesn't mean Prop 8 is safe -- a federal lawsuit is seeking to strike it down -- but it does mean that an initiative is highly unlikely to make it on the ballot without the group's backing.
The group, Equality California, said in a news release that "while public opinion on marriage for same-sex couples has increased since Proposition 8 passed in 2008," support "continues to hover near 50 percent -- indicating more work must be done before asking voters to overturn Proposition 8 through what would inevitably be a very expensive and difficult campaign."
Passed by a margin of 52-48 percent in 2008, Prop 8 defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. A constitutional amendment, it reversed a California Supreme Court ruling that had legalized gay "marriage."
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, a pro-gay "marriage" group, supported Equality California's decision, according to the press release.
A lower court overturned Prop 8 last year, but that ruling is being appealed.
California is one of 29 states that define marriage within its constitution in the traditional sense. Minnesota and North Carolina citizens will vote on marriage amendments next year.