Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Prop. 8 opponents look ahead to 2010

Not waiting for the court

From California Catholic Daily

Supporters of same-sex marriage in California are moving quickly to undo Proposition 8 in case the state Supreme Court does not strike it down. Two proposed initiatives have been filed with the attorney general’s office for the 2010 elections – one would simply repeal Prop 8, the other would abolish civil marriages altogether.

Before initiative backers can begin collecting signatures to qualify it for the ballot, they must first submit their proposal to the attorney general, who assigns a title to the proposed measure and prepares a summary that appears on the petitions.

On Jan. 12, according to the attorney general’s web site, Kaelan Housewright of Studio City submitted the “Domestic Partnership Initiative.” The summary provided to the attorney general says: “The proposed measure calls for the term ‘marriage’ to be removed from government legislation. The State of California Law code would have ‘marriage’ replaced with ‘domestic partnership,’ while the definition and the rights provided would remain the same. The purpose of which is to provide equality amongst all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, without offending the religious sect. Legally speaking, ‘Marriage’ itself would become a social ceremony, recognized by only non-governmental institutions. Furthermore, the initiative would void Proposition 8.”

A second initiative proposal was stamped “received” by the attorney general’s office on Jan. 26. Submitted by Charles Lowe of a Sacramento-based group that calls itself “Yes! on Equality,” the proposal would simply repeal Proposition 8 by striking out the wording in the state constitution restricting marriage to between a man and a woman. In addition, the proposed initiative provides, “This section is not intended to, and shall not be interpreted to, mandate or require clergy of any church to perform a service or duty incongruent with their faith.”

Since both measures would change the constitution, the signature threshold on petitions is higher than for a standard legislative initiative. In order to qualify for the 2010 ballot, either initiative would require the valid signatures of 694,354 registered California voters. After the attorney general reviews the proposed initiatives and assigns an official title and summary, backers would have just 150 days to obtain the required number of signatures.

Read the full article here.