Same-Sex Marriage Foes in California Ready to Submit Petitions
The "Protect Marriage" coalition has announced that they've collected more than 1.1 million signatures in support of an amendment banning same-sex marriage in California, enough to get the measure on the ballot:
"The initiative needs 694,354 signatures, or 8 percent of the votes cast in the last governor's race, to make it onto the ballot. 'We have gone against tremendous odds to do this, and now the voters in California will have the chance to protect marriage,' [Brian Brown, executive director of the California office of the National Organization for Marriage] said. Supporters of the Limit on Marriage initiative plan to deliver their signed petitions to county registrars this week, ahead of the April 28 submission deadline set by the California Secretary of State's Office. The signatures must be verified before the amendment can be approved for the election. Although gay men and lesbians cannot legally wed in California, opponents of same-sex unions want the ban written into the state Constitution. In that way, neither the Legislature nor the California Supreme Court can legalize gay marriage without approval from voters."
The California Supreme Court is expected to rule on same-sex marriage before June. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently promised to actively oppose any attempts to amend the constitution, calling it "a total waste of time."
The SF Chronicle reports: "Dan Hawes, an organizer with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force who has spent two months on the effort to keep the initiative from qualifying, said he had never seen such a coordinated attempt to prevent a marriage amendment from making it to the ballot. 'There is a real sense of hope and possibility here because of the court ruling that is coming down in June,' he said. 'The fact that could be taken away in five months is really painful for people who want to marry.'"
Backers of Calif. gay marriage ban ready to submit petitions [sf chronicle]