Group Working for 2010 Proposition 8 Repeal Fails to Collect Enough Signatures to Qualify for Ballot


Restore Equality 2010, a group that formed with the intent to repeal Proposition 8 with a November 2010 ballot measure, says that it failed to collect enough signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot.

Via press release:Restore2  

Restore Equality 2010, the campaign working to extend marriage rights to all Californians, announced today the completion of their campaign to qualify language to repeal Proposition 8 on the November ballot. Over 150 days, the campaign mobilized thousands of new volunteers, engaged in hundreds of thousands of conversations, and collected signatures from every county in California. Although the campaign did not hit its goal of 694,354 valid signatures, it takes pride as being the only statewide effort fighting for immediate repeal of the discriminatory constitutional amendment. Despite the setback, Restore Equality 2010 announced that they will continue to fight for marriage equality in California.

Restore Equality 2010 was formed in August 2009 after the state’s largest gay rights organization, Equality California, declined to lead an effort to repeal Proposition 8. Although it started the campaign with no contacts, no infrastructure, and no money, the grassroots campaign built a statewide network of leaders and campaigners that furthered the state’s marriage equality movement.

“Our signature collection effort may have fallen short, but we stand tall as being the only statewide campaign that fought for repealing Proposition 8 in 2010,” said Sean Bohac, Chair of the Restore Equality 2010 Statewide Advisory Panel. “Our campaigners carried the torch of Harvey Milk, who showed that change only happens when we get out of the bars and into the streets. And our efforts are reflected in the new polls that show increased support for extending marriage to all Californians.”

Restore Equality 2010’s leaders are now planning for a November 2012 ballot effort, in which they hope to fight alongside the many LGBT and civil rights organizations who have publicly committed to helping repeal Proposition 8 in 2012. Signature collection is anticipated to commence in the summer of 2011.


  1. John says

    The way Equality California and company are going about this, it is very likely that they will lose again. They haven’t changed their strategy. They are still hoping to get a lead coming out of the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles – which never materialized in 2008 – then hope it is enough to overcome opposition in the rest of the state.

    It won’t work. They need to do much better in Sacramento, San Diego, and Riverside. Getting pummeled 75 to 25 percent in these areas makes it exceedingly difficult to win based on the SF-LA strategy.

    Doesn’t matter if it happens in 2010 and 2012.

  2. Chrissypoo says

    My question is, did they just use volunteer signature gatherers?

    I read a statistic about California propositions where not one proposition gained enough signatures without professional signature gatherers.

    The prop 8 people used them to get prop 8 on the ballot. The Equality California strategy to counter this was the absolutely lame one of trying to get people to volunteer to talk to people in front of grocery stores, targets where the professional signature gatherers were.

  3. ECHOMARK says

    So, how many signatures WERE collected? Is that number not being released? All the volunteers who gathered signatures would like to know the outcome of their efforts.

  4. Randy says

    Surprise surprise. Maybe if it had simply repealed Prop 8, instead of replacing the same-sex ban with a polygamy ban, it would have been easier for people to understand and would have received the necessary signatures. And because it mixes these two issues, any vote on this would probably have been declared invalid.

  5. Zlick says

    What are you talking about? A polygamy ban? Huh?

    The ballot measure simply repealed Prop 8, and confirmed a fact ALREADY IN LAW what no religion-affiliated person would be forced to officiate at ANY marriage. (That’s called giving them the sleeves off your vest.) There was no other language that I know of.

    In any event, I’m sorry I didn’t help LHC out with this effort, but I’ve had such a major change of heart. Putting my civil rights up for a vote makes me ill. I won’t do it in 2012 or ever. They can count on my vote, but not much else. I know it might be the best way to achieve equal marriage rights in California, but it’s a travesty.

  6. Paul R says

    @Chrissypoo, I’m sure they wanted to use professional signature gatherers, but those people cost a lot. They used to get paid $1 a signature, but then Schwarzenegger raised that to $4 to drive through his ballot measures over the years (which got on the ballot, but lost).

    In the final days of some well-funded campaigns running short on names, I’ve heard of $10 a signature. This group relied on volunteers because it had zero money. (I’ve been approached by dozens of signature gatherers in recent months, but never this group.)

  7. Happily Married says

    Shame On Equality California and Courage Campaign for their refusal to help, which was essential for this to succeed. The last three polls show support for marriage equality in California leading opposition by as much as 10 points. By November those numbers could be even better. There is every reason to believe that a WELL RUN campaign, that LEARNED from the mistakes of the No on 8 campaign would have succeeded to win in 2010. No question about it– the people at Equality California (just like the HRC) are comfortable in their positions, with their salaries. The longer it takes, the more money they make. They are in no hurry to do their jobs. We pay the price.

  8. Bryan says

    I’m so tired of waiting. What do we do when we don’t have enough public support to pass anything and when the courts are taking too long to get anything done?

    I heard Perry v. Schwarzenegger would MAYBE reach the Supreme Court by 2013. 2013!! Isn’t there something that can be done, NOW?

  9. clint says

    The reality is that California isn’t so different from other western states, except that there’s more people, more money, and more cultural/religious diversity. I honestly believe that GLBT equality in California has gone about as far as it’s going to go for awhile, and that, like most states, urban areas and a few other pockets will continue to be progressive but 60% or so of the total state population will stop short of assenting to marriage equality.
    People have tried to sell California as a bastion of progressive values, but time and time again that’s just not the case. All that incredible diversity doesn’t necessarily translate into liberal politics.
    And I don’t care what the latest poll says about marriage equality in California, the actual votes just aren’t there, even if the poll numbers are right. Anti-equality forces are too well organized because they’re motivated by an irrational fear. What is motivating the pro-equality forces, beyond the obvious? What can organize the pro-equality folks as tightly as fear can organize the anti-equality movement? And don’t say “love,” we’re not dealing with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas here.
    Until the pro-equality folks figure that out, marriage in CA and in most places in the US is going NOWHERE.

  10. Andrew- Boston says

    There’s this fantasy in liberal circles that the less white people who vote in American elections, the more liberal the outcome. Well look at California. The state is just half non-Hispanic white, and voted for Obama, but in the same election took away the rights of gay couples. Let’s find a different strategy, one that effectively addresses the issues and doesn’t concentrate on the lame, tired notion of “blame whitey”.

  11. HawaiiBill says

    @Andrew-Boston: Is that a fantasy in YOUR head? And we’re still waiting for your suggestion of a “strategy”.

  12. peterparker says

    When the Prop 8 haters put that disgraceful proposition on the ballot we said, and rightly so, that the civil rights of a minority should never be put to a popular vote. And then the first thing we did once Prop 8 passed was try to put the issue back on the ballot, thus undermining our own argument against these anti-marriage statutes.

    We all need to sit back and wait for the Perry v. Schwarzenegger challenge to be resolved before we do anything else. If we win Perry, then all these anti-marriage laws will be invalidated. If we lose Perry *then* we go back to the ballot box(es) without undermining our argument.

  13. says

    If it’s too soon to do anything, it’s to declare that we can’t win at the polls, not when every poll says we gain support with time.

    I’m not waiting to see what happens with the court case, while NOM and Focus on the Family erode my rights in every other state. We can win. The polls not only support us, they support us MORE after every poll. The electorate is coming to our side, but we have to be willing to risk defeat if we are ever going to achieve success.

    If we truly believe that marriage equality is worth fighting for, then we have to fight for our rights in 2012.

  14. John says


    According to the same CNN exit polls you folks love to cite with regards to Prop. 8, white males went for McCain-Palin in Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois. I am sure that had nothing to do with race at all. Sarah Palin is just better qualified than Obama, right?

    If you all had your way, a senile old man and the runner up in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant would have won that election in a landslide. They’d be sitting in the White House right now. As far as I am concerned, you lost your right to complain about minority voting behavior the moment you did that. You want same-sex marriage without having to talk to blacks, browns, and yellows?

    Don’t go to California, Hawaii, or New Mexico. Ask your Republican tea bagging buddies to give it to you. Whites are still the majority party in vast majority of the states in this country.

  15. Rin says

    The fact is that people need to go meet their neighbors. So many of the fear-based legislation lives on because the people who err on the side of what they feel is tradition are cloistered. They don’t “know” gays. They see them on TV. They see parades. They know their gay cousin. But they don’t know gay families. Meeting people will change all that. My friends sent me an article about the demise of gayborhoods, well, maybe that is a good thing?

    I had some friends who were leaning homophobic so I had a party and let them get to know my gay friends. Once they spent an evening having barbecue and beer I heard “those gays are alright”.

    Maybe a little patronizing, but its the first step towards a real bond, a real understanding, and real change.

  16. says

    WarpCity, San Francisco’s Premier Gay Dating Site (exclusive to SF men) worked hard and long trying to get this measure on the ballot. We were surprised by how many San Francisco residents, gay and straight were against equality for gay people. We were disappointed in missing the signature requirement. What we’ve come away with is a jolt of reality and the decision that we too, will not support gay marriage in California. Californian’s don’t deserve it and we’ll let the rest of the nation provide the equal rights that those in California refuse to do. We’ll work against any measure in 2012.

  17. Think Again says

    White California voters rejected Proposition 8 in 2008. It was the people of color who passed it. Look at the exit polls. It’s simply a fact. Interpret how you wish.