Equality California Considers 2012 Prop 8 Ballot Initiative

Equality California is seeking input from the community as it considers whether to launch a 2012 ballot initiative to repeal Proposition 8.

Eqca Writes the group's Interim Executive Director Jim Carroll, in an email:

So what do we, as a community, do? Do we wait until the courts rule? Do we move forward and try and win marriage back at the ballot box? And if so, what level of public support do we need before we return to the ballot?

Equality California will be engaging in the same process we did in 2009 before we make any recommendation. We will conduct a poll of likely 2012 voters, speak to political experts, consult with our coalition partners and engage with our members and the LGBT community.

This decision must be thoughtful, and we want your input throughout the process. We are launching a survey to get your thoughts before we do polling or speak to experts. And we will be holding 10 town halls around the state and a virtual town hall so everyone can participate. 

Feel free to put your $.02 in here.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) gloats that this is a sign LGBT advocates expect to lose the federal court case challenging Prop 8.

Prop 8: Back to the Ballot in 2012? [rex wockner]


  1. ohplease says

    What is there to consider? How is there a debate? After losing marriage equality for us in 2008, EQCA made sure this didn’t get on the ballot in 2010. Thanks for nothing, EQCA — again!

    Why is this issue the one that’s so difficult for them? Of course you put it on the ballot in 2012. You put it on the ballot every single year until the voters — WITH YOUR HELP THIS TIME — get it right!

    After all the good work this organization has done, why do they insist on constantly screwing up the single most important issue they’ve ever chosen to monopolize? Geoff Kors is gone, EQCA. It’s time to get back to doing your job.

  2. says

    This is a totally shitty idea, and it’s shitty every time it gets recycled! When will we get it through our thick blockheads that Civil Rights are never to be voted up or down on? Do we seriously think African-Americans would have prevailed over segregation if they’d supported putting it on the ballot?

  3. Brian in Texas says

    It’s better this wasn’t on the ballot in 2010 because you have a more conservative and older electorate, less turnout, etc. They definitely should go for 2012, much more likely to pass then.

  4. esurience says


    There is a cost to losing elections. Not just a financial one (fighting prop8 cost about $40-45 MILLION), but also in morale, and most importantly, in momentum. We don’t have unlimited resources, we need to be strategic about where we fight and when.

    2010 would have been a dreadful idea, as another commenter mentioned, there’s a more conservative voting base in non-general elections, and polls at the time showed us unlikely to win. Changing the minds of more than half a million people takes time, and 2 years was not enough to do it.

    Stuffed Animal,

    Of course the continued denial of our rights is wrong, but sometimes going to the ballot box is the only way to get our rights recognized, whether we like it or not.

    And ultimately, we want our rights to be supported by a solid majority of people, because that’s the only way that our rights will be truly secure, and that’s the only way to win the dignity for our lives and relationships that we deserve.

  5. jersey says

    “Why is this issue the one that’s so difficult for them? Of course you put it on the ballot in 2012. You put it on the ballot every single year until the voters — WITH YOUR HELP THIS TIME — get it right!”

    The reason people don’t do things like this is because there is a limited amount of gay rights-focused money that could potentially be better used elsewhere in the country. Running effective statewide campaigns in California is extremely expensive. If we are looking at another 48-48 split in the polls (read: 48 us, 52 them) I’d rather have that money spread around the country fighting winnable nondiscrimination, civil union, and marriage battles. You can strike the fear of God into dozens New Hampshire state legislators for the cost of running one ad in the Los Angeles media market.

    Maybe this is the right time and maybe it isn’t. I would lean toward making another effort here–2016 is a long way away–but there needs to be 1) evidence that this battle is winnable and 2) a clear path to victory.

  6. Mike says

    I think putting it on the ballot is a waste of time. We shouldn’t vote for civil rights. We won the court case, use that money for other purposes.

  7. says

    Must agree with “Stuffed Animal”…….since when were “rights” or “equality” the subject of an opinion vote ?
    Answer: Maybe to deprive Jews of equal protection in 1932, or to deprive Communists of protection under Joe McCarthy.

    Equal rights are inalienable, unproscribable,
    I don’t want anyone voting to allow me be equal; and I certainly don’t want to be equal on someone else’s terms or as a result of their patronising benevolance.
    I want prop 8 to meet its maker in Court.

  8. Zlick says

    IMO, the moral imperative is not to put such a thing up for a vote on offense. Playing defense was different. This is a matter of justice, not public opinion. Let the court case continue. Winning on the 2012 ballot would make the case moot, and would deprive the rest of the nation of their best shot, and our only REAL shot at equal marriage rights.

    On a practical matter, equal marriage in California is just about as separate-but-not-equal as domestic partnerships were. Until ALL rights come with marriage, it is NOT equal marriage. That means we must take our shot with the U.S. Supreme Court, as scary as that may seem, and the case now too-slowly wending its way through the judicial system is the proper avenue for this matter.

  9. says

    2010 was right, 2012 is wrong. In spite of it not being PC to say it, the results on election showed that massive black turnout for Obama swung the election. I know the PC pundits argue it was “religion” ignoring the fact it was still the religion of the black voters, who are more likely fundamentalists than white voters. Any Obama turnout among black religious voters will once again hurt this initiative. I would have contributed to a 2010 campaign, as I did previously. But since these morons purposely scuttled it, and purposely ignore the black religious factor, I will not contribute a penny to a 2012 effort. Without the Obama factor Prop 8 would have failed, running it again when Obama is on the ballot is not about the gay community, it is about getting more gays to the ballot hoping to help Obama. They put the well being of the Democratic Party ahead of gay voters.

  10. Pointed says

    Never ever, ever should civil rights be put to a vote. The majority of the nation is made up white christians and the average white christian is always going to vote for them running the world. And in doing so, basically judges everyone around them and if you ain’t white and christian, you can just go to hell or otherwise get out of their face.

  11. Ben says

    Putting a repeal amendment on the ballot would render the court case moot, presuming that it is still in the courts in November 2012. That means that we would lose the chance to get a Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.

    A January 2009 analysis found that about 58 percent of black voters in California backed Prop 8, compared to about 52 percent of the general population. Given the relatively small proportion of African Americans in California (I think about half the national average), I don’t think black voters can be blamed for the amendment.

  12. Derrick from Philly says

    Thank you, BEN.

    You obviously know the correct way to deal with racist anti-Black statements. I must not. Anti-Black comments should be responded to especially when they are filled with inaccuaries or down right lies.

  13. JPatrick says

    They’re just doing this to raise money. They won’t try to put it on the ballot until Perry is decided. In the meantime, they can try to gin up financial support for whatever else they’ve got going on. It’s really quite transparent.

  14. Randy says

    I think it should be on the ballot again. While it’s not right to put marriage rights up for a vote, that’s why we’re in this mess in the first place, so it’s reasonable to undo it the same way, while waiting for the court. There is strong potential to win this time, and that would deal a shattering blow to the other side. Losing a state this large after investing so much would demoralize them and anger them, which would turn more people off their message.

    If it’s on the ballot, then Prop 8 repeal should be no more and no less than exactly that. Simply strike it from the constitution. Previous repeal efforts sought to replace it with a ban on polygamy. If polygamy is an LGBT issue at all (and it’s not) it would be to legalize it, not ban it. A movement based on choosing who to love should not be getting in the way of other people’s right to do the same as they see fit.

    The downside to winning at the ballot box is that it might render moot our case at the US Supreme Court, leaving in question the legality of same-sex marriage in most of the other circuits, and perhaps elsewhere in the 9th circuit. But maybe that won’t matter if it starts a trend of winning at the ballot box. It’s a trade-off, but the main point is that it matters less how we win, as long as we do. We should fight on all fronts.

  15. Rob says


    2010 was right, 2012 was wrong?! what a joke. you clearly know nothing about demographics based on that statement, let alone all the other idiocy you’re spewing. way to pit gays against blacks and vice versa. you might as well be a republican.

  16. GregV says

    “If polygamy is an LGBT issue at all (and it’s not) it would be to legalize it, not ban it.”

    @Randy: These two issues are completely different.

    Same-sex couples are allowed to get married but do not have their marriages recognized for equal treatment by the federal government, even though their legal needs are entirely identical to those of other couples.

    Polygamous marriages are a criminal act but, if de-criminalized, could not rationally be treated the same as couple marriages. Every calculation and formula that works for any two-person couple (whether it’s who counts as next of kin to make an emergency decision or how to file an income-splitting tax return or who receives how much as a death benefit on a deceased spouse’s health insurance) can not possibly work out in an equitable way with any conceivable number of spouses.

    Same-sex couples’ marriages are like inter-racial marriages and inter-faith marriages once were, in that we don’t need to re-write any law or formula other than just ending the discrimination.

    Polygamous marriages are more like marajuana or public nudity, in that the argument is about de-criminalization of something that arguably is none of the business of anyone who’s not involved.

  17. Alyson says

    Please put it on the ballot for 2012!!!!! Put it on every ballot until Same-sex marriage is allowed!!!! There is no question about resources and what not. This is the next step to equality across the world!! New York, DC, now California!!!! Come on everyone!!!

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