Main | Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Equality California: We'll Wait For 2012 Before Attempting A Repeal Of Prop 8

In a conference call with activists and reporters, this afternoon Equality California announced their decision not to pursue a repeal of Proposition 8 until 2012. Veteran reporter Rex Wockner was on the call and quotes Equality California head Geoffrey Kors as saying that if another group pursues the repeal in 2010 and qualifies for the ballot, Equality California will support them.

Over on EQCA's blog, they make this demographic justification for their decision (among other reasons):
Younger, more supportive voters are much more likely to vote during the presidential election in 2012 than in a gubernatorial election in 2010, which will be comprised of more older, unsupportive voters. And the extra three years will add young people who are now 15, 16 and 17 to the voter rolls. All together, analysis demonstrates that we go in with 4% more support in 2012 than 2010 on these factors alone.
As other marriage equality groups react to EQCA's decision, I'll add what they have to say to this post. Be sure and read Rex Wockner's play-by-play of today's conference call.

UPDATE: Protect Marriage executive director Ron Prentice responds to EQCA's decision:
"Notwithstanding the decision by EQCA to shift focus to a 2012 election, which they readily admit is a crass political decision, they will lose then just as surely as they would in 2010 or any other year. The people have spoken twice on this issue, both times reaffirming traditional marriage. If asked to do so, they will indeed vote again to protect traditional marriage."

"The pro-gay marriage advocates had all the advantages they could ever hope for in 2008, including a misleading ballot title and summary, the sympathetic (and ultimately proven to be false) claim that a vote for Prop 8 would be a vote to "divorce 18,000 couples," the benefit of asking for a "no" vote, and a very favorable electorate driven by the historic election of Barack Obama as President. They will never have these advantages again. But for all they had going for them in 2008, they failed, because the people are not with them.
UPDATE II: Yes! On Equality is very unhappy. Via press release:
We are extremely disappointed, but not surprised, by Equality California’s decision today to wait until 2012 to go back to the ballot for marriage equality in California, especially since every poll we conducted shows majority support within the LGBT community (including 70 percent of EQCA’s own membership) to put a marriage equality initiative on the ballot next year. Every indicator and every consultant we’ve met with (including those that ran Barack Obama’s campaign and Winner Mandabach Campaigns, which has run more “yes” ballot initiatives than any other consultant or firm in the country) tells us we can win marriage equality back in 2010.

The latest poll figures show that support for gay marriage has gained two percentage points. The polling does not take into account additional provisions we will be including in the ballot language, which have shown to boost support well above 53 percent. Grassroots support and momentum for a ballot measure in 2010 is extremely high. Equality California has raised $1 million in three months and the Courage Campaign, which supports 2010, raised $200,000 in just the past seven days. We are confident some of our large donors, who are reluctant to support us right now, will be with us when we begin the campaign. We already have submitted ballot language to the Attorney General’s office for November 2010 and we are meeting on August 29 to begin planning strategy, a full seven months before any campaign strategy was developed to defeat Proposition 8 in 2008. We are disappointed that Equality California will not be joining us, but the “Coalition for 2010” will be moving forward and will win back marriage equality next year.

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