April 4, 2011
San Francisco – Because legal experts are advising that the Proposition 8 federal challenge could take years to resolve, Equality California is launching a community engagement initiative to start a discussion on whether to return to the ballot in 2012 to repeal the marriage ban or whether to wait for a final decision by the courts. Before making any recommendation, Equality California will survey its membership, hold 10 town halls across the state and an online town hall, conduct a poll of likely 2012 voters, consult with political experts, coalition partners and engage with its members and the LGBT community. Equality California will announce results of polling and analysis by Labor Day.
“For two people who love each other and want to be married it is heartbreaking that an unfair law keeps them and their families apart,” said Jim Carroll, Equality California interim executive director. “We were truly optimistic that the court case to overturn Prop 8 would restore marriage equality by the end of 2010 or early this year, making a ballot measure unnecessary. Despite the amazing work of the dedicated lawyers leading this effort, there is no guarantee how or when the courts will ultimately rule.
“As a community, we will figure out together whether we wait until the courts rule or whether we repeal Prop 8 at the ballot box. We urge LGBT community members and our allies to join the conversation.”
Details and a complete schedule for community town halls are forthcoming with initial meetings scheduled for San Francisco on May 19, West Hollywood on May 25 and San Diego on June 2.
U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional in August 2010. However, that same month the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay, preventing same-sex couples from marrying while the case is on appeal.
On January 4, 2011, the federal appeals court asked the California Supreme Court for guidance on an issue related to whether the sponsors of Prop 8 have standing to pursue an appeal. The California Supreme Court said will consider the question with oral arguments to be held as early as September, meaning a decision likely would not come until the end of this year at the earliest.
To take the survey, please visit: www.eqca.org/Prop8survey