The leadership of Equality California, one of the state’s largest gay rights groups, recommends waiting until the 2012 election to ask voters to repeal Proposition 8, the state's same-sex marriage ban. Many California LGBT activists are concerned "about raising the millions of dollars necessary in the current tough economic climate and also that it will take longer than two years to convince enough voters."
Also: The disturbing recent trend of a plateau in marriage equality polls, reports the Bay Area Reporter.
Executive Director Geoff Kors has pointed to stagnant poll numbers as well, indicating that the California electorate has not changed since the passage of Proposition 8 last November. A Field Poll report from last week indicated support for same-sex marriage stands at 49 percent, just shy of a majority of voters. While an informal survey of EQCA's members earlier this year indicated a majority favored 2010, things have changed, Kors said. "We all said we want to go in 2010, if we hear back overwhelmingly and have support financially. But we haven't seen that."
Activists have been divided over when to return to the polls since passage last fall of Proposition 8. Some say the earlier the better.
The argument against 2010 was articulated by a new coalition of black, Latino and Asian LGBT groups known as Prepare to Prevail—one of its leaders is Jordan Rustin Coalition's Ron Buckmire—which announced in a statement on July 13 that returning to the ballot next year "would be rushed and risky." Buckmire, who is a math professor at Occidental College, saw the raw numbers of voters needed are daunting and enough outreach has not been done. Buckmire tells the San Francisco Chronicle Politics blog: "As I like to say: Do the math. It's going to take a long time." While he's happy that some outreach is starting, "I haven't seen a plan to win yet. I've seen a plan to get on the ballot. But not to win."
EQCA's announcement "is not likely to dampen" other groups' push to mount a repeal effort next year. The Los Angeles-based Courage Campaign says it would continue its push to place a measure on the 2010 ballot, the Chronicle reports. Given the "blame the blacks" meme that surfaced after Proposition 8 and continues to this day, it's very interesting the Courage Campaign wants to push for 2010 when LGBT-POC have warned against it.