2010? 2012? The Fight in California Continues

2010? 2012? Despite a weekend summit that brought together more than 150 marriage equality activists, consensus over the timing of an attempt to repeal California's Proposition 8 at the voting booth remains elusive.

BY Amita Parashar

July 27 2009 12:00 AM ET

"We'd love to see the larger groups like Equality California join us, but until they do, we'll lead the way," Henning said.

Marc Solomon, marriage director for Equality California, said he'd like to see an agreement between groups, but "there's no requirement to do that. If a group chooses to go ahead and [work on 2010], it can."

Meanwhile, Equality California is drafting plans for both 2010 and 2012 ballot initiatives and will release its own recommendation next week.

"We need to set up some sort of ongoing structure to coordinate a campaign. Whether it's 2010 or 2012, we are in a campaign now," Solomon said. But he stopped short of naming Equality California to that coordinating role. "It has to be an independent voice, it can't be any one group, but I think we do need some sort of coalition to help us keep moving forward," he said.

Several major donors and policy analysts have already warned that attempting to repeal Prop. 8 in 2010 might be premature and disastrous. David Bohnett, a philanthropist who gave more than $1 million to the No on 8 campaign, told The New York Times he would donate again when he feels the time is right: "The only thing worse than losing in 2008 would be to lose again in 2010." Mark Baldassare, director of research at the Public Policy Institute of California, and Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll in the state, also expressed concern over a 2010 campaign.

In 2008, Prop. 8 opponents raised an estimated $43 million, compared to the $83 million raised by the Yes on 8 campaign. Solomon predicts the campaign to repeal Prop. 8 will cost at least $30 million to $50 million. "I don't believe you can run an effective campaign with anything less," he said.

Tags: Politics

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