Over 200 pro-gay groups across the state of California have come together in a new coalition to fight a proposed ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to ban all legal protections for same-sex couples and their families, including existing domestic partnerships and proposed marriage rights. The announcement by the Equality for All coalition comes in response to the filing of a ballot initiative by the antigay Campaign for California Families, which is now working on gathering the signatures necessary to put the question on the 2006 ballot.
As drafted, the constitutional amendment would deny health insurance, hospital visitation, inheritance, and medical leave rights to thousands of diverse California families. The amendment would also deny gay and lesbian people the right to be legally recognized parents of their children and could leave tens of thousands of children in California with no legally responsible parent. The amendment could strip the courts, cities, towns, and other government entities of any ability to provide protections to gay and lesbian couples. "This is by far the most extreme and drastic ballot measure ever proposed in the nation," said Eddie Gutierrez, spokesman for Equality for All. "If passed, millions of same-sex couples and their families will be hurt by denying essential legal protections. This is wrong, immoral, and simply un-American. We are confident that fair-minded voters will vote no to discrimination and yes to equality for all families."