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The Race Begins: 2010
California Marriage

The Race Begins: 2010
California Marriage

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A group seeking to reinstate marriage equality in California is collecting signatures to get the California Marriage Equality Act on the 2010 ballot.

A group seeking to reinstate marriage equality in California is collecting signatures to get the California Marriage Equality Act on the 2010 ballot.

The measure, put forth by Yes! on Equality, would strike the provision in the state constitution stipulating that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized" in California. Residents voted for this language in the November 2008 election with Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that nullified the state supreme court's May 2008 decision that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutional.

The act also adds two provisions to the constitution to ensure that the change would not affect school curricula, nor would it require churches to perform religious marriage ceremonies in violation of their beliefs. During the Proposition 8 campaign, religious institutions made both arguments to voters.

The supreme court heard arguments March 5 concerning the repeal of Proposition 8. The justices must release their decision by early June.

"Our logic is that we should not put all our eggs in one basket and wait for the supreme court," Charles Lowe, founder of Yes! on Equality, told TheSacramento Bee. "By doing so, we lose anywhere from 8 to 12 months."

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown released the official title summary of the ballot measure on Friday so that the organization may start gathering the required 694,354 signatures needed to get the proposed initiative on the ballot. The deadline to collect the signatures is August 6 of this year.

Meanwhile, another ballot initiative removing marriage from the state's responsibilities all together is also looking for signatures. University of California, San Diego, students Ali Shams and Kaelan Housewright are proposing that all couples be accorded domestic partnerships, making marriage only a religious tradition. The deadline for signatures on that measure is also August 6.

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