(Reuters) - A challenge to California's gay marriage ban failed on Monday to qualify for the 2010 ballot, leaving gay activists mulling a 2012 push and hoping a federal court will overturn the measure before then.
Los Angeles-based Love Honor Cherish carried out a volunteer-driven signature-gathering effort after large groups decided there was not enough time to ensure victory this year, even with some polls showing more than 50 percent support for same-sex marriage.
A 150-day period to gather signatures to place the question on the ballot ended on Monday.
Courts and state legislatures have legalized same-sex marriage in five U.S. states and the District of Columbia, but popular votes have always rejected such unions, which are illegal in the vast majority of U.S. states.
California voters in November 2008 ended a summer of court-allowed gay marriage by enacting a ban on same-sex unions by a 52 to 48 percent vote. The move by the trend-setting state enthused social conservatives and stunned lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender supporters nationwide.
A San Francisco federal court now is weighing whether the U.S. Constitution prohibits Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union of a man and a woman. That battle is expected to be appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"That trial I think is the most import single event in the modern LGBT equality movement," said Rick Jacobs, head of the Courage Campaign, speaking of the gay and lesbian movement. His community organizing group considered a 2010 push but decided it was too soon.
April 9, 2009
The issue before the court is to decide if Prop 8 was constitutional or not. However the other part of this issue is the State Constitution of California grants the right of voters to ammend the Constitution with a 50% majoriety. To overturn this ammendment, would open the floodgates to overturn many other ammendments that were also passed by very close majoriety votes.
The court will have to decide the rights of the few (gay who want to be married) over the Constitutional rights of all Californians to ammend their Constitution with a 50% vote.
Bottom line is Prop 8 made it to the ballot because the petition had enough signatures, and the measure against it has had 1 1/2 years go get their petitions signed. If they can;t muster up the petition of signatures, it would not stand much of a chance to pass, during the election.
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