At this point it seems like a given that California voters will consider the issue of same-sex marriage in the near future. The strategic question being asked by leaders in the gay community is whether an initiative undoing Prop. 8 would have a better chance of passing next year or in three years.
Equality California posted an interesting memo on its Web site today listing the pros and cons of going to the ballot next year versus waiting until 2012:
Arguments for a 2010 ballot measure: Momentum (people are pissed and motivated now); less competition for campaign dollars in a non-presidential election year; waiting sucks (couples can't get married for even longer in the case of a 2012 initiative).
Arguments for 2012 ballot measure: Better economy means easier fundraising; a younger and more open-minded voter pool; more time to prepare and persuade.
According the Equality California memo, 69 percent of those who responded to its survey favored going to the ballot next year (versus 24 percent for 2012).
One advantage same-sex marriage proponents won't have in either year: The incredibly favorable ballot description gifted to them by Attorney General Jerry Brown last year, which said Prop. 8 "eliminates the rights of same-sex couples to marry" (emphasis mine). As polling has shown, people are generally hesitant to take rights away. Brown was able to craft that ballot language -- which was unsuccessfully challenged by Prop. 8 backers -- because, at the time, the first Supreme Court ruling gave gay couples the right to get hitched. Obviously, that ain't the case anymore.
Photo | Susan Lawrence Gourmet Foods