Love Honor Cherish, which spearheaded an effort to place an initiative on the November 2010 ballot to repeal Proposition 8 and restore equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, announced today that the proponents did not gather the 694,354 signatures necessary to place the proposed initiative on the ballot.Â The group vowed to work toward the repeal of Prop 8 at the next general election in November 2012.
“This is a heartbreaking moment,” said John Henning, Executive Director of Love Honor Cherish.Â “Despite the dogged efforts of Â hundreds of volunteers across California, we did not get the signatures we needed within the 150-day window set by the state.”
Under California law, it is too late to mount a new effort to repeal Prop 8 in 2010.Â “Regrettably, Prop 8 will remain as a stain on our constitution until at least 2012, and perhaps later,” said Henning.Â He challenged activists statewide to rededicate themselves and unify behind a 2012 repeal effort.
Prop 8 passed by a margin of 52 to 48 percent.Â However, polls taken since the vote have shown that a majority of Californians now support the right of same-sex couples to marry, indicating that a new ballot proposition to repeal Prop 8 would be likely to pass in November 2010.Â In March, a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed a 6 percent increase in support for equal marriage rights in just the last year.Â
The proponents of the repeal initiative sought to seize the momentum unleashed by the passage of Prop 8 and parlay it into a victory at the polls.Â “This signature campaign was the right thing to do in the wake of Prop 8,” said Love Honor Cherish board member Lester Aponte.Â “We were determined to act affirmatively to achieve equality and we will continue to do that until Prop 8 has been finally repealed.Â We had hundreds of thousands of conversations with California voters about the right to marry and we know that we have moved hearts and minds.Â In the process, we have set the foundation Â for a future repeal effort and brought hope to thousands whose hearts were broken by the passage of Prop 8.”
Love Honor Cherish was one of more than 40 groups supporting the repeal of Prop 8 in November 2010, and was part of the Restore Equality 2010 coalition.Â The campaign utilized a unique web-based social networking tool, located at www.SignForEquality.com, which enabled volunteers to download the petition form, watch training videos and join teams.Â
Love Honor Cherish is a Los Angeles-based grassroots organization committed to repealing Prop 8 and to developing a new generation of leadership on this issue.Â Formed in May 2008 to defeat Prop 8, it raised over $500,000 for the No on 8 campaign and mounted its own outreach and media efforts.Â After the passage of Prop 8, Love Honor Cherish began working immediately to secure its repeal by means of a new ballot proposition.Â For more information, visit www.LoveHonorCherish.org.Â Â Â Â Â Â