they decided not to spearhead getting Prop 8 back on the ballot for repeal in the upcoming election, citing insufficient support.
While I understand their concern (that support for gay marriage still hovers around 50% in polls) and there is fear that we will narrowly lose once again, after having spent staggering amounts of money and energy on the effort, I still get the gut feeling that we would actually narrowly WIN this time around. And here's why:
You see, I have long held that the reason that liberal states (such as California and Maine) vote to ban same-sex marriage is NOT because people think that marriage itself is a high priority, but because they have been cajoled into believing that their children are at risk (gasp!) if they allow gay marriage. The folks at Box Turtle Bulletin back me up on this assumption.
Most reasonable people (regardless of their personal feelings on the subject of gay love) tend to recognize that there is no harm to them if gay people get married. And these people will tend to skip ballot questions about gay marriage, or go in favor of liberty and freedom - even if they feel icky about the idea of gay sex. Conservatives have latched onto this, and figured out that they need some fancy trick to encourage people to vote NO on gay marriage. What better motivator than fear? And what could be more scary than Teh Gays indoctrinating innocent children?!! EEEEEEEEP!!
With adds like this, people who were once ambivalent on the issue suddenly find a good reason to read through that ballot question and vote a big HELLZ NO!
So the fact that conservatives haven't been able to pull out enough signatures in California to put passage of SB 48 on the ballot is quite significant. (SB 48 isthe recently passed legislation which requires schools to teach that Teh Gays have contributed - and do contribute - positively to society.) I would surmise that this indicates we could win in a 2012 ballot on gay marriage. California seems to no longer buy into the lame tale that Teh Gays are out for their children, and thus when voting time comes, California as a majority liberal state will get a liberal outcome on such a ballot initiative since "the Ambivalents" will simply skip the question.
Here's my advice to you gay Californians. Do everything you can to get signatures NOW! Get Prop 8 put back on the ballots. This time, I don't think you'll regret it...