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Proposition 8 Repeal Effort Gets OK to Start Gathering Signatures

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As lawsuits against Prop 8 wind their way through the court system, one local group is trying to gather enough signatures to put a law legalizing gay marriage on the state ballot in 2012. The group Love Honor Cherish has just gotten cleared by the secretary of state's office.

That's right, there will be a ballot initiative trying to overturn another initiative (I'm sure the Daily Show would have something to say about this).

Love Honor Cherish has until May 14 to collect the 807,615 voter signatures to qualify for the 2012, according to the Associated Press. The repeal initiative would strike down Proposition 8, and it says "that marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion." There's a caveat that religious clergy don't have to perform marriages that go against their own religious beliefs.

A federal appeals court is reviewing a lower court's ruling that Proposition 8, which was passed in November 2008, violated the civil rights of gays and lesbians. Marriages are not being allowed while the case works its way through the legal system.

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The initiative may not be necessary depending on how the legal case turns out. But since there are no guarantees, Love Honor Cherish is moving forward with its campaign.

"This is severely impacting people, loving couples who cannot get married. It has severely impacted me not being able to get married," the group's chair Tom Watson told the Associated Press. "It's been more than three years since Prop 8, and a majority of California residents have realized that it is a mistake to deny loving same-sex couples the right to marry and are ready to reverse the mistake that was made at the ballot box. We should give them that opportunity."