California LGBT Rights Group Approved To Gather Prop 8 Repeal Signatures

California LGBT rights group Love Honor Cherish has been approved to begin gathering signatures to place a repeal of Prop 8 on the 2012 ballot. They now have until May 14 to collect 807,615 voter signatures.

Love Honor Cherish submitted the proposed initiative in October after Equality California, the state’s largest gay rights group, said it was not prepared to lead a campaign to overturn Proposition 8. In 2008, the measure’s supporters and opponents spent $83 million campaigning for and against the amendment, making it the most expensive political race on a social issue in the nation’s history.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco has been reviewing a lower court’s decision from last year that struck down Proposition 8 as a violation of the civil rights of gay and lesbian Californians. Watson said that if the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds that ruling and lifts its injunction barring same-sex couples from marrying, the repeal initiative would no longer be needed.

But if neither the 9th Circuit nor the U.S. Supreme Court reinstate marriage rights for same-sex couples early next year and instead seek to keep the ban in place while the case works its way through the legal system, Love Honor Cherish would move forward with trying to qualify the repeal measure and campaign for its passage, Watson said. .