Maine Setback Won't Deter Californians Seeking Prop. 8 Repeal in 2010 — Unless it Does

These lads may have a nice dowry by 2012

For those who support same-sex marriage, yesterday's defeat in Maine was both a head-scratcher and a stomach-punch. The “No on 1″ campaign was well-run, well-financed, not hamstrung by, say, the mayor of Bangor crowing about “whether you like it or not,” and a huge percentage of Mainers flooded the polls. And yet, the state's same-sex marriage laws were still overturned.

So, what does this mean for California? Oddly enough, yesterday's Maine election seems to appear as all things to all people. Those dead-set on attempting to repeal Proposition 8 on the 2010 ballot see this as all the more impetus to get cracking. And those hoping to wait until 2012 point out how this startling failure indicates the benefits of waiting for the right time to unhorse Prop. 8, not merely the soonest.

Today, Restore Equality 2010 unveiled its “Million for a Million” fund-raising campaign, hoping to amass the cash necessary to garner the million signatures necessary to get a same-sex marriage initiative onto the 2010 ballot. Spokesman Jeffrey Taylor told SF Weekly that there's no time to lose in getting back on the ballot — “I think waiting for [elderly anti-gay marriage voters] to die is not a very nice strategy.” Added Robert Polzoni from Yes! On Equality, “We believe 2010 is still viable. We can't allow those bigots and National Organization for Marriage who beat us in Maine to beat us again in California. If we wait three years, we hand them another victory.”

And yet, an anonymous source within Restore Equality 2010 told us even within the ranks of organizations pushing for a 2010 initiative, trouble is brewing. There are those who favor delaying a ballot measure if polling and fund-raising doesn't materialize, and others who favor a 2010 initiative come hell or high water. Our source does not believe the latter possess the ability to gather the necessary million signatures on their own.  

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