SAN FRANCISCO As the California Supreme Court weighs the legal arguments over same-sex marriage, pro-family coalitions are continuing in their efforts to collect signatures to pull forward the California Marriage Protection Act.
While over 61 percent of California voters voted on Proposition 22 back in 2000 to keep marriage between only a man and a woman, the measure added language only to the California Family Code, not the state constitution.
And without an amendment to the state constitution specifying marriage between only a man and a woman, the institution of marriage cannot be guaranteed.
The only fool-proof way to protect the traditional definition of marriage from the hands of legislators and judges is to place the language of Proposition 22 passed by over 61% of voters into the California Constitution, the California Family Council, a coalition member of the petition drive, writes on its website.
As of April 2, the petition drive has gathered over 951,000 signatures and aims to collect 1.1 million signatures by the end of next week.
Organizers set an early deadline of April 1 to receive the signatures, but allowed several extra weeks to process stragglers and assess the final vote tally. All petitions need to be turned into county registrars by April 21, said Ron Prentice, primary spokesman for Protect Marriage, the coalition sponsoring the effort, to the Christian Examiner.
The effort continues to look strong, he said. We will need every petition in order to meet our goals.
In order for the petition to become law, 700,000 signatures will have to be verified as valid by the end of next month; California voters will then have the option of voting on the amendment during the next election in November.
If over 50 percent of California voters vote for the amendment, it will officially become law, nullifying all legislation and court rulings favoring same sex marriage.
So far, 26 other states have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.
Massachusetts is currently the only state to allow same-sex marriage.