Proponents of a ballot initiative that would have asked voters to overturn Prop. 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, announced Monday that they failed to gather enough signatures to get the measure certified for the November election in California.
The realization that the measure wouldn't make it was a "heartbreaking moment'," said John Henning, executive director of Love Honor Cherish, one of the groups that organized the signature drive.
"Regrettably, Proposition 8 will remain as a stain on our constitution until at least 2012, and perhaps later,'' Henning said.
Some gay and lesbian activists were against the initiative because they said the timing wasn't right -- that waiting until another election cycle might be more effective. California voters, however, now support same-sex marriage 50 to 45 percent, according to a recent poll.
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Meanwhile, a suit against Prop. 8 has been filed by gay rights advocates and could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.