Backers of a state proposition that would overturn the Prop. 8 same-sex-marriage ban are facing some serious obstacles, not the least of which is collecting about a million signatures in support of putting the initiative in front of state voters by April 12.

The million signatures should be enough to get 694,354 signatures of valid registered voters, but there's not a lot of time: “Political observers say it has been years since an all-volunteer effort was able to gather enough signatures to qualify an initiative,” states the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

What's more, supporters of legalizing same-sex marriage in California are having a squabble over whether to push for a ballot initiative in 2010 or wait until 2012 in order to raise a serious war chest of campaign money — some estimate it would take $50 million — to overcome religious opposition.

The organization Love Honor Cherish is aiming for next year. Equality California, described by the journal as the state's leading gay-rights group, states that it's better to recharge the movement's batteries and wait until 2012.

So far, major gay rights and same-sex marriage groups are hardly on the same page about the push for a ballot initiative to overturn Prop. 8, the 2008, Mormon-backed, $40 million measure that bans same-sex marriage in the Golden State.

Political consultant Ace Smith, who helped elect Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the city's top office and worked on the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, tells the Journal, “I support 2010 and 2012. I support going to the ballot as many times as it's going to take.”

As we reported, Love Honor Cherish is hoping that the power of the internet will help it overcome its hurdles. It has posted its petition to get a proposition on the ballot online. All supporters have to do is print it, sign it and send it in.

LA Weekly