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It’s Official – 5 Months To Gather Signatures – LGBTQ Visalia
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It’s Official – 5 Months To Gather Signatures

The campaign to collect signatures in order to qualify a ballot initiative
for the 2010 election has officially started. On Monday, November 16th, Love Honor Cherish
launched Sign For Equality,
an online site dedicated to gathering enough signatures to place an initiative
on the ballot in November of 2010 which, if successful, will repeal California’s
Proposition 8.

The site offers Training
, ways to organize
and find teams locally
and downloadable
petition and signature forms
. While the website offers the resources,
signatures cannot be gathered online or through email, all signatures must be
obtained in person, pen to paper. Gathering of signatures will not be driven by
major gay groups as has happened in the past. This campaign will rely on an all
volunteer army of signature gatherers, working locally on their own or in
teams. This appears to be a much smarter approach, rather than a select group
of volunteers standing post at shopping malls.

In order to be eligible to be placed on the ballot next year, 700,000 valid
signatures are required. Since there are always signatures which are
disqualified during the approval process, about 1,000,000 signatures need to be
gathered. The deadline for signatures to be gathered and submitted is APRIL
5TH, 2010

The approved language of this ballot initiative is the following…

We, the undersigned, registered, qualified voters of California,
residents of __________ County (or City and County), hereby propose amendments
to the Constitution of California and petition the Secretary of State to submit
the same to the voters of California for their adoption or rejection at the
next succeeding general election or at any special statewide election held
prior to that general election or otherwise provided by law. The proposed
constitutional amendments read as follows: This amendment would amend an
existing section of the California Constitution. Existing language proposed to
be deleted is printed in strikeout type. Language proposed to be added
is printed in underlined type.

    Section 1. To protect religious freedom, no
court shall interpret this measure to require any priest, minister, pastor,
rabbi, or other person authorized to perform marriages by any religious
denomination, church, or other non-profit religious institution to perform any
marriage in violation of his or her religious beliefs. The refusal to perform a
marriage under this provision shall not be the basis for lawsuit or liability,
and shall not affect the tax-exempt status of any religious denomination,
church or other religious institution.

    Section 2. To provide for fairness in the
government’s issuance of marriage licenses, Section 7.5 of Article I of the
California Constitution is hereby amended to read as follows: Sec. 7.5. Only
marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race,
color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.

If you plan to help the campaign, be advised that there are strict
guidelines for forms and signatures gathered. Signatures can be disqualified if
all procedures are not followed, so please visit Sign For Equality
and read all the details.



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