Liberal activists plan ballot measure if gay marriage ban upheld

Proposition 8 plaintiffs Jeffrey Zarrillo, left, and Paul Katami arrive at the Supreme Court on Thursday.
(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

SAN JOSE — Liberal activists pledged Thursday to put a measure on the ballot to overturn California’s gay marriage ban if the Supreme Court does not throw out Proposition 8 in a decision expected next week.

“If we lose, we’re going to fight like hell to make sure we return marriage equality in California in 2014,” said Adam Bink, director of online programs for the Courage Campaign.

Bink made the remarks while speaking at California’s caucus meeting on the opening day of Netroots Nation, an annual gathering of thousands of liberal activists and bloggers taking place here through Saturday.

Bink said that if the Supreme Court overturns the 2008 voter-approved ballot measure that defined marriage as between one man and one woman, same-sex couples should be able to wed within a month. But if the court upholds the measure, Bink said, activists would immediately begin working on a measure for the 2014 ballot.


Learning lessons from 2008, Bink said, backers of gay marriage would work hard to create a coalition that includes labor, faith and minority communities, to insure the measure was not viewed as only about gay people.

Other policy priorities highlighted at the meeting included overhauling Prop. 13, which limits increases to property taxes; stopping the controversial oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking; unionizing workers in the medical marijuana industry; increasing the minimum wage; and increasing transparency about campaign contributions.

During the caucus meeting, activist Sandra Fluke received sustained applause as she pushed for a bill that would give domestic workers the same rights to overtime, breaks and other benefits received by most other workers.