You had to know it was coming....
An initiative that would again outlaw gay marriage in California has qualified for the November ballot, the Secretary of State announced Monday.
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said a random check of signatures submitted by the measure's sponsors showed that they had gathered enough names for it to be put to voters.
The measure, known as the California Marriage Protection Act, would amend the state constitution to "provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
If approved by a majority of voters on Nov. 4, the amendment would overturn the recent California Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. It is similar to gay marriage bans that have been adopted in 26 other states.
"This signifies the fact that California voters really do favor and will come out to vote for the protection of historic marriage," said Ron Prentice, executive director of ProtectMarriage.com, a coalition of religious and social conservative groups behind the initiative.
In response to the Supreme Court's May 15 ruling, California public health officials already have amended marriage license applications to read "Party A" and "Party B" instead of bride and groom. Local officials have been told to start issuing the revised licenses to same-sex couples on June 17.
Gay men and lesbians would still be able to get married between then and the election, even with the initiative pending, unless the court agrees to stay its decision until after Nov. 4, as the amendment's sponsors have requested.
Equality for All is fighting the initiative. A recent Field poll shows that the majority backs gay marriage, while an LA Times poll shows more support for the ban. Clearly, it is a contentious issue and you can count on the Republicans playing it up to encourage the social/religious conservative voter turnout.