The text of the amendment is:
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. Marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.
The ballot summary is:
Reinstates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Summary Date: 12/15/11 | Circulation Deadline: 05/14/12 | Signatures Required: 807,615
Proponent: Thomas B. Watson
Repeals the current provision in California's Constitution that states only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Provides that marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. Clarifies that the initiative shall not be interpreted to require any priest, minister, pastor, rabbi, or other person to perform a marriage in violation of his or her religious beliefs. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Over the long run, this measure would likely have little fiscal impact on state and local governments. (11-0058) (Full Text)Of course, Love Honor Cherish also went forward with a signature-gathering campaign in two years ago in Winter 2009-Spring 2010 to repeal Proposition 8 which failed miserably. Gathering enough signatures to get a measure on the ballot in California is a resource-intensive task, not one that has been achieved by a mainly volunteer or unpaid effort in years.
This effort does not have the backing of any of the state's major LGBT organizations (like Equality California and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center). The proponents have until May 14, 2012 to gather well over a million signatures, in the hopes that 807, 615 will be valid.
I agree that Propsition 8 should be repealed but I do not think that the LGBT community of California has had a discussion about what it would take to repeal Proposition 8 and I think it is incredibly naive and presumptious of one organization to think that they can make the decision for all LGBT Californians to put our rights up for a public vote.
I will not be signing the petition and I urge you not to as well.