DB11:062
December 16, 2011

Contact: Nicole Winger
(916) 653-6575

Marriage Initiative Enters Circulation

Reinstates Right of Same-Sex Couples
To Marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponent of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for his measure.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Attorney General's official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

REINSTATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. 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)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1529 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0058.

The proponent for this measure, Thomas Watson, must collect signatures of 807,615 registered voters – the number equal to eight percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by May 14, 2012.

The initiative proponent can be reached at thomasbwatson@gmail.com. No phone number was provided.

To sign up for regular ballot measure updates via email, RSS feed, or Twitter, go to www.sos.ca.gov/multimedia.

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