Same-Sex Marriage Petition Drive Starts in California

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

( - What's good for heterosexuals is good for homosexuals, too, says a group behind a petition drive to put a same-sex marriage amendment on California's November 2000 ballot.

The organizers of the petition drive call themselves "Californians for a Same Sex Marriage." They hope to collect a million signatures in a petition drive that begins Friday, December 3. That million-signature goal is well over the 670,000 signatures required for proposed amendments to the California constitution.

Surprisingly, the group expects most of its support to come from heterosexuals and churches. Tom Henning, a co-founder of Californians for Same Sex marriage, told wires services, "We believe young heterosexuals under 35 will be the key to our success. We have seen very good signs from that group. Their attitude seems to be, 'Love is love, why not?'"

Henning also said he believes churches will respect what he calls a "humanitarian appeal." Henning said, "We are not asking that gays and lesbians should be entitled to be married in church, only that their civil marriages be recognized by the state, so that they can receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples."

Those benefits include health coverage, inheritance rights, insurance, joint tax returns, adoption, and retirement benefits.

If the petition drive succeeds, California would be the first state to ask voters to decide the controversial issue of same-sex marriages. Homosexual advocates in Hawaii and Vermont are attempting to achieve the same thing, but their battle is unfolding in the courts - not on the ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment reads, "Two people of the same sex may lawfully marry in California. Such a marriage is subject to meet the same legal requirements as other married persons, and they shall have the same legal rights and obligations as other married persons."