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Monday, October 27, 2008

California marriage battle sets fundraising records
Jake Oresick at 11:50 AM ET

[JURIST] A pending California ballot initiative to eliminate same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in the state has generated more than $60 million in contributions to committees representing both sides [materials] as of Saturday, a figure believed to be a US record. Proposition 8 [text, PDF], which would amend the state constitution to limit marriage to heterosexual couples, requires a simple majority for passage. The controversial measure has inspired prolific fundraising and more than 64,000 donors from all 50 US states and 20 foreign countries have made contributions against or for. Opponents and supporters of the amendment have raised $32.3 million and $28.2 million, respectively. These figures do not include small donations within the last 30 days. AP has more. The San Jose Mercury News has local coverage.

In August the California Supreme Court [official website] denied [JURIST report] a motion to have the measure removed from the November ballot. California same-sex couples gained marriage rights in May when the state Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that Proposition 22 [text], a 2000 ballot initiative that would have banned same-sex marriage, violated the state’s constitution. In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website] vetoed a bill [JURIST report] legalizing same-sex marriage — the first US legislative effort to do so — citing his unwillingness to usurp the will of voters as expressed through Proposition 22.

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