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They said it couldn't be done.  They said we were nuts.  They said the time wasn't right.  But it can be done - we're doing it; we're not nuts; and the time is now.  The perfect storm, the trifecta of technology, politics, and demographics is upon us here in California, and we're seizing the day.

In this diary I'll explain this magic moment and how the Restore Equality 2010 campaign is taking advantage of it - and how you can help.  It starts with cannabis (no, not the way you're thinking!), beneath the fold.

How do cannabis and gay marriage come together?  Only in California.  You see, at the same time we've been working to put gay marriage back on the ballot, another group has been working - successfully - to put cannabis legalization and taxation onto the same ballot.  And one signature that they gathered took a novel form - it was an electronic signature.  Michael Ni, founder of Verafirma, used his company's software from an iPhone to submit his signature in support of the measure.

The Chief Elections Officer, Warren Slocum, rejected Ni's signature, and Ni has filed a lawsuit (PDF) to have the signature accepted.  That lawsuit will be heard on March 18th, a little over two weeks before the April 5th deadline for signature collection.

And that brings us to marriage equality.  We're trying to collect 1.2 million signatures to put marriage equality back on the ballot; thus far we've done it with only volunteers - and only pen & paper.  And we're falling short.  But there are 18 million iPhones in use in California.  A lot of them in the hands of young people - and of course you know that young people support gay marriage in much higher numbers than do their elders.

The cannabis initiative used only one electronic signature - for them, it's just a test and a path to legitimize electronic signatures.  For Restore Equality 2010, however, electronic signatures are going to represent the bulk of our signatures and the technology will be essential in putting marriage equality back on the ballot.  The numbers are there - we can do it, and what we need to do to make it happen is to get the word out.

This is our trifecta, our magic moment; this is when we win back marriage equality for all Californians.  The technology is here; the legal ruling is just around the corner, and the youth are right out there, ready to try something new.  We need to bring these elements together, let every iPhone user know, spread the word: here is how we put gay marriage back on the ballot; here is how we repeal Prop 8; here is how we undo the damage done by the haters.  Click the link; spread the word.  Sign the petition and get everyone you know to sign it.

Here is the link: Restore Equality 2010

And then the hard work begins.  We don't stop when marriage equality is back on the ballot; we step up the pace.  Because persuading supporters to vote in the off-year election, persuading the undecided to become supporters, is work that can't be done with just an iPhone; it's got to be personal, patient, and persistent.  Civil rights never come easy.

Originally posted to cmanaster on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:01 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    -7.50 -6.56 | Why is it that those who can remember that those who forget history are bound to repeat it are bound to repeat it?

    by cmanaster on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:01:07 AM PDT

    •  Court case will take time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cmanaster, CeeusBeeus

      My guess is that the validity of electronic signatures will go all the way to the California Supreme Court. It's hard to think this will be resolved in time to help you with your deadline to qualify for the Nov 2010 election.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:32:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They have agreed to an expedited hearing (0+ / 0-)

        and while I am not sure exactly what that entails, the feeling is that if the ruling is in our favor, and challenged, signatures will be accepted pending appeal.  But IANAL.

        -7.50 -6.56 | Why is it that those who can remember that those who forget history are bound to repeat it are bound to repeat it?

        by cmanaster on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:35:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I could never imagine that the touchscreen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cmanaster, Shockwave, lgmcp

    could be used for such a thing.  This will be a big help to "mobilize" on issues other than cannabis and same-sex unions.

    It's now easier to make Texas go blue!

    Go yellow!--The next movement after green. U.S. Metric Association www.metric.org

    by movingforward on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:10:27 AM PDT

    •  I've used it myself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      and it's not "just like pen & paper" - but it's good enough.  Of course that's up to the courts to decide for sure, but I can definitely make out my signature.

      -7.50 -6.56 | Why is it that those who can remember that those who forget history are bound to repeat it are bound to repeat it?

      by cmanaster on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:12:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Legally valid electronic signatures (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cmanaster

    would be very helpful for our side.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:11:37 AM PDT

  •  Gay Californian here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Pol Junkie, cmanaster, FG

    I am totally opposed to the repeal being on the ballot this year. Every indication is that turnout will be skewed to a much more conservative electorate than in 2008, and despite whatever better campaign and changed opinions have occurred since then, the likelihood is defeat again.

    A second defeat would be a huge setback here and nationwide.

    We need to wait until the 2010 general election (not the primary, which likely will be overwhelmingly GOP since they will have a presidential contest).

    •  I appreciate your perspective (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tiponeill

      But I think the struggle for civil rights needs to stop taking a back seat to candidates and party.  I think we might be able to win this if we put it on the ballot, so I'm in the fight to get it there.  

      I don't condemn you or your position - I respect your reasons and your position.  I just have to be working for marriage equality, and now.

      -7.50 -6.56 | Why is it that those who can remember that those who forget history are bound to repeat it are bound to repeat it?

      by cmanaster on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:22:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  why a setback ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cmanaster

      It seems to me it should be on the ballot every year until it passes.

      John McCain is deeply disappointed that Barack Obama has failed to follow through on John McCain's campaign promises.

      by tiponeill on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:41:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Morale, probably. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cmanaster

        It wouldn't help make it any easier for each successive attempt.

        I think 2012 - or even possibly a bit later, are wiser.

        I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it.

        by adamsmo on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:52:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thats a theory (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cmanaster

          but it's unproven
          Another theory is that we will keep fighting and the Mormons will run out of money - morale works both ways

          John McCain is deeply disappointed that Barack Obama has failed to follow through on John McCain's campaign promises.

          by tiponeill on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:39:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Actually I think California turnout (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cmanaster

      will be skewed more liberal -- if Whitman wins the primary, a lot of the folks in Red State California and the tea party contingent will stay home because they don't trust her, and enough people are fed up with the way Ahnuld's run this state into the ground that they'll come out to vote for Brown. (I wish we had a better candidate, but maybe it takes someone who knows how fucked up the job is to do it.)

      And ultimately, it's going to boil down to the courts -- I think we're still waiting for a ruling on Prop. 8 (unless I missed it in all the stuff surrounding my in-laws' illnesses and my father-in-law's death), and eventually there's going to have to be a case about what happens when a couple married in Iowa or Massachusetts winds up in Oklahoma or Florida.

      The risk we take in opening our hearts to love, is learning to say goodbye.

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:42:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another factor (0+ / 0-)

        is the cannabis initiative - that's going to bring out young people and (ick!) Libertarians - both groups who can be expected to help a lot with marriage equality.

        -7.50 -6.56 | Why is it that those who can remember that those who forget history are bound to repeat it are bound to repeat it?

        by cmanaster on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:45:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Courts are the ultimate solution but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cmanaster

        Supreme Courts almost never rule against the will of all the states, there has always been a strong minority of states to push the issue and give the courts cover to make the right decision. I currently know 1 person who expects the supreme court to overturn prop 8, 1 out of many. If the supreme court upholds prop 8 we are in a world of hurt for 2012, 2014, 2016...
        Who drank the coolaid and listened to someone say this court case was a good idea?

        •  This never should have been up for a vote (0+ / 0-)

          in the first place; subjecting the civil rights of a minority to a majority vote is rife with risk.  But it's how we do things in California - at least until we fix the Constitution - so back onto the ballot we go.

          I do think this properly belongs in the courts, and I hope that even the Roberts court will make the right call when the time comes.

          -7.50 -6.56 | Why is it that those who can remember that those who forget history are bound to repeat it are bound to repeat it?

          by cmanaster on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:14:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  2012 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cmanaster, adamsmo

      To repeal proposition 8, I think it should really wait until the 2012 general election.  We need the young voters out in force to do it, and it will take a presidential election to do that.  A little more replacement of older voters with younger ones will help too.

      You have the power to change America. Yes. We. Can.

      by CA Pol Junkie on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:44:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Electronic vote and signature fraud is the issue. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cmanaster

    Mr. Ni's software is interesting but the issue of fraud with electronic voting (signature being the same issue) has yet to be answered.

  •  This is a Great Way to Reach Our Supporters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cmanaster

    The younger generation overwhelmingly supports marriage equality. They are also very tech savy. this is the best way to reach out to that population.

    •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

      and please spread the word!

      -7.50 -6.56 | Why is it that those who can remember that those who forget history are bound to repeat it are bound to repeat it?

      by cmanaster on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:10:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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