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.