I just got off a conference call with Equality California's Geoff Kors and Mark Solomon. They've decided to go ahead and push for a ballot initative to overturn Prop 8 in 2012, not in 2010, for the following reasons:
- They're finding that people's opinions are hard to change (they estimate that around 20-25% of people who say they voted yes on Prop 8 showed "some movement" after face-to-face conversations with volunteers... it's slow work)
- Their math shows they can have a majority supporting such a measure by 2012
- It's more effective to do this work outside of the context of an election - people are more open to hearing the other side if it's not about an election
- Their allies in communities of color and faith have said they want to work to make a push in 2012, not 2010
- 2012 has better demographics - more young people will be of voting age, and more liberal people will turn out because of the presidential election
- Their top 100 donors want to make sure their investment is well-placed and prefer a three-year education campaign instead of a one-year election campaign
While I think that this decision is the right one to make, considering how hard it is to push those numbers and the fact that having an election on this every year wastes money and makes the inevitable result in favor of same-sex marriage happen even later, I'm going to go out on a pretty strong limb here and say that it was probably the donors' who pulled the trigger here. You can't have a party if no one will foot the bill.