by Rex Wockner
Anti-gay groups are paying signature-gatherers in hopes of placing an initiative before voters in November to amend the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Previous attempts to collect enough voter signatures to force a ballot vote have failed.
Gay leaders said the effort is being supported by http://NationForMarriage.org and http://ProtectMarriage.com.
"We are committed to a vigorous opposition campaign," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California. "We are determined to make sure voters understand the very real pain that comes with marriage discrimination and how these types of amendments will only bring harm to California families."
According to the CEO of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, Lorri Jean, "Californians are tired of these costly and divisive campaigns."
"These out-of-state extremists continue to expend time and resources to write discrimination into our California Constitution," she said. "We believe voters will reject this measure and the politics of hate and division it represents."
Delores Jacobs, CEO of The San Diego LGBT Community Center, urged Californians to "reject these efforts by refusing to sign the petitions and talking with their friends and family members about why marriage discrimination is wrong."
Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said such an amendment "would enshrine discrimination for generations of Californians."