Love Honor Cherish, NOH8 Campaign kick off signature gathering drive for marriage-equality initiative

LOS ANGELES – As the fight to repeal Proposition 8 on the November ballot begins, Love Honor Cherish has partnered with the NOH8 Campaign to create a public education campaign telling voters why marriage equality is important.

The partnership will launch at a party being organized by nonprofit group “Reason to Party” in San Francisco this Sunday, Jan. 22.

Love Honor Cherish was formed in 2008 and has dedicated itself to repealing Prop. 8 in November. Last month, the group brought on Eric Harrison, formerly of EQCA, to serve as its first paid staff member to help coordinate its effort.

In December, the group was cleared to begin collecting signatures for an statewide initiative that would ask voters if they wish to repeal Prop. 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California. The organization, which recently partnered with San Diego-based Canvass for a Cause (CFAC) to lead the signature effort, has until May 14 to collect 807,615 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Since Jan. 7, CFAC has ramped up its efforts to train volunteers to support the work of its paid staff, who say they already identified at least 30,000 voters who support marriage equality over the last couple of years.

“We firmly believe in the face to face conversation model that we have successfully employed in states across the nation, and are excited to be partnering on a project that will focus on this important public education work,” said Tres Watson, CFAC’s executive director .

With a recent poll finding “strong support for marriage equality in California,” Love Honor Cherish and its partners are confident that their efforts will secure a spot for the measure on the November ballot.

“Independent voters a key wing factor in elections,” Harrison told San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. “The fact that this [polling number] has moved from 49% to 60% in two years is incredibly encouraging and strongly indicates that California would be ready to repeal this at the ballot in 2012.”

To further the impact of the on the street signature gatherers, Love Honor Cherish’s partnership with NOH8 will utilize interactive social media to engage voters and the public on the issue.

“NOH8 Campaign has been at the forefront of raising awareness for marriage equality and anti-discrimination through its interactive media campaign since the passing of Prop 8,” said Adam Bouska, NOH8 Campaign founder. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with Love Honor Cherish Foundation on an innovative campaign for marriage equality.”

Reason to Party, which brings together young professionals to party while supporting charity, is looking forward to kicking off its 2012 series of parties with a benefit for Love Honor Cherish.

“Having worked with Eric Harrison last year as the 2011 Co-Chair of the San Francisco Equality Awards, and knowing the importance of fearless and tireless dedication required to achieving full equality, we’re excited to name Love Honor Cherish Foundation as this year’s beneficiary to launch 2012,” said Ari Kalfayan, Reason to Party’s founder.

The party will take place at Vessel-San Francisco from 6-11 pm on Sunday. NOH8 co-founders Bouska and Jeff Parshley will be in attendance to announce the partnership.

Love Honor Cherish meets every other Tuesday at 7:30 pm at the National Council of Jewish Women in L.A. and has plans to host events in cities across the state, including San Diego.

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