gay_flag_lede.jpgA proponent of an initiative seeking to reinstate same-sex marriage in California was given the green light today by Secretary of State Debra Bowen to begin collecting the more than 800,000 signatures needed to qualify the initiative for the ballot.

According to a statement issued by Bowen’s office this afternoon, the initiative would amend the state constitution to reflect that marriage “is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.”

The measure’s proponent, Thomas Watson, is required to collect 807,615 signatures–equal to 8 percent of the total votes cast for Gov. Jerry Brown in the 2010 election–to qualify it for the ballot.

Watson has until May 14, 2012 — or 150 days–to circulate the petitions.

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