The California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, has announced that Yes on Equality and other supporters of the April 30th version of the California Marriage Equality Act Initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for the measure.
On April 20th, Bowen announced that Yes on 8 could circulate the January 26th version of the initiative for petition signatures.
In her June 23rd announcement, Bowen references the April 20th version of the marriage equality initiative as "the third marriage- related initiative." One other "marriage-related" initiative - the Domestic Partnership Initiative - would replace "marriage" in state law with "domestic partnership." (See the text here, the SOS announcement here, and previous blog posts here.)
The January 26th and April 30th versions of the California Marriage Equality Act Initiative have just one substantive difference:
This measure is not intended to, and shall not be interpreted to, mandate or require clergy of any church or religious institution to perform a service or duty that goes against their faith. (April 30th)
This measure is not intended to, and shall not be interpreted to, mandate or require clergy of any church or religious institution to perform a service or duty that is incongruent with their faith. (January 26th)
I did not consider that Yes on Equality, the Initiative's proponent, has had opportunity since late January to remedy arguable deficiencies in the religious-liberty provision. Charles Lowe proposed the Initiative's language with the help of attorneys. In this June 11th Bay Area Reporter article, he says that he would be "very surprised if what we filed wound up being what is used." Are further changes still planned or - at least under consideration - to preempt or undercut religious opposition, by strengthening the religious-liberty provision?