Opponents of same-sex marriage conducted a petition drive to get Proposition 8 on the November ballot after the California Supreme Court ruled this year that laws against same-sex marriage violate the state constitution.
The petitions said the referendum would amend the constitution "to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," but California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown last week said the language on Proposition 8 will say it would "eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry."
Gay rights backers cheered Brown's decision, but Jennifer Kerns of the Protect Marriage coalition told the Los Angeles Times the revised wording is "inherently argumentative." Kerns said the wording had the potential to "prejudice voters against the initiative."
"This is a complete about-face from the ballot title that was assigned" for the petition drive, she said.
Steve Smith of No on Proposition 8 said the wording chosen by the attorney general is appropriate.
"What Proposition 8 would do is eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, which is exactly what the attorney general put in the title of the measure," he said.