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BREAKING NEWS: Efforts end to put Prop 8 initiative on 2012 ballot

LOS ANGELES -- The efforts to collect signatures to qualify an initiative to repeal California's Proposition 8 law, which bans same-sex marriage, have ceased.

Eric Harrison, interim executive director of Love Honor Cherish, which was leading the efforts, said via email today that the signature-gathering would cease.

"Following last week's victory in the 9th Circuit, we are now hopeful that weddings of gay and lesbian couples will resume by the end of this year, or even, at the end of this month," Harrison wrote. "And what an incredible day that will be when gays and lesbians are able to marry again in California!"

Harrison said the "backup plan" was no longer feasible, and explained that the efforts would require raising more than $1.5 million to hire a paid signature-gathering firm.

"In view of the 9th Circuit victory and the narrowness of the ruling, making Supreme Court review less likely, raising the additional funds needed is now not realistic. And, as we have stated, we had no illusions that the initiative could qualify based solely on our statewide volunteer signature gathering effort," Harrison wrote.

He thanked volunteers who had already began collecting signatures and talking to Californians about the need to legalize marriage equality.

"Our work however continues," Harrison wrote. "Gay and lesbian couples still cannot marry and do not have full equality, either in California or on a federal level. We will relentlessly continue to expose the lies of our opponents, mobilize marriage equality supporters and tell stories of LGBT families in a meaningful and impactful way."