SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A gay rights group that wants to repeal the state constitutional amendment that stripped same-sex couples in California of the right to get married has been cleared to start gathering signatures for a measure that would rescind the gay marriage ban known as Proposition 8.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen said Friday that Los Angeles-based Love, Honor, Cherish has until May 14 to collect the 807,615 voter signatures required to qualify its initiative for the November 2012 ballot.

California voters passed Proposition 8 in November 2008.

The repeal initiative contains language stating that it would not require religious clergy to perform marriages that violate their beliefs, according to a summary prepared by the California Attorney General’s office.

Love, Honor, Cherish submitted the proposed initiative in October after Equality California, the state’s largest gay rights group, said it was not prepared to lead a campaign to overturn Proposition 8.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)