Time to educate people, opening offices in conservative areas like the Central Valley; time for the recession to pass to raise more money for an expensive campaign; and time for high schoolers to reach voting age, a demographic more sympathetic to their cause.
"When we go back to the ballot, we should try to permanently win the freedom to marry, we don't want to have to go again and again and not be successful," Equality California spokesperson Alice Kessler said.
Many in the gay community had pushed for a 2010 vote because of the momentum brought on by the passage of Proposition 8 last year, the Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.
Professor Larry Levine teaches sexual orientation law at McGeorge.
"I think there's a lot of disappointed people, and it won't surprise me at all if there is an effort to put this on the ballot anyway, there's no one person that gets to decide this," McGeorge School of Law Professor Larry Levine said.
In fact, the Courage Campaign has already said it is moving forward with a 2010 initiative to allow same-sex marriages.
Whichever year it's going to be, the award winning campaign team that guided Prop 8 to victory is confident voters will protect traditional marriage.
"They have yet to explain why the people of California, why 100 percent of the people have to change their views on marriage to accommodate 1 or 2 percent of gay couples that want to get married," Yes on Prop 8 Campaign Manager Frank Schubert said.
Supporters who want to qualify an initiative for the Nov. 2010 ballot will have to act fast; the deadline to turn in a request to the attorney general's office is Sept. 25.