More than 400 activists gathered in California on Saturday to consider the best way to overturn a ban on gay marriage in the state.

Proposition 8, a ballot measure that passed in California in November, brought to an end nearly six months of legal gay marriages in the state.

In May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled against a previous Proposition approved in 2000 that defined marriage in the state as between a man and a woman.

The court ruled that laws that treat people differently based on their sexual orientation violate the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and that same-sex couples have the same fundamental right to marry as other Californians.

Proposition 8 challenged this ruling by explicitly denying gay people the right to marry.

18,000 same-sex couples got married before Prop 8 passed.

On November 19, 2008, the California Supreme Court granted review in the legal challenges to Proposition 8 and established an expedited briefing schedule.

Oral argument potentially could be held as early as March.

However, two ballot measures have been submitted for the November 2010 election.

One seeks to repeal Prop 8, the other to abolish civil marriage in California and replace it with domestic partnerships, which are still available to gay and lesbian couples but are not open to heterosexuals.

At the meeting on Saturday there was discussion of whether a 2010 ballot would be realisitic goal, and the dangers of a second defeat at the ballot box.

“There is significant groundwork that needs to be done, and I don’t know if it can be done that quickly,” pollster David Binder told AP.

“You want to strike while the iron is hot, but moving too quickly and then losing would have an extremely damaging effect.”