Same-Sex Marriage Vote Tightens in California

Two weeks ago, opponents of Proposition 8 in California-which would reverse the recent state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage-were concerned over a slippage in the polls. Since then, intensified fundraising, high-profile donations and a barrage of television ads have improved the “No on 8” numbers somewhat, according to a recent poll by SurveyUSA.

According to data collected October 15 and 16, 48 percent of 615 likely voters said they would vote Yes, 45 percent No, and 7 percent were undecided. But the survey also notes that polling on ballot measures and on gay-rights issues is notoriously “inexact” and “tricky.” The pollsters also noted that those most likely to vote No on 8 are women, Democrats, liberals and pro-choice voters.

As of October 20, the Los Angeles Times reports, supporters of Proposition 8 have raised nearly $27 million, opponents more than $24 million. According to the informational (non-endorsing) website Mormons for Proposition 8, Mormons are the largest donors (40 percent of the total) to the Yes on 8 campaign.

A recent Yes on 8 television ad is filled with inaccuracies, including the false claim that, if the proposition fails, churches opposed to same-sex marriage would lose their tax-exempt status.

“The claims in this ad are absurd,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in a statement reported in the Bay Area Reporter. “[They are] an attempt to distract attention from how Proposition 8 will hurt our friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members.”

Since the Supreme Court’s decision on May 16, more than 11,000 gay and lesbian couples have been married in California. If Proposition 8 passes, the California constitution would be amended to outlaw such unions.


Feminist Wire; SurveyUSA; The Bay Area Reporter 10/2; LA Times 10/21/08; Mormons for Proposition 8

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