A surprise appearance by San Francisco
Mayor Gavin Newsom in an anti-gay marriage ad is being credited for
increased support for the measure.
A new CBS poll by its San Francisco
affiliate shows Proposition 8 – the ballot initiative that would
outlaw gay marriage in the state once again – winning. Eleven days
ago, the same poll indicated the opposite.
According to the poll, voters now favor
the gay marriage ban by a five-point margin, 42-to-47 percent.
The sudden change of heart is being
credited to a Yes-on-8 television advertisement featuring an
unfortunate sound bite from Newsom, which began airing last Monday.
The Yes-on-8 (Proposition 8) commercial
begins with Newsom at a May 15th rally at City Hall, where
he is seen celebrating the state Supreme Court's decision legalizing
“This door's wide open now. It's
going to happen – whether you like it or not,” Newsom declares to
a cheering crowd.
The reason for Newsom's inclusion in
the video is obvious: He appears self-satisfied and smug as he
declares, “Whether you like it or not.”
Producers of the 30-second spot
immediately pounced on the cocky image of gay marriage's most ardent
ally, using it freely throughout. When a female announcer says, “We
don't have to accept this [gay marriage],” Newsom reappears and
boisterously declares, “Whether you like it or not.”
The ad warns that without Proposition
8, people would be sued over personal beliefs, churches could loose
their tax exemption, and gay marriage would be taught in public
Gavin Newsom is often credited with
opening gay marriage in California. In 2004, he ordered San
Francisco clerks to issue marriage licenses to gay couples against
state law. Those marriages were eventually invalidated by the state
Supreme Court. But a May decision by the court found a 2000
voter-approved gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Since then
thousands of gay couples have wed in the Golden State.
“It [Gavin Newsom's sound bite]
showed the arrogance of this measure on the part of those and the
four justices who essentially want to cram it down everyone's
throat,” Tom Loarie of the Yes-on-8 campaign told KPIX.
The statewide poll conducted between
October 4 and 5 among 670 likely voters has a margin of error of plus
or minus 3.6 percent – making the gay marriage race too close to
The issue continues to trend similarly
as it has in the past, with only young voters changing their minds.
Voters who identified themselves as regular churchgoers were most in
favor of the gay marriage ban, while the non-religious opposed it.