At a $10 million disadvantage and
trailing five points in the polls, gay marriage proponents in
California rolled up their sleeves and went to work. That was two
weeks ago. Since then the campaign has focused their wobbly ads,
enjoyed a cash infusion, and managed to close in on their opponent's
lead to within spitting distance.
A new CBS/SurveyUSA poll released
Friday shows gay marriage backers narrowing the gay marriage race to
only three points. The poll of 615 likely California voters found
that 48 percent favored Proposition 8 – the November 4th
initiative that seeks to ban gay marriage in the state once more –
while 45 percent were against it.
The No-On-8 campaign's good news is
likely due to changes in the tone of the campaign, celebrity
endorsements and an increase in donations to the campaign.
While anti-gay marriage ads played on
voter's fears about what gay marriage means for the Sunshine State –
children being taught gay marriage in public schools and churches
loosing their tax exemptions – a sleepy narrative on the pro gay
marriage side pleaded with undecided voters to remain fair and not
allow Prop. 8 to take away rights from gays and lesbians.
The limp-wristed ads failed and polls
quickly turned on the once-leading pro gay marriage camp.
But the ads were replaced last week and
the campaign's tone sharpened considerably. The new ads directly
respond to the false accusations offered by the Yes-On-8 campaign.
“Their attacks have come before and
they always use the same scare tactics,” an announcer says as
Yes-On-8 ads are displayed in television screens. “This time they
want to eliminate rights and they're using lies to persuade you.
Prop. 8 will not affect church tax status. That's a lie. And it
will not effect teaching in schools. Another lie. It's time to shut
down the scare tactics.”
After ProtectMarriage.com, the
principle backer of the gay marriage ban, announced they were at a
$10 million advantage, pro gay donations increased considerably –
$5 million in the last week alone – leveling the the field once
And celebrities continue to provide
inspiration and sustenance to gay marriage proponents: Director
Steven Spielberg and Hollywood actor Brad Pitt each donated $100,000
to the campaign.
Comedienne/chat show host Ellen
DeGegenes has announced plans to spend $100,000 of her money to buy
TV airtime for her own commercial against Prop. 8. DeGegenes's own
September marriage to actress Portia de Rossi is at peril should the
the ban win approval.
Margaret Cho and Molly Ringwald are
among the celebrities endorsing gay marriage in new ads playing on
the Internet. The clever ads lampoon Apple's “Mac v. PC”
marketing to address the issue of gay marriage with humor.
With only 15 days left before the polls
open, gay marriage backers have managed to change the rules in the
Prop. 8 race, but with time running low can gay marriage in
California be saved?