A majority of voters say they would
vote to repeal Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban,
according to a Field Poll to be released today.
Among 761 registered voters, a slim
majority (48%) say they would vote against the contentious
constitutional amendment that overturned the state Supreme Court's
May ruling in favor of gay marriage.
But forty-seven percent of respondents
say they would keep the ban and 5 percent remain undecided.
The question to overturn Proposition 8
is currently being considered by the California Supreme Court. A
ruling is expected before June.
Proposition 8 was approved by voters by
a slim 4 percent margin (52% to 48%). Today's poll shows opinions
have not wavered much since November, despite large demonstrations
and public protests against the measure.
“The results reveal a voting public
that remains sharply divided both overall and across political,
demographic and regional lines,” Field Poll Director Mark
A majority of Republicans surveyed
remain steadfastly against gay marriage (70- to -24%), while
Democrats strongly approve (63- to -31%).
Young voters between 18 and 39 favor
gay marriage by 55 percent while seniors over 65 are 58 percent
opposed, according to the poll.
Gay activists in California are
definitely not waiting to find out if the state Supreme Court rules
in their favor. Several organizations, most notably the Courage
Campaign, support a new ballot measure. And this week, Equality
California, the group that was in charge of the campaign against
Proposition 8, beefed up their leadership roster.
“We don't expect the court will rule
to overturn Prop. 8 so there will likely be another initiative,”
Rick Jacobs, chair and founder of the Courage Campaign, told the San
Francisco Chronicle. “The movement understands that we will have
to win at the ballot box as soon as it is politically feasible.”
Poll results indicate success for gay
activists would largely depend on voter turnout. It might hinge on
the composition of voters who show up on Election Day; primarily
young Democrats and older Republicans.