Poll: Support for Same-Sex Marriage Jumps in California


A new Field Poll out of California shows greater support for same-sex marriage than ever before with 59% approving, the SF Chronicle reports:

What's notable is that some of the more significant gains in support came from Catholics, Latinos and older voters – part of the core of support for voter-approved Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

The paper adds:

In a separate question, 51 percent of respondents said gays should be allowed to marry – up from 44 percent two years ago. The survey found that 29 percent support civil unions but not marriage and 15 percent favor no legal recognition. Five percent had no opinion.

"It's a wholesale change in public opinion," said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo, noting that Field has polled on same-sex marriage issues since 1977. "Right now, it is more of a political objection than anything else."

Much more at the Chronicle and more at the Sacramento Bee.


  1. MikeBoston says

    Good to know that my civil rights are being denied solely on a ‘political objection’.

    I have always believed that the civil rights of a minority should never be put to a vote of the majority. But the politicians (are you listening, Christie?) don’t seem to be willing to vote according to the wishes of their constitutents so it may be time to consider a public referendum – especially in Cali where our rights were rescinded by a referendum but it appears the results would be different now.

  2. atomic says

    When the courts ruled in our favor, the bigots accused them of “judicial activism” and said our legislators should decide.

    When our state legislatures passed laws in our favor, the bigots accused them of “defying the will of the people” and said the voters should decide.

    And what will the bigots say when the voting public, who have begun to come around, finally recognize our right to marry? They will complain of “religious discrimination,” as they have done already. If it’s one thing these Christianists have learned to do well, it’s to play the victim.

    We will prevail. With truth, love, courage, and reason, we cannot lose.

  3. ratbastard says

    Regarding Catholics: Every statistic and study I’m aware of for many years now shows American Catholics as a group are one of the most ‘progressive’ and liberal, even compared to mainline Protestants, let alone evangelicals. Many might be surprised to know Catholics even out-poll mainline Protestants in supporting abortion rights, contraception, gay rights, etc. This might be partly due to the fact Catholics [like Jews] tend to be particularly concentrated in cities and urban/suburban areas, and tend to have higher education and income levels.

  4. kit says

    @ ATOMIC: Yes! You have expressed it — all of their garbage delay tactics and evasions — exactly as it is. And you are also right that we cannot lose. Every time someone comes out to his or her family, neighbors, co-workers, or friends, we win. Every time someone speaks out against the bigotry, we win. Every time the right wing zealots open their mouths and show the world their true colors, we win. Every time some loser like Christie has to jump to a different tactic, we win.

  5. TampaZekex says

    Yeah, the fuckers in California are now starting to realize that, instead of being on the front of the wave on civil rights, they will be remembered as the state that REPEALED civil rights and then was late to the table as MANY other states, INCLUDING IOWA, passed them by.

  6. Christopher says

    RatBastard: Then let them stand up to their oppressors. Until the oppressors stop bloviating on the Catholics’ private lives (and ‘liberal values’?) let them stand and turn their backs on them when they begin Mass. (Oh, and they can avoid the collection plate as well.) Until they do they remain sheep.

  7. Jay M says

    Hate to say this but I think this might be more of a reflection of a demographic including more libertarian people… meaning the older generation is slowly dying off.

  8. Gianpiero says

    It’s kind of odd that they’re asking about civil unions, since the California equivalent, Registered Domestic Partnerships, is a settled issue and there’s no move afoot to do away with them. “No legal recognition” is not an option in California.

  9. Tyler says


    Gay marriage is not the law in California, just as “no legal recognition” is not an option. Either change would require a constitutional amendment (for marriage, eliminating Prop 8, for no legal recognition, overruling the California Supreme Court in Strauss v. Horton). It’s a political question asking the people what they would prefer the situation to be.

    Polls like this show why our community’s adamant stance that rights should never be voted on is counterproductive. If we were to go back to the ballot in 2012, Californians would repeal Prop 8, and NOM’s biggest and most effective argument would be gone. We’ll see this in Maine. We should just do it in New Jersey too. Listen, I agree that it sucks, but we’re falling behind, because as we have seen, courts and governors are not always willing to stand up. Oftentimes they won’t, if they buy NOM’s argument that the people don’t want it.

  10. Justin says

    It was a mistake not to put Prop. 8 on the ballot again this year. The legal case will not bring marriage back to California until 2014 at the earliest. That will be 6 years after Prop. 8 passed. Too long to wait.

  11. Bob says

    Lots of comments do not understand what happened in CA.
    Mayor Newsom got marriage passed. The catholic archbishop or cardinal of San Francisco called up the mormons he knew from previously being in Salt Lake.
    The mormons ran it, brought in the Knights of Columbus, and ran A CAMPAIGN OF FEAR AND HATRED, which is what the catholic bishops and mormons do in every other State.
    @ ratbastard – catholics in CA are mainly Latinos now, and the priests did a good job from the pulpit of scaring them
    @justin — sorry, another 6 months of hateful attacks in TV ads would ensue if repeal were on the ballot, and who knows the result.

  12. jsb says

    Being a Califonian, I remember how the Prop 8 would never be passed because of the polling numbers. Then the Mormons, Catholics, Evangelicals and NOM flooded the airwaves with all those hateful, lie filled commercials and Prop 8 did pass.
    All those same groups will do it again. The Mormon Church has lots of money, and will order their members to donate again to defeat Equal Rights.

  13. Steve says

    Sorry to say it, but leaving civil rights up to the voters never does well. It took a Civil War to stop slavery. It took Brown v Board of Ed to outlaw segregation, but the people kept putting up laws to prevent change afterwards; it took lawsuits to stop redlining for mortgages; it was the right wing nuts who stopped the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) in the 1970’s — (Unfortunately I was one of those wing nuts then, but fortunately I too young to vote); it took the courts to remove sodomy as a crime which like it or not has helped us all. The “voters” continue to try to stop us from getting access to the rights the rest of the people theoretically have.
    My point is despite being a dyed in the wool democrat (small d not capital D); I don’t trust the “voters” to do the right thing on ANYTHING which might mean change of the overall power structure.
    We NEED ACTIVIST JUDGES, and yes the Supremes do change their mind over time; YES we need elected officials who have developed power over years of being present in their offices (not this damned term limited legislature which keeps the lobbyists in power} and are are willing to stick their neck out to change things for the better; YES we need gays to stand up like our Marines and say LOVE IS LOVE.
    Every time one of the armored wing nuts meets another gay person a bit of the shield is broken off. Eventually there can be change when the shield is broken off and the person inside is able to touch others without protection. Eventually the armored wing nut may learn that LOVE is universal. One of my best friends said that years ago and I have to so agree with him.
    How many of us have been uncomfortable being around people who were different, but as we came to know, respect, sometimes cherish or love the different ones slowly came to the realization that inside we are really all the same.

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