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Majority in California support gay marriage, Times/USC poll finds


Same-sex marriage got majority support in the latest Los Angeles Times/USC poll -- much like a similar poll by the Public Policy Institute of California earlier this spring.

But does that mean that a measure to repeal Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, would have smooth sailing?

Not necessarily.

First, the numbers: Registered voters surveyed in the latest poll said 52% to 40% that “same-sex couples should be allowed to become legally married in the state of California.” 

That’s the latest in a string of surveys that have found similar results. A PPIC poll released March 25 found respondents backing gay marriage 50% to 45%.  And a Times/USC poll last November found a 51% to 43% split on the issue. As with the previous surveys, the latest Times/USC poll showed a sharp polarization by political party and ideology, with Democrats and liberals supporting same-sex marriage by large margins and Republicans and conservatives opposing it by equally lopsided margins.

The poll also showed a huge variation by age, with registered voters younger than 30 supporting same-sex marriage by roughly 3 to 1, while a majority of those 64 and older were opposed.

That age division, also seen in every other poll on the issue, suggests that over time, the state’s electorate probably will become even more supportive of same-sex marriage -- unless today’s voters in their 20s become more socially conservative as they age. But the divide also poses a challenge for gay rights advocates: Older voters are substantially more likely to turn out to vote than younger voters.

That’s particularly true in non-presidential election years, when turnout in general tends to be lower. So compared with 2008, the electorate in 2010 is likely to have a higher representation of the age groups most opposed to same-sex marriage.

And 2008, of course, was the election in which Proposition 8 passed. No surprise, then, that gay rights groups have decided to sit this election out. The poll was conducted for The Times and the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences by two polling firms, the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and the Republican firm American Viewpoint.

The margin of error for the survey, which included 1,515 registered voters, was plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for the overall sample and slightly larger for smaller breakdowns. Questioning took place March 23-30.

-- David Lauter

Photo: Protesters in support of same-sex marriage march in downtown L.A. in 2009. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (36)

Don't let these lies continue. The Majority do not approve of same sex marriage, thats why we voted on Prop 8....stop it!! These polls are lies, just like those that say this country is 83% christian...if that was true....Why are we trying to give 2% of the population all of this time, waste of money, and bogus lies.

Now, if we believed in polls, why have we not stopped War!!! Not stopped Abortions, Not stopped HUNGER. What people do in their bedroom is their business, not mine, and God will judge them. Marriage is between a man and a woman, to provide a unit for a family.....not for two same sex people to engage in pathetic lustful behavior.....love, give me a break!!

Liberal Medial...Liberal Biasis. Same with this Poll. What do elections keep telling you?!?!

I do not care if you think I should get marry or not. I am a tax payer that is claiming my rights that is all. If you don't understand my life, it's ok. Chances are that I don't understand yours either but I wouldn't interfere with your right to pursue HAPPINESS.

Where are THESE polls being conducted? Can you say one-sided opinion?

Uh, apparently not. The Voters (you know, the will of the people) voted in down just a few months ago. Is the gay community so desperate that they resort to bold face lies now. Oh wait a minute, that is an old tactic, nothing new there.

Another reason gay rights groups are sitting this one out is that the gay community is tapped out. We don't have the deep pockets that the Mormon and Catholic churches do.

Majority in California want o be in a gay marriage, Times/USC poll finds

"...unless today's voters in their 20's become more socially conservative as they age." Well, duh. Of course they will--they always do.

The federal trial of the 2008 H8te Vote has produced damning evidence Mormons and Catholics committed criminal collusion in agreeing to hide their illegal, secret cash and in-kind contributions to hurt LGBT Californians. We know the gay-haters can't prove they paid for much of their campaign materials. We know they operated secret, illegal call centers in Idaho and Utah, because millions of Californians, way more than the tiny plurality, reported getting deceptive calls. We know Mormons supplied hate videos to the campaign. None of this was reported, as California law requires.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission knows this too, and they're investigating. So are authorities in Maine and Washington State.

The first hate votes were cooked up as a dirty trick by Karl Rove. His boss Bush let churches violate IRS 503c regulations since he profited personally from these hate votes.

When gay-haters scream "We won votes," most other Americans respond, "Yes, but through deception, criminal activity and hate speech."

The United States Constitution calls for Equal Protection Under the Law, and the Constitution WILL be upheld. The tiny minority of committed gay-haters can't overthrow the Constitution.

Unfortunately polls like this are never accurate. While much of California is, let's say...evolved...we've got a lot of piss-poor inland areas full of yokels to ruin it for us.

Do the opponents of same-sex marriage really believe the issue is settled in California because Prop 8 was narrowly passed? Will the Mormons and Catholoic churches continue to spend outrageous sums to spread fear about the dangers of allowing loving couples to marry? We'll find out in 2012, won't we? And 2016, and 2020 if necessary to right this wrong. Its clear the age-related demographic shift is in our favor.

We expected this. Another attempt of the opinionated news outlets to sway the courts and public opinion. This is getting old. We are smarter than that.

We the People, not We the Press.

The People have voted twice on this issue in California to define marriage as between a man and a woman. In fact, We the People, have never voted to allow same sex marriage. The only states that allow it were either through Judicial orders or Legislative mandates. Put the issue to the vote and The Will of People is clear.

ot gay but will fight for equal rights.

Marriage is a not a "rights" issue...I'm so tired of gays thinking and convincing themselves that this is about rights!! Its not...and YES a MAJORITY of AMERICANS not just Californians do not support gay marriage...what you do is your business, you will be judged as we all will - but do not infringe on what the definition of Marriage is just because you want people to accept you for what you do!! Sorry....as long as you push we will continue to pull. But, polls like this are part of the liberal media machine...

for James and Mike and all the others that cannot tolerate people who have a different lifestyle: first of all, a majority deciding over the rights of a minority is just plain wrong and shameful.
I might not agree with your lifestyle, but I would never even think of criticizing you for that.

You have the right to live the life you want. I don't have that right, and that is just wrong.
So, just go on doing your own thing and give others, like me, a break... It wont change anything for you, but for those others, the change is very deep.

If you are against gay marriage, don't have one! Why do you care so much? Sure, what they do behind closed doors is their business. So what they do in public, so long as it's not illegal or hurting anyone is their business too. Like you said, let God judge them! Let them stimulate the economy by renting places to have a wedding, ordering food, etc.

Riiiiiiight. Funny, first I heard about the 'poll.' I didn't see it to put my two cents in. This is a liberal publication supporting a liberal cause. Anybody can make up a poll to 'prove' their point of view but this 'issue' has passed TWICE in this state by voting of the public to define marraige between a man and a woman. Now millions of dollars has been wasted for this issue. How long we gonna keep wasting money? Until the crying liberals get their way...

Funny how the anti-gay side says "We voted this down, now get over it" yet they've made us vote on abortion restrictions every two years. And it fails each time (three times and counting so far). So maybe you should follow your own advice, and get over it because apparently Californians don't want restrictions on abortion. But then again, when have you ever listened to anyone who didn't agree with you? So much for tolerance and "Judge not lest ye be judged..."

James--nice comment, comparing an election to domestic violence. So glad to see how the family values crowd trivializes wife beating.
And for those complaining that previous elections show that Californians oppose gay marriage: guess what? People can and do change their minds, when they realize that gay marriage is no big deal, and advocates for equal rights can and will continue to fight for freedom. New elections, and a new era, are on the way...not a moment too soon.

This will go on until a lot of these hicks and dinosaurs die off. Go ahead, use all of your church's money to fight gay marriage. It will eventually pass, and your church will be all the more broke for it.


Oh yeah...and what REALLY kills me? A lot of the same folks that are against gay marriage are the same Tea Party idiots that think the government should stay out of people's business. Oh the irony...

I fully support gay marriage!!! and the tide is shifting, 50 years ago it was also the "will of the people" to ban inter racial marriage, but since then things have changed. Europe has already said all European countries will allow gay marriage within ten years, so far we have Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Norway that recognize gay marriage and scores more have civil unions like France, Germany, Brazil, UK etc. USA is next, they took long enough, but at least they recognize that marriage is a right and gays should therefore get it.

Gay marriage is coming to a town near you! Coming soon.

"The People have voted twice on this issue in California to define marriage as between a man and a woman. In fact, We the People, have never voted to allow same sex marriage. The only states that allow it were either through Judicial orders or Legislative mandates. Put the issue to the vote and The Will of People is clear."

The "will of the people" as you put it does not hold the preeminent position within our Constitution or historically speaking through the many years during which this country has practiced its own unique brand of democracy (the best one, IMO). That brand of democracy is not democratic dictatorship as you have suggested, take that crap somewhere else Mao Zedong.

This propaganda does not work on the voting electorate that does not, drink the Kool-Aid these polls are dishing out. The news media saying so does not make fact either. The voting majority of this state has voted twice on this subject. GOD Bless a democracy.

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