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Anti-gay-marriage forces lead in cash just weeks from election *

October 8, 2008 |  9:33 am

Who gets to say 'I do'? As this endless election cycle grinds to a mud-slinging close, the tug of war continues over Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that would write a ban on gay marriage into the California Constitution.

High-profile donations have flowed to both sides of the debate. Last month, Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg gave sizable chunks of change to oppose Proposition 8. In August, the Knights of Columbus kicked in a cool million to ensure that only a man and woman can ever say "I do" in the Golden State. Even Google has weighed in.

Now, with less than a month to go, fund-raising by Proposition 8 supporters has outstripped that of opponents. What does this mean for Nov. 4? Our own Jessica Garrison has the details:

Although the Yes on 8 campaign has not yet posted its latest fund-raising report, supporters said Tuesday that they have raised at least $25 million, compared with $15.75 million raised by the other side.

"As a result of not being able to match dollar for dollar, we have seen a change," said Geoff Kors, the executive director of Equality California, which is fighting Proposition 8, the proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman.

The announcement pleased supporters of Proposition 8. "I can understand their concern," said Sonja Eddings Brown, spokeswoman for the Protect Marriage Coalition.

Although other polls throughout the summer have consistently shown Proposition 8 failing, she pointed to another recent poll, from CBS and SurveyUSA, which showed the measure leading slightly.

Behind the dollars and sentiments the question remains -- is marriage a state of the soul, or sole discretion of the state?

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

* An additional hyphen was added to the headline of this post for clarity.