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Support for gay marriage has grown in recent years, new poll finds

July 21, 2010 |  8:43 am

The latest poll found 51% support gay marriage and 42% oppose it.

The Field Poll said it had been polling on the question of gay marriage for more than three decades. For years, Californians strongly opposed gay marriage. In 2003, 50% opposed and 42% supported. Then, in 2008, the number reversed. Last year, the poll found 49% supported gay marriage. and 41% opposed it.

Voters in 2008 backed Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. 

The latest Field Poll found that, when given various options, support for gay marriage actually dropped: "When voters are offered three alternatives – allowing same-sex couples to marry, allowing civil unions but not same-sex marriage or granting no legal recognition to same-sex relationships – slightly less than half of voters (44%) favor the marriage alternative. In this setting, a significant portion (34%) of California voters opt for allowing civil unions but not marriage for same-sex couples. Just 19% believe that there should be no legal recognition of gay couples."

-- Shelby Grad

Check out The Times' gay marriage home page.