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Majority of Californians Now Support Gay Marriage, Poll Finds

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The Day of Decision Protest in Hollywood on May 26, 2009 (more photos here) | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist

In 2008, Prop 8 banned gay marriage in California when voters narrowly -- 52% to 48% -- approved it at the ballot box. Today, the Field Poll finds (.pdf) that Californians are trending towards more acceptance of gay marriage.

A survey of 1,390 registered voters in California concluded that "by a 51% to 42% margin, the overall California electorate supports allowing same-sex couples to marry and having regular marriage laws apply to them." 7% had no opinion.

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But when those surveyed were then given a choice of three alternatives, the results changed. 44% were okay with allowing same-sex couples to marry, 34% were only okay with allowing civil unions but not same-sex marriage and 19% favored granting no legal recognition to same-sex relationships.

A 1977 Field Poll about gay marriage -- survey participants were both registered and non registered voters back then -- found that 28% favored gay marriage awhile 59% opposed it. Polls taken since then have shown an upward growth of acceptance.

Results of the recent poll show that the younger the age group, the more accepting of gay marriage. 68% of 18 to 29-year-olds approve of gay marriage while 42% of the 62 or older group approved it.

51% of L.A. County approves of gay marriage with 38% disapproving. San Francisco is 63% in favor. As for party alignments, 68% of Democrats approve of it while only 26% of Republicans do.

“The poll also confirms that members of the Latino community are very open to the message of equality," said Equality California’s Marriage Director Marc Solomon of the race/ethnicity results. 53% and 50% of Whites and Latinos approve of gay marriage.

But other race/ethnicity groupings were mostly against gay marriage: African-American (38% for gay marriage), Chinese-American (41% for), Korean-American (25% for) and Vietnamese-American (32%). Solomon said EQCA will be stepping up their work in communities of color as they build support for a campaign to legalize gay marriage in 2012.

Other Recent Field Polls
- Poll: Prop 19, the Marijuana One, Narrowly Opposed
- A Dead Heat for Brown and Whitman in Race for Governor, Poll Shows
- Poll: It's a Real Race for Sen. Boxer and Carly Fiorina