Poll: 59% Majority Supports California Marriage Equality


A new public survey by Field Poll has found that a majority of California residents support same-sex marriage, while opposition to marriage equality has fallen substantially.

Of the 1,000 respondents, 59%  now favor marriage equality while only 34% are opposed. Since voters enacted Proposition 8 at the ballot three and a half years ago, opposition recorded by Field Poll has fallen by around 8%, and since 2003 opposition has plummeted by 16%.

The question asked of respondents was:

As you know, there has been a lot of news lately about gays and lesbians, that is, men and women who are homosexuals. Do you approve or disapprove of California allowing homosexuals to marry members of theirown sex and have regular marriage laws apply to them? Which of the following most closely resembles your own view about state laws regarding the relationships oftwo people of the same sex – gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry; gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to form civil unions or domestic partnerships, but not legally marry; or, thereshould be no legal recognition of a gay or lesbian couple’s relationship?

As to the reasons behind this shift in opinion, pollsters point out that the increase in support goes beyond the obvious generational trends.

More on this via The Sacramento Bee:

Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said the move to a 25-point gap goes beyond the gradual increase in support that has been expected as young voters age and “replace” older voters in the electorate.

“This is now showing that opinions are changing irrespective of generational replacement,” DiCamillo said. “This is real change.”


DiCamillo said voters still hold the judiciary in relatively high regard, and years of gay marriage court battles in California are likely contributing to the opinion shift.

“The winds of change are blowing in other states (and) when judges start ruling the same way, I believe that has an influence,” he said.

DiCamillo also suggests that other states acting to legalize marriage for same-sex couples, namely New York, Washington and Maryland, may also have helped to make marriage equality less of the derisive issue it once was.

However, sentiment still remains mixed among voters age 65 and older, African-Americans and Protestants.

Republicans and political conservatives are, according to the poll, the demographics that still have majorities who oppose same-sex couples marrying.

In Proposition 8-related news, a three-member panel of the Ninth Circuit handed down a 2:1 decision last  month in favor of upholding District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

The three-member panel chose to rule narrowly in this case, declining to answer the question of whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage and instead ruling that, under even the most basic level of judicial review, Proposition 8′s discriminatory nature is unconstitutional.

Supporters of the gay marriage ban then had a choice of whether to appeal for a full Ninth Circuit Court review or to appeal directly to the Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit rarely grants what is known as an en banc review but after a bout of apparent indecision, Proposition 8 supporters have chosen the latter.

Care2 blogger and law professor Jessica Pieklo has explained why the 9th Circuit’s opinion seems particularly tailored to appeal to the Supreme Court’s Justice Kennedy.


Related Stories:

9th Circuit Rules Prop 8 Trial Tapes to Stay Sealed

California Supreme Court Hears Prop. 8 Standing Issue

Santorum: Gay Partnerships Don’t Benefit Society

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Chris DiGiamo


Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

Love that photo!

Lydia Price

I am so pleased to see progressive thinking based on love. Truly, parents will always love their children, and this has opened the eyes and acceptance of many. It's so easy to classify someone as "them" but when a member of your own family is gay, it brings the fight for equality right to your doorstep. Marriage should be based on love and available to everyone. Many straight marriages are anything but loving and based on financial considerations. Maybe they should be civil unions?

Atocha B.
Mary F5 years ago

Now if the other anti-gay states would just follow suit!

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

Good for them.

Henrik Thorsen
Henrik Thorsen5 years ago

That's good news. Well done, California :-)

Karen and Ed O.
Karen and Ed O5 years ago

Obviously some people who believe every word said in the Bible is true, are going to be against equality in marriage. Let's say they are right (which I don't believe they are), then what about the fact that this is now the 21st century? Times have changed drastically since the days of the Old Testament. We no longer demand that couples be able to produce children to help with family and community work. New marriage is about loving and caring for another person.
Propostion 8 was a huge mistake and hopefully we will now not only bury it, but legalize same-sex marriage statewide.

James Maynard
James Maynard5 years ago

Anti-Choice is not Pro-Life.
Prohibiting two people who love each other and want
the privileges and protections from marrying is not
defending marriage!
Repeal DOMA!!!

Leah S.
Leah S5 years ago


Christopher Fowler

These people are pissing and moaning about "re-defining marriage", yet that has happened many times before, and not just in this country.
Originally, marriage meant an arranged coupling to insure power, money or political expedience and was polygamous.

Then it was re-defined and includes the divine institute of love.
Then it was re-defined to monogamy.
Then it was re-defined, here in the US, as well as other countries that had previously held slaves, to include allowing blacks t marry.
Then it was re-defined, here in the US, as well as other countries, to include inter-racial marriage.
Now it is being re-defined again, to suit the changes in our society, just as it has been before and ALL of the same arguments that the religious nuts and the "traditionalists" used against those cases, are being used today.
ALL of those arguments were hollow and without real substance and they still are hollow and without substance. Society is in a constant state of change and our laws and rules need to either adapt or die.
The ones opposed to this change are unaffected by it, but would rather see society collapse than allow this change to come, based on religious grounds. It is THEIR time to either adapt or die off, because society will no longer wait for them to grow up.

Jennifer S.
Jennifer S5 years ago

Same-sex marriage-with all the rights and privileges attached-is an idea whose time has come. Repeal DOMA!!!!!