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Marriage equality enjoys record support in California, according to new poll

Marriage equality

By Jacob CombsCalifornia state seal

Fifty-six percent of California adults support marriage equality, according to a new poll released yesterday by the Public Policy Institute of California.  That number constitutes a record high for the survey, with only 38 percent of respondents opposing equal marriage rights.  From Bloomberg News:

“The more that there’s been acceptable and legal change in other states, the more Californians have been accepting, especially among some of those groups that were strongly opposed,” Mark Baldassare, the group’s president, said by telephone.

Approval of same-sex nuptials has almost reversed since 2000, when the institute said its first survey on the subject showed 39 percent in favor and 55 percent against. Support reached 50 percent in March 2010. A poll in January found gay unions favored by 53 percent to 41 percent opposed.

Republican approval has doubled to 46 percent from 23 percent in October 2008, the latest survey said.

In February, I wrote about another poll, conducted by Field, which also showed record high support for marriage equality at 61 percent:

The Field poll’s results found a dramatic increase in support for equal marriage rights since 2010, with a 10 percentage point increase in approval.  Democrats and nonpartisan voters favor marriage equality by an identical 71-25 percent split (an increase for nonpartisans of 19 percent over the last three years) and while Republicans remain opposed to equal marriage rights with 39 percent approving and 53 percent disapproving, their support has nevertheless increased 13 percentage points since 2010.

With the Supreme Court due to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of Prop 8 by the end of June, LGBT advocates both in California and at the national level are pondering the next step for marriage equality in the Golden State.  Were the Court to stop short of a decision that restored equal marriages to California’s same-sex couples–or if further litigation at the state level threatened to drag on–there is certainly a possibility that California could go back to the ballot in 2014 to repeal Prop 8.  As both the Field and PPIC polls demonstrate, any such ballot measure would start out with significant support, and would seem likely to be successful.

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