Polls Show Prop 8 Losing

Film director/producer/screenwriter Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw, donated $100,000 Sept. 22 to the campaign to keep same-sex marriage legal in California. 

Voters will face an initiative Nov. 4 to amend the state constitution to undo the state Supreme Court's May legalization of same-sex marriage.

“By writing discrimination into our state constitution, Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate the right of each and every citizen in our state to marry regardless of sexual orientation,” the couple said. “Such discrimination has no place in California's constitution, or any other.”

Actor Brad Pitt also recently gave $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign.

Five recent polls have found that between 51 percent and 55 percent of likely California voters oppose re-banning same-sex marriage by amending the state constitution and between 38 percent and 42 percent support it.

A Field Poll released Sept. 17 found the lowest level of support to date for the proposal: 38 percent. A Public Policy Institute of California poll released Sept. 25 pegged support at 41 percent.

However, gay activists say a number of factors could make the polling data inaccurate. According to Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, and other activists, some of those factors are:

• Up to 10 percent of respondents may lie to pollsters on questions where their answer could make them seem bigoted.

• Younger voters, who poll more supportive of same-sex marriage, apparently do not always fill out their entire ballot, skipping, in particular, the propositions.

• The presence of Sarah Palin on the ballot as John McCain's running mate is expected to draw higher numbers of anti-gay evangelical Christians to the polls.

• All polls have a margin of error of a few percent. In addition, 4 percent to 7 percent of likely California voters remain undecided on Prop 8.

• The polls to date have been public polls, which random-dialed Californians and asked them if they are planning to vote, rather than polls based on voter files.

• And the pro-Prop 8 side is, at the moment, ahead in the fundraising race and has not begun airing its TV ads in earnest.

“Based on what happened in other states and what we know about those who support Prop 8, their ads will undoubtedly be filled with lies and distortions, making false claims that domestic partnership is the same as marriage, making false claims that Prop 8 requires the teaching of marriage for lesbian and gay couples in kindergarten, and, if the poll numbers don't move for them, we anticipate we'll start seeing some pretty vicious attacks on our community,” Kors said in an interview.

“Some of those attacks are going to be hard for our community to watch. It's essential that we have the resources to respond to each of their false claims.”

To donate to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8, visit

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