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Support for/opposition to same-sex marriage (SSM) in California

1977 to 2013:
Field Research Corporation
, SurveyUSA
polls, and Los Angeles Times polls.
Graph showing almost four decades of polls
.
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Sponsored link.

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This topic is a continuation from an earlier essay

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1977 to 2013: Field Research polling results concerning SSM:

When asked by the Field Research Corporation whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and have regular marriage laws apply to them, subjects revealed a steadily increasing acceptance and a steadily decreasing opposition over the past 35 years:

Date % Approved % Disapproved No opinion/
didn't answer
2013
61%
32%
7%
2012
59
34
7%
2010
51
42
7
2009
49
44
7
2008
51
42
7
2006
44
50
6
2004
44
50
6
2003
42
50
8
1997
38
56
6
1985
30
62
8
1977
28
59
13

See a crude graph covering the period 2003 to 2012 inclusive. It shows a 31 percentage point increase in support and a 25 percentage point drop in opposition. Surveys before 2003 included a random sampling of all California adults. More recent surveys only involved registered voters.

When given three options for the recognition of same-sex relationships:

Date
Allow SSM

Allow civil unions,
but not SSM

No recognition
No opinion/
didn't answer
2012
51%
29%
15%
5%
2010
44
34
19
3
2009
45
34
19
2
2008
45
32
19
4
2006
36
33
27
4

A more detailed comparison of support/opposition data from the Field Polls of 2010, 2012 and 2013 are:

Group

2013 data

Support/Oppose SSM

2012 data

Support/Oppose SSM

2010 data

Support/Oppose SSM

Rise in support 2010 to 2013
(in percentage points)
ALL POSITIVE
All voters 61%/32%
59%/34%
51%/42%
10
   
Democrats 71/25
69/25
68/27
3
Republicans 39/53
39/55
26/66
13
Independents 71/25
67/25
52/38
19
   
18-39 years 78/20
69/26
61/32
17
40-64 years 56/35
59/34
46/45
10
65 or older 48/44
45/45
42/51
6
   
White 65/31
64/30
53/39
12
Latino 56/35
53/38
50/41
6
Other 64/31
50/46
41/51
23
   
Protestant 45/48
45/49
34/57
11
Catholic 55/37
51/37
47/46
8
Other religion 82/17
85/9
75/20
7
NOTA* 87/8
80/16
77/16
10

* NOTA = "None Of The Above" or persons with no religious affiliation. This would include many or most secularists, agnostics, atheists, humanists, persons who identify as "spiritual but not religious," etc.

Although the Republicans had one of the largest surges in support between 2010 and 2012, there has been no observable change after 2012. Most still oppose marriage equality.

Protestants remain the the only group other than Republicans in which a majority still oppose SSM. Their support has also remained unchanged between 2012 and 2013.

This is a remarkable increase in support for and lessening of opposition to SSM among the general population since 2008-NOV when Proposition 8 was voted upon. That citizen initiative showed that 48% were in support of SSM and 52% in opposition. This resulted in Prop, 8 being narrowly passed.

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2013-MAR-13: SurveyUSA poll:

The opinions of adults in California have shifted greatly since 2008-NOV when Proposition 8 was narrowly passed. Surveys showed that in 2008, voters were almost evenly split on the citizen initiative. But at the present time, a large majority of Californians favor making marriage available to loving, committed same-sex couples. A poll by SurveyUSA on behalf of KPIX-TV found that:

  • 67% of adults in California favored the restoration of SSMs to the state.
  • 30% are opposed,
  • 3% didn't know or refused to answer.

That is more than a 2:1 ratio supporting SSM!

In addition,

  • 52% want the Supreme Court to declare Prop. 8 unconstitutional.
  • 32% are in favor of upholding Prop. 8's constitutionality.
  • 17% didn't know or refused to answer.

This was a small poll of 500 adults, conducted between MAR-22 and 24. The margin of error is ±4.2 percentage points.

Thus, if Prop 8 were voted on again, it would be overwhelmingly defeated. 7

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2013-JUN: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner/American Viewpoint/Los Angeles Times poll:

Opinions on same-sex marriage in California have been steadily changing from the time of the Prop. 8 vote, as they have been in the rest of the U.S.:

  • On election day of 2008-NOV, Californians voted 52% against same-sex marriage (SSM) and 48% for, in the famous Proposition 8 plebiscite, producing a 4 percentage point margin against SSM.

  • In mid-2000, results had flipped in favor of SSM: 52% for SSM and 40% opposed, for a 12 percentage point margin in favor of SSM.

  • This poll in mid 2013 showed a further increase in support: 58% in favor and 36% opposed for a 22 percentage point margin in favor of SSM.

The usual gender difference was found: 63% of women and 52% of men favored SSM.

Voters of all ages support SSM, including 76% of younger voters aged 18 to 29 and 52% of voters 65 years-of-age.

A majority of voters of all ethnicities support SSM: 61% of Whites, 58% of Asians, 51% of Latinos, and 50% of African Americans.

Their telephone survey, conducted between MAY-27 and JUN-02, involved 1,500 registered voters. The margin of error is ±2.9 percentage points. 8

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1977 to 2013: Survey of California polls by MarriageNewsWatch:

We have only been able to find one graph that shows a complete polling history of support and opposition to SSM in California. This was a low resolution frame grab from a MarriageNewsWatch video of 2013-JUN-10:

SSM support in CA 9

The green data points and line indicate gradually accellerating support; those in red show gradually decellerating opposition. The crossover clearly happened about 2007. By 2013-JUN, there is about a 20 percentage point margin in favor of SSM. This would seem to make any future referendum to repeal Proposition 8 almost certain to pass.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Release #2349: Voter sentiment remains on the side of allowing same-sex marriage in California," Field Research Corporation 2010-JUL-20, at: http://field.com/ This is a PDF file.
  2. "Big increase in California voters who favor allowing same-sex marriage," The Field Poll, 2012-FEB-29, at: http://field.com/
  3. Robin Wilkey, "California Gay Marriage Poll Reveals 59 Percent Of Registered Voters Are In Support," Huffington Post, 2012-FEB-29, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  4. "Statewide survey findings on support for legal marriage for same-sex couples," at: http://www.eqca.org/
  5. "Field Poll: Same-sex marriage," Sacramento Bee, 2012-FEB-29, at: http://www.sacbee.com/
  6. "Record majority of California voters approves of allowing same-sex marriage," The Field Poll, 2013-FEB-28, at: http://www.field.com/
  7. "KPIX Poll: Californians Support Gay Marriage, Want Prop. 8 Overturned," KPIX-TV, 2013-MAR-25, at: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/
  8. Maura Dolan, "Poll shows Californians favor legalizing same-sex marriage," Los Angeles Times, 2013-JUN-10, at: http://www.latimes.com/
  9. "Prop 8 Ruling is Just Days Away: June 10 Marriage News Watch," You Tube, 2013-JUN-10, at: https://www.youtube.com/
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Home page > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Couples > California > Polls > here

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Portions copyright © 2010 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2010-JUL-30
Latest update: 2013-JUL-14
Author: B.A. Robinson

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