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Poll: 50% of Californians support Gay marriage
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Poll: 50% of Californians support Gay marriage

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

According to a new poll, support for same-sex marriage appears to be increasing in California.

A Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) survey released on March 24 found that support for Gay marriage has reached 50% for the first time since the San Francisco-based think tank began polling on the issue in 2000. The first year pollsters asked, only 39% of Californians favored Gay marriage, while 55% opposed it. Support has hovered at about 45% for much of the decade.

Support for same-sex marriage is highest among Democrats, at 64%. However, a majority 67% of Republicans still oppose the institution. The PPIC survey found that opposition is strongest in rural areas, such as The Central Valley.

The new survey results indicate that Gay marriage advocates who want to repeal California's Proposition 8 might have a fighting chance.

Proposition 8, which places a prohibition on Gay marriage in the California State Constitution, was passed by voters in 2008 and is currently being litigated in federal court. Earlier this year, Gay rights advocates decided to put off mounting a challenge this year to Prop 8 because of stagnant poll numbers. The PPIC results could act as a catapult for the marriage equality movement in California.

In addition, the poll also found that 75% of Californians support President Obama's call to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the 1993 law that prohibits Gay troops from serving openly. Just 19% say they remain opposed to repeal the law.

The institute surveyed 2,002 California adults by phone from March 9-16 of this year. The poll has a sampling error rate of plus or minus 2 percentage points, higher for subgroups.

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