Gay Marriage Sensibility Watch: California’s Proposition 8, Which Would Take Away Gay People’s Existing State Constitutional Right to Marry, Recently Polled Poorly

A piece of hopeful news for gay rights supporters in California. 

Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that would, by altering the state’s constitution, take away gay people’s existing marriage rights in California, polled poorly in a recent survey done by the Public Policy Institute of California. Here’s the opening sentence from the press release: 

A majority of California’s likely voters oppose Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that would eliminate gay marriage, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation.

And here’s a summary of the details, also from the press release:

Proposition 8, which would amend the state constitution to eliminate same-sex marriage, is favored by 40 percent and opposed by 54 percent of the state’s likely voters. Democratic (66%) and independent likely voters (59%) are against it, and Republican likely voters are in favor (60%). The last time voters decided this issue—in 2000—they approved a ban on same-sex marriages by a wide margin (61% yes, 39% no). After the state Supreme Court ruled that ban unconstitutional, supporters of Proposition 8 qualified the initiative for the 2008 ballot.

The full PDF of the survey can be looked at here:



About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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6 Responses to Gay Marriage Sensibility Watch: California’s Proposition 8, Which Would Take Away Gay People’s Existing State Constitutional Right to Marry, Recently Polled Poorly

  1. Laura says:

    Are you people informed about the consequences if this Prop 8 fails???!! Massachusetts legalized gay marriage and it caused the Catholic Adoption agencies to close their doors in Mass. Priests will be sued for hate speech if they speak against gay marriage and if they refuse to marry a same-sex couple. That is happening in Canada right now which legalized gay marriage. Church sponsored universities will be required to provide same-sex marriage housing or lose their tax exemptions. Don’t let the media fool you about this! Please vote yes on PROP 8!

  2. santitafarella says:


    Can you provide a source or sources for all these dire consequences that you recite above?

    For example, one of your claims above is simply false (that priests will be required to marry people). The state of California recognizes CIVIL MARRIAGE. It does not sanction or institute religious rites.

    Furthermore, gay marriage is already legal in California. The ammendment withdraws a right that already exists today.

    None of the dire consequences that you claim for California have happened since gay marriage has been made legal.

    Voting no on Prop. 8 preserves the current status quo—it does not institute new and dangerous rights.

    You are simply confused.

  3. kreuzer33 says:

    It’s a very interesting debate, probably one of the most interesting in many years. I moved back to California 2 years ago after spending 5 in Oregon. Personally, I’m against Prop. 8 but I feel that everyone has a right to a vote and that it should not be the decision of the courts. If it passes, it passes. If it fails, it fails. I have no problems with gays being allowed to have the same rights as everyone else. My mom always tells me that this is similar to things she saw growing up in the South in the 1960’s, only with a different set of citizens.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please help me out? I am trying to educate myself on how California can give a right for gays to marry in May 2008 then take them away in November 2008. If someone has the time to explain this to me in simple terms, that would be great! I am very confused.

  5. santitafarella says:

    A couple filed suit arguing that the existing california constitution had discriminated against them in terms of being treated as equal citizens.

    in may, the california supreme court agreed—making gay marriage legal.

    the far right freaked—then got signatures for a ballot initiative changing the california constitution.

    the ballot measure won.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you!

    Would it be possible for another ballot initiative changing the California constitution to civil unions instead of so called marriage?

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