California, which now permits same gender couples to marry because of a recent Court case, will have that issue up before the voters in what can best be described as a referendum on the California Supreme Court's ruling. Their ruling found that the right to marry, under an equal protection analysis (as well about three or four other Constitutional rights), extends to same gender couples. The initiative will proceed to a vote at the general election on November 4, 2008. It is officially numbered as Proposition 8.
A person involved in the recent Proposition 8 Field Poll commented about the recent numbers giving those that approve of the Supreme Court's May 15, 2008 decision in the In re Marriage Cases and oppose Proposition 8, a lead of 51% over those that support Prop 8 of 42%. His impression was that people had a high degree of knowledge about the issue and that this is unusual this many months before an election. He believed most people had already formed firm opinions and doubted that a campaign would change that. The Field expert said the next poll would be more significant because trends showing which way the voters are moving are more predictive of election outcomes.
Since 1996 Field has tracked 80 propositions and their final poll before the election was correct 75 times (or 93.75%).
The prior poll on this issue has been discounted because the most recent poll tracked the presumed language of the initiative. The prior poll merely was based on the issue of same gender marriage.
Subsequent to the most recent poll being conducted, the California Attorney General changed the official title of the initiative from "Limit on Marriage, Constitutional Amendment" to reflect the true effect the initiative will have on the residents of California. It now reads, "ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT."-
No poll results have been released that track the new language. Experts agree that 51% to 42% against Proposition 8 with 7% undecided would roughly translate to 55-45 loss for the Proposition 8 on Election Day. If that is true then California will become the first significant electoral win for Marriage Equality. A victory for equality and spells doom for those opposed to fairness based on sexual orientation. Perhaps bigots believe that GOD is actually on their side, but many same gender couples who have entered covenants between themselves and GOD also believe that they are divinely inspired.
California has approximately 1/8th of or 12.5% of the population of the United States? It will be interesting to follow the inevitable end of the Evangelical Age.