Religion a Factor in CA Prop 8 Vote

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A new poll reveals that California voters economic status and religious convictions played a much larger role in their decision to support Proposition 8 than did race or age.

The measure, which outlawed same-sex marriage in The Golden State, was passed by the electorate on Nov. 4. with 52 percent of the vote. It overturned the state Supreme Court's decision last May which legalized gay marriage. Marriage in California is now defined in the state constitution as being between one man and one woman.

The poll's results also show Prop. 8 received its strongest support from evangelical Christians as well as from voters who did not attend college.

People who said they were practicing Christians were highly likely to support the constitutional amendment, with 85 percent of evangelical Christians, 66 percent of Protestants and 60 percent of Roman Catholics approving of the gay marriage ban.

The poll was conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California and the results were released on Wednesday.

The poll also showed that the measure received strong support from voters who did not attend college , voters who earned less than $40,000 a year and Latinos.

$73 Million Spent Did Not Do Much to Change Public Attitudes

The poll found that, overall, 48 percent of voters oppose legalizing of gay marriage. Forty-seven percent support it, while 5 percent are undecided.

The results mirror previous PPIC polls from the last three years, suggesting that the $73 million spent for and against the measure did little to change public attitudes on allowing gay couples to wed, said survey director Mark Baldassare.

"At no point in time, before or after the election, did we have a majority of Californians saying they supported gay marriage," Baldassare said.

"My takeaway from this is that until there is a major shift in public opinion one way or another, it's going to be another issue where voters are deeply divided," he explained.

The poll was based on a phone survey of 2,003 California voters in the Nov. 4 election who were interviewed from Nov. 5-6. The sampling error was plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Source: The Associated Press

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