LA Times Poll shows 54% in Calif. back marriage amendment; Field Poll data inconsistent

LOS ANGELES — A Field Poll examining support for homosexual marriage in California shows data inconsistent with other reputable polls. The LA Times poll released May 21 showed Californians supporting the homosexual marriage ban 54-46 and a May 15 SurveryUSA poll showing a 42-36 margin favoring the ban.

According to the Field poll, 51 percent of Californians approve of homosexual marriage. The poll of 1,052 California voters claimed a margin of error ranging from plus or minus 3.2 to 5 percentage points, depending on the question.

The amendment, which almost certainly will be on the fall ballot, would reverse the May 15 decision by the California Supreme Court legalizing "gay marriage."

Meanwhile, attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed legal papers with the California court May 22 asking for a delay for the ruling going into effect until after the November election.

The LA Times poll has given the state's amendment supporters a brighter outlook on the fall's vote.

Although 54 percent is a slippage in support for traditional marriage since 2000 — when a law banning "gay marriage" passed 61-39 percent — marriage amendments typically do better at the ballot than they do in polling. For example, a Wisconsin amendment in 2006 polled anywhere from 48 to 51 percent in pre-election polls but passed 59-41 percent, and an Oregon amendment in 2004 polled around 50 percent but passed 56-44 percent.

A majority of states (27) have adopted such amendments.

The LA Times/KTLA Poll also showed the intensity of opposition to the court's ruling as greater than the intensity of support. Among all citizens — voters and non-voters — 42 percent strongly disapprove and 10 percent somewhat disapprove of the ruling while 29 percent strongly approve and 12 percent somewhat approve (for a combined percentage of 52 percent supporting the ruling and 41 percent opposing it). Seven percent said they didn't know where they stood.

The poll of 834 adults, including 705 registered voters, was conducted May 20-21.

"Polling results can, of course, vary substantially depending on how questions are asked, the order in which they are asked, and sampling techniques. I am confident that when voters read the one-sentence initiative in November, they will see it as common sense and will vote for it," said William B. May, chairman of Catholics for the Common Good in a press release.

BP news was used in this report