December 4, 2008
Poll: Religion Drove Calif. Gay Marriage Ban Votes
A new poll suggests that religion and economic status played a driving force than race and age in determining whether voters would approve a ban on same-sex marriage in California, Lisa Leff reports for the Associated Press.
The ban drew its strongest support from both evangelical Christians and voters who didn't attend college, according to results released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Age and race, meanwhile, were not as strong factors as assumed. According to the poll, 56 percent of voters over age 55 and 57 percent of nonwhite voters cast a yes ballot for the gay marriage ban.
People who identified themselves as 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 favoring it.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life provides a graph of how Americans' opposition to same-sex marriage has varied over the years. A 2007 survey showed that 55 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage while 36 percent were in favor of it. Evangelicals in California (85 percent) voted for the ban slightly higher than the percent of evangelicals overall who oppose gay marriage (81 percent).