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Field Poll: Record number of Californians support marriage equality

SAN DIEGO – More than 6 in10 Californians now support marriage equality, according to the latest Field Poll, reaching a historical high.

The new poll shows support is growing in all categories, including among Republicans and Protestants.

The poll reveals that 61% of Californians back same-sex marriage and 32% oppose. The numbers in a 2010 poll showed 51% in support and 42% in opposition.

Republicans, while overall disapproving of marriage equality, nevertheless are trending upward. In 2010, 26% of Republicans were supportive and 66% were not. But in 2013, 39% of Republicans now support marriage equality, while 53% do not.

Democrats boosted their numbers are well, with 71% in favor and 25% in opposition in 2013. That compares to 68% and 27% in 2010.

By age, even the senior citizens have flipped positions since 2010. The 2013 poll shows that Californians 65 and older now favor marriage equality, 48% to 44%, while in 2010 those figures were 51% to 42% against marriage equality.

Californians under the age of 40 are the strongest supporters of marriage equality, 78% to 20%. In 2010, the figures were 61% to 32%.

Another dramatic change involves religion. While Protestants remain opposed to marriage equality 48% to 45% in 2013, the figures were much more in opposition in 2010: 57% to 34%. Catholics support marriage 55% to 37%, up from 2010 figures of 47% to 46%.

Californians with no religious preference have the highest level of support among all polling data, 87% to 8%, up from 7% to 16% in the 2010 poll.
"The dynamic that has occurred in the last three years kind of spans all populations," said Mark DiCamillo, the poll director. "It's almost as if it's a societal change."

California remains one of the most progressive states, and Golden State residents consistently poll higher in marriage-equality support than other states. Residents are eagerly awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 case on March 26. A federal district court ruled Prop 8 was unconstitutional, a position reaffirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Today, the White House said the Obama Administration would file a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court, urging the nine justices to provide marriage equality for all Californians by upholding the lower court ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.