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Public Policy Polling: It's Inevitable That "A Majority Of Americans Will Someday Support Gay Marriage"

February 10, 2011 2:48 pm ET by Carlos Maza

When U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional in 2010, opponents of marriage equality decried him for overturning the will of a majority of California voters.

As Judge Walker rightly noted in his decision at the time, "fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote":

That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as "fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette, 319 US 624, 638 (1943).

However, it now appears that the anti-marriage crowd has even lost the will of the majority. A new poll from Public Policy Polling reveals that opponents of marriage equality may need to find a new argument to justify their bigotry; a significant majority of California voters now support legalizing same-sex marriage.

Q4 Do you think same sex marriage should be legal or illegal?

Legal 51%

Illegal 40%

Not Sure 10%

The poll surveyed 892 California voters and revealed a major shift in public opinion since September of 2010, when only 46% of California's likely voters supported marriage equality (44% opposed). In fact, PPP concluded that a majority of Americans will support gay marriage inevitably:

It's not really a question of if a majority of Americans will someday support gay marriage, but when. You can see that within the crosstabs on this poll. Senior citizens, by a 47/42 margin, think gay marriage should continue to be outlawed. But when you take them out of the mix support for legalization moves to 53/38 in favor. As that generation is replaced more and more in the electorate by folks who are not yet of voting age public opinion will continue to move in favor of gay marriage.

This is good news for those hoping to put Proposition 8's repeal on the ballot in 2012. It appears that, whether through court rulling or overturning at the ballot, Proposition 8's days are numbered.

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