If Proposition 8 were put back on the ballot today in California it would be defeated easily. A new Field Poll finds that there has been a significant shift in public opinion about same-sex marriage over the past four years. The poll found California voters now support marriage equality by a two-to-one margin.
Field Poll (2/5-17)
Do you approve or disapprove of California allowing same-sex couples to marry and have regular marriage laws apply to them?
No opinion 7%
The change in opinion on this issue over the past decade is truly remarkable. It was only eight years ago the Republicans treated gay marriage as a bogeyman to scare people to vote. It was only four years ago when even deeply liberal California narrowly voted against it. Now it has won at the ballot in multiple states and has strong support in many others.
It will be interesting to see how the polling shift impacts the pending case before the Supreme Court. While the justices are theoretically detached legal scholars like everyone else, they are products of society and shaped by it. It could make it easier for some justices to rule in favor of marriage equality, but it could also give conservative justices an excuse for why the courts don’t need to get involved.