A Los Angeles Times/KTLA Poll has found that, by a bare majority, Californians reject the state Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages.
The survey also suggested that a majority of those polled would back a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at the November ballot that would outlaw such unions.
More than half of Californians said gay relationships were not morally wrong, that they would not degrade heterosexual marriages and that all that mattered was that a relationship be loving and committed, regardless of gender.
Those under 45 were less likely to favor a constitutional amendment than their elders and were more supportive of the court's decision to overturn the state's current ban on gay marriage. They also disagreed more strongly than their elders with the notion that gay relationships threatened traditional marriage.
The poll suggests the outcome of the proposed amendment is far from certain. Overall, it was leading 54% to 35% among registered voters.
The issue leaped into the forefront last week after the court made its judgment in a case that stemmed from San Francisco's unsuccessful effort in 2004 to allow gay marriage in the city. The court's decision, on a 4-3 vote, came eight years after Californians overwhelmingly banned gay marriage through a ballot measure, Proposition 22.
The court's verdict threw the issue forward until November, when Californians are expected to be asked to amend the state Constitution to prohibit gay marriage. An affirmative vote on the amendment would reinstate the ban and lead to more litigation over the issue.
Before the court took action, opponents of same-sex marriage already had submitted more than 1 million signatures to the secretary of state's office to put the matter on the November ballot. Secretary of State Debra Bowen has said she will determine its fate by mid-June, but the backers are believed to have collected enough signatures to qualify.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has vetoed two bills sanctioning gay marriage, has said that he respects the court's decision and that he will not support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Californians were split on his stance, with 45% agreeing and 46% disagreeing.
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