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Poll: California voters support abortion rights, oppose gay marriage

Poll: California voters support abortion rights, oppose gay marriage

A large majority of California voters support a woman's right to an abortion, while a slimmer majority oppose same-sex marriage, a new poll has found. The nonpartisan Field Poll, released Friday, also found that a majority of the state's voters oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The poll, which has been measuring voter attitudes on both issues for years, has seen fairly consistent support for abortion rights over time, while attitudes toward gay marriage have begun to shift slightly. The latest installment found that 71% of voters supported abortion rights, while about 22% favored more restrictions on abortion. Those figures are roughly consistent with what the survey has found since 1991. The poll was based on interviews with 745 registered voters May 18-24 and had a sampling error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points. On gay marriage, it found that voters' views are less clear and more polarized across party and religious lines. A majority of voters--53% to 43%--said they oppose legalizing same-sex marriage. Those numbers have remained about the same for the past year, even as Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage and the city of San Francisco granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 1995, 55% of voters said they opposed legalizing gay marriage; in 1985, the number was 62%. The latest survey found large majorities of Republicans, older voters, evangelical Christians, and Bush supporters opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage. A smaller majority of Democrats, Kerry supporters, and voters ages 18 to 34 said gay marriage should be legalized. Even though most voters said they oppose making same-sex marriage legal, a majority--54% to 41%--also said they oppose a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

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