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California's Gay
Marriage Opponents Outraising Supporters

California's Gay
Marriage Opponents Outraising Supporters

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"We are going to lose this ... if we don't raise the money we need to compete on the airwaves," Geoff Kors, the executive director of Equality California and a member of the No on 8 executive committee, said during a conference call with LGBT reporters Tuesday afternoon. The call, dubbed an "Emergency LGBT Media Briefing," was held in response to a just-released poll conducted by Lake Research Partners, which shows the yes side leading by four percentage points. Currently, 47% of voters support the banning of gay marriage in California, while 43% would vote against a ban, according to the poll.

"We are going to lose this ... if we don't raise the money we need to compete on the airwaves," Geoff Kors, the executive director of Equality California and a member of the No on 8 executive committee, said during a conference call with LGBT reporters Tuesday afternoon.

The call, dubbed an "Emergency LGBT Media Briefing," was held in response to a just-released poll conducted by Lake Research Partners, which shows the yes side leading by four percentage points. Currently, 47% of voters support the banning of gay marriage in California, while 43% would vote against a ban, according to the poll.

That is a major shift from recent polling results that claimed opponents of the ban, Proposition 8, had a five-point advantage among voters. The reason for the shift, Kors explained, is simple -- Yes on 8 is raising more money, and its most recent ad campaign has been highly effective. The ad features riled-up San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, telling a crowd of supporters in May, just after same-sex marriage was allowed by the state supreme court, that gay marriages are coming "whether you like it or not."

Though Lake Research Partners' Celinda Lake said studies show the No on 8 ad campaign has proved to be effective with voters, Kors said the additional money raised by Yes on 8 has allowed ban supporters to get their message out to a wider audience.

Supporters of outlawing same-sex marriage have taken a substantial lead in fund-raising, with ProtectMarriage.com taking in $25.4 million through September 30 and the main No on 8 committee reporting $15.8 million in donations.

Steve Smith, manager of Equality for All, which is a coalition of groups working to defeat Prop. 8, predicted the coffers for both sides would level out by November 4. "What's happening is a little seesaw battle," Smith told the Associated Press.

On the conference call, Smith and Kors put it a little more plainly -- No on 8 needs to raise at least $10 million in the next 28 days.

That money, they say, will be used to directly combat the Yes on 8 ad campaign's strategic advantages. Smith stressed that No on 8 is having great success reaching young voters through grassroots and Internet viral marketing campaigns, but that more money is needed to compete with television advertising. (The Advocate)

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