While a small majority of California voters supports the right of same-sex couples to marry, a larger portion of voters opposes efforts to place the issue back on the ballot next year, according to aLos Angeles Times/USC poll.
In the poll, 51% of California voters said they favored marriage rights for same-sex couples, while 43% were opposed.
Despite the slim majority favoring equality, almost 60% of Californians said they did not want to revisit the issue in 2010.
LGBT advocacy groups in the Golden State have split over when to return to the ballot. Yes on Equality, TrustandHope.com, and Restore Equality 2010 announced last week their goal of raising $1 million to fund a marriage equality initiative on the ballot in 2010.
Meanwhile, Equality California has recommended that a vote should wait until 2012. "Equality California is fiercely determined to win marriage back in 2012 with an aggressive campaign to change the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of California voters, hand-in-hand with our coalition partners, grassroots activists, allies, and volunteers," said Marc Solomon, EQCA marriage director, in a press release from the organization.
The poll, released on Friday, also found that views on same-sex marriage were polarized based on political party, with 66% of Democrats saying it should be legal and 71% of Republicans in opposition. Nonpartisan voters were less enthusiastic than Democrats, but they still backed same-sex marriage 59% to 34%.
Young voters continued to be more supportive of marriage equality than their elders. Among those aged 18 to 29, 71% said they supported same-sex marriage; among those 65 and older, only 37% favored it.
The findings come from a new Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts & Sciences poll. The results have a margin of error of +/-2.6 percentage points.