Summarized by Kent Larsen
Knight initiative foes gaining ground in poll
San Francisco CA Examiner 22Nov99 N1
ByAnastasia Hendrix and Zachary Coile: Examiner Staff
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- A new poll by the San Francisco Examiner
and KTVU-TV indicates that support for the Knight initiative, which
would keep California from recognizing gay marriages, may be eroding
slightly. The most recent poll shows both a small reduction in the
percentage of voters that support the measure, and a smaller increase
in the number of voters that oppose it.
However, the polling firm employed by the Examiner and KTVU still
thinks that the initiative will pass, "This thing will probably
pass," said Del Ali of the Maryland-based Research 2000. "It's almost
December, its (support is) over 50 percent and it's staying there."
The vote on the proposal is scheduled for March 2000.
In the most recent poll, 51 percent of voters said they supported the
Knight initiative, down from 54 percent last June, while 39 percent
opposed it, up from 38 percent. And some voters seem to have made up
their mind, but aren't saying yet how they will vote. Only 8 percent
said that they hadn't yet decided how to vote.
These poll results are in line with a recent Field Poll, conducted
last month, which found 50 percent of voters approved of the
initiative while 41 percent opposed it.
The initiative has gained notariety for donations by the Catholic
Church to the campaign and for support from the LDS Church which has
urged members to donate to support the campaign. The measure would
prohibit California from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized in
another state. While no other state currently recognizes these
marriages, either Vermont or Hawaii could recognize them if current
court cases were resolved in a way that allows them.
Opponents of the initiative say that the polls don't mean that the
initiative will pass. Mike Marshall of the No on Knight campaign was
encouraged by an increase in the number of undecided voters. That
shows that as people are beginning to hear and learn about this
initiative, clearly they have serious questions about its intent and
effect," he said.
And even supporters of the initiative are cautious, Rob Stutzman of
the Protection of Marriage Committee, which supports the initiative,
says that its too early to trust the polls, "I don't think we'll see
much movement in numbers, if at all, until there's a focused public
campaign," he said. "There's been virtually no campaign activity in
the public's eye from either side." But Stutzman expects that public
campaigning will happen after the begining of the year, "This race is
going to come down to spending, unfortunately," he said.
As of September, the Protection of Marriage Committee has raised $3
million and the No on Knight campaign recently reached the $1 million