Gay Marriage Vote Highlights Calif. Divides

Urban, coastal areas generally oppose Prop. 8; less-populated inland areas support it
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2008 4:22 PM CDT
Proposition 8 would amend the California state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – California’s looming referendum on gay marriage is highlighting the cultural divide between coastal and inland regions, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Polls show 37% of voters in coastal counties supported Proposition 8—which would amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage—in a June poll, while 54% in the Central Valley supported it.

“This is not about taking away rights from anyone—it's about standing up for rights,” says an activist on a weeklong bus tour to drum up support for Prop 8. While agreeing that geography is a factor, one gay-marriage advocate who targets “young, occasional voters” focuses on age: Although young voters may not know what Prop 8 means, “once we explain it to them, they tell us, ‘Of course I'm voting no on that,’” she said. (Read more gay marriage stories.)