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MARRIAGE DIGEST: Calif. marriage amendment supporters lead in fundraising
Posted on Sep 26, 2008 | by Michael Foust

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Supporters of a proposed constitutional marriage amendment in California may be going up against wealthy and well-known donors such as producer Steven Spielberg and actor Brad Pitt, but they nonetheless have built an impressive fundraising lead with less than six weeks to go before voters go to the polls.

Whether backers of the proposal known as Proposal 8 can maintain that advantage remains to be seen, but as of Sept. 22, supporters had raised $17.8 million and opponents $12.4 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. Those totals don't include donations by Spielberg and Pitt, each of whom gave $100,000 to the measure's opponents.

It would be quite a surprise if Proposal 8 backers out-fundraise opponents, being that most of Hollywood backs the proposal, that the state itself tilts left and that homosexual activists nationwide historically have raised more money on such initiatives.

Fundraising is critical for both campaigns. One week of television advertising in the state can cost upwards of $5 million, according to at least one estimate. Supporters plan to begin airing ads the week of Sept. 28, the Times reported.

The amendment, if passed, would define marriage as between one man and one woman, thus overturning a California Supreme Court ruling that legalized "gay marriage."

Donations to the effort to pass Proposition 8 can be made online at ProtectMarriage.com. Out-of-state donations are legal.

Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in June passed a resolution urging Southern Baptists in California to work and vote for the amendment there and for all Southern Baptists and other Christians to pray for its passage. The resolution passed nearly unanimously. Additionally, this month the executive board of the California Southern Baptist Convention unanimously endorsed the amendment.

FEINSTEIN OPPOSES MARRIAGE AMEND. -- U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released a statement Sept. 12 saying she opposes a proposed constitutional marriage amendment in her state -- a noteworthy bit of news, since Feinstein has been odds with the homosexual community in the past and was critical of the "gay marriage" movement in 2004. She is not up for re-election this year.

In the statement Feinstein also apparently supports the idea of "gay marriage" itself.

"Proposition 8 would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California," her statement said. "I oppose it as a matter of equality and fairness. The right to marry is fundamental. It provides social stability, economic equality, and the ability to make decisions for a spouse in a time of crisis.... The views of Californians on this issue have changed over time, and as a state, I believe we should uphold the ability of our friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are gay and lesbian to enter into the contract of marriage."

In 2004 Feinstein surprised many in the homosexual community when she criticized those who pushed for the legalization of "gay marriage" in a presidential election year. That same year Massachusetts began issuing licenses to homosexual couples; San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom handed out licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of what was then the state law.

"I think that whole issue has been too much, too fast, too soon," she said in '04. "And people aren't ready for it."

FLA. AMENDMENT LEADS IN POLL -- A proposed constitutional marriage amendment in Florida leads 58-37 percent, according to a poll of 800 registered voters conducted for the St. Petersburg Times, Miami Herald and Bay News 9. That may sound like good news for amendment supporters, but under a new state law the proposal actually needs to hit the 60 percent mark if it is to pass.

Marriage amendments, though, typically outperform pre-election polls. For more information about the Florida marriage amendment, or to donate, visit www.Yes2Marriage.org.
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Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press.
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