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Mother of all Referendums
October 27, 2008 permalink
After judges legalized same-sex marriage in California, opponents petitioned for an amendment, Proposition 8, to block same-sex marriage, The vote will occur this November 4. The campaign has attracted great attention inside and outside California, and the amount of money raised by the two sides has exceeded spending on all the other American same-sex initiatives combined.
Calif. Gay Marriage Ban Becomes Big Money Race
Big money pours in from near and far for both sides in California gay marriage ban voting
At least 64,000 people from all 50 states and more than 20 other countries have given money to support or oppose a same-sex marriage ban in California, reflecting broad interest in the race that some consider second in national importance only to the presidential election.
Ten days before the vote on Proposition 8, campaign finance records show that total contributions for and against the measure have surpassed $60 million, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
That would be a record nationally for a ballot initiative based on a social rather than economic issue, campaign finance experts say. It also eclipses the combined total of $33 million spent in the 24 states where similar measures have been put to voters since 2004.
If approved by California voters, Proposition 8 would overturn the state Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriages by changing the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman.
Campaign committees formed to back or battle the amendment were close in fundraising as of Oct. 25, AP's analysis found. Supporters had raised at least $28.2 million; opponents had taken in $32.3 million, closing a fundraising gap that had them $8 million behind a month ago.
The figures for each side are actually higher because small cash donations made since Sept. 30 had not yet been reported.
The measure is likely to attract more money than any race other than the billion-dollar presidential election, judging by campaign-finance data from other high-profile contests. The closest appears to be the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, at $35 million.
"I'm surprised how much they are spending because I would have thought 90 percent of the people would have made up their minds on this issue," said Robert Stern, president of the nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies. "But if this is a close race, that undecided 10 percent will decide the election. Every dollar, in a sense, counts."
The money pouring into the 13 committees promoting or challenging the measure has come from prominent religious conservatives and gay rights activists, Hollywood actors and moguls, teachers and CEOs.
Source: ABC News