The Agenda

78 percent of Californians support gay partnership rights

A new Field Poll finds a slim majority of California voters support marriage rights for same-sex couples, and nearly 80 percent support some form of legal recognition.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the poll found 51 percent of respondents in favor of marriage equality, a two percentage point increase over a similar Field poll last year.

When civil unions are added to the mix, 44 percent support full marriage rights, while 34 percent say they prefer civil unions.  Just 19 percent reject any legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples.

The Chronicle reported:

Marc Solomon, the marriage director of Equality California, which works to secure legal protections for gay people, said that the poll results were “great news” because they showed an increase from last year’s Field Poll when 49 percent of voters approved of same-sex marriage. A Public Policy Institute of California survey released in March also showed a growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, with 50 percent of participants supporting same-sex marriage and 45 percent opposing it.

Still, Solomon acknowledged that the Field Poll showed a narrow margin and that Equality California needs to continue its outreach to voters before 2012, when supporters hope to get another initiative on the ballot.

“We’re certainly not resting on our laurels and we certainly have work to do,” Solomon said.