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Poll finds California voters evenly split on gay marriage

Four months after the passage of Proposition 8, a new opinion poll released Tuesday shows California voters almost evenly divided over same-sex marriage but significantly more accepting of it than just three years ago.

"It's a general progression toward accepting same-sex marriage over time," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll.

The survey asked how respondents would vote if a new constitutional amendment allowing same-sex marriage qualified for a future ballot.

They essentially split on the issue with 48 percent saying they would vote to allow gay marriage, 47 percent saying they would vote against it, and 5 percent undecided.

The survey of 761 registered voters was taken between Feb. 20 and March 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Last November, 52 percent of voters approved Proposition 8, which changes the state's constitution to declare that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid. The Proposition 8 campaign began after the California Supreme Court ruled last May that a 2000 anti-gay marriage initiative – which was not an amendment to the constitution – was unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court is reviewing challenges to Proposition 8 and must rule by June whether the more recent measure passes constitutional muster.

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