Haters Lead Prop 8 Fundraising

The right-wing has surged into the lead in the contest to raise money over the Proposition 8 battle.

Proponents of Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage, raised about $3.7 million from Jan. 1 through June 30, according to state filings. In contrast, gay-rights activists who oppose the measure raised about $2.5 million through June 30. The groups are battling over a divisive ballot measure slated for November that would amend the California constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, thus barring same-sex marriage.

The measure was put on the ballot after the state’s Supreme Court said in May that a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. That paved the way for the legalization of gay marriage in California on June 17.

The voting on Proposition 8 will be close, pollsters predict. Fifty-one percent of Californians are likely to support same-sex marriage and oppose the ballot measure in the November election, according to the most recent Field Poll in July. Forty-one percent of voters said they would vote yes on the measure and oppose gay marriage, according to the same poll.

According to Thursday’s filings with the Secretary of State, the Protect Marriage coalition, the biggest committee backing Proposition 8, raised approximately $2.6 million through June 30. Other supporters of Proposition 8, including the National Organization of Marriage-California, raised about $1.1 million over the same period. Gay-rights activists say they gained fund-raising momentum in July, which is not reflected in Thursday’s filings. “Just this month, we have raised approximately another $2 million,” Dale Kelly Bankhead, campaign manager for No on Prop 8-Equality for All, wrote in a release.

Out of state money continues to play heavily in the battle, with 33% of the money supporting the ban coming from outside California.