MJR : CALIF PROP 8 CAMPAIGN
|23| Calif. gay marriage ban a $73M race Nov. 3, 2008 By LISA LEFF • Associated Press Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) S pending for and against a ballot initiative that would outlaw same-sex marriage in California has surpassed $73 million, almost twice the total that was spent in the 24 states where similar measures were put to voters since 2004, campaign finance records show. Opponents of Proposition 8 had a slight lead in contributions as of Monday, having raised $37.6 million. Supporters of the gay marriage ban had raised $35.8 million. A little less than $33 million was spent on campaigns to pass or defeat gay marriage bans in the 24 states where they appeared on ballots in 2004, 2005 and 2006, according to the National Organization on Money in State Politics. Experts have said the California measure has become the most expensive social issue campaign in U.S. history and is the costliest election this year outside the race for the White House. About 30 percent,or $22 million, of the donations reported by supporters and opponents of Proposition 8 have come from outside the state, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. The most most-of-state money has come from Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints has encouraged faithful Mormons to support Proposition 8. Of the $3.6 million in Utah contributions, $2.6 million has gone to committees backing the measure. Of the $51 million given by California contributors, less than $550,000 separated the totals raised by the two sides in the emotional election. The latest polls suggest the outcome of Tuesday’s vote could be equally close, with voters inclined to back and those intending to oppose Proposition 8 separated by as little as five points. The respective campaigns, which have argued in recent weeks over what the measure would do and who it would hurt, grew even more contentious on Monday. The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement criticizing a Yes on 8 spokesman for making a comparison between what gay marriage opponents face and the tactics of Adolf Hitler. The sponsors of the gay marriage ban shot back by criticizing a new ad from the No on 8 campaign that compared the discrimination facing same-sex couples to the internment of Japanese- Americans during World War II. Clerks offices throughout the state reported issuing large numbers of marriage licenses on Friday and Monday to same-sex couples who opted to tie the knot in case the initiative passes.
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