The California Supreme Court gave gay rights advocates a major victory in May, ruling the state's constitution guarantees same-sex couples the same marriage rights as opposite-sex pairs. Thousands of same-sex couples from California and around the country have already taken advantage of the decision to obtain legal recognition from California for their unions. Opponents, however, have placed on the state's Nov. 4 ballot a constitutional amendment that would deny marriage rights to same-sex couples by defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Similar proposals are on the ballot in Arizona and Florida. The ballot-box showdowns come as nationwide polls indicate support for some legal protection for same-sex couples, but not necessarily marriage equality. In California, one early poll showed support for the ballot measure, but more recently it has been trailing. Opposing groups expect to spend about $20 million each before the campaign ends.
CQ Researcher Gay Marriage Showdown v.18-33