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Polls show Prop 8 losing, but activists are still worried; Spielberg, wife donate $100,000 to save same-sex marriage
Film director/producer/screenwriter Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw, donated $100,000 September 22 to the campaign to keep same-sex marriage legal in California.

Voters will face an initiative November 4 to amend the state constitution to undo the state Supreme Court's May legalization of same-sex marriage.

"By writing discrimination into our state constitution, Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate the right of each and every citizen in our state to marry regardless of sexual orientation," the couple said. "Such discrimination has no place in California's constitution, or any other."

Actor Brad Pitt also recently gave $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign.

Five recent polls have found that between 51 percent and 55 percent of likely California voters oppose re-banning same-sex marriage by amending the state constitution and between 38 percent and 42 percent support it. A Field Poll released September 17 found the lowest level of support to date for the proposal: 38 percent. A Public Policy Institute of California poll released September 25 pegged support at 41 percent.

However, Gay activists say a number of factors could make the polling data inaccurate. According to Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, and other activists, some of those factors are:

o Up to 10 percent of respondents may lie to pollsters on questions where their answer could make them seem bigoted.
o Younger voters, who poll more supportive of same-sex marriage, apparently do not always fill out their entire ballot, skipping, in particular, the propositions.
o The presence of Sarah Palin on the ballot as John McCain's running mate is expected to draw higher numbers of anti-Gay evangelical Christians to the polls.
o All polls have a margin of error of a few percent. In addition, 4 percent to 7 percent of likely California voters remain undecided on Prop 8.
o The polls to date have been public polls, which random-dialed Californians and asked them if they are planning to vote, rather than polls based on voter files.
o And the pro-Prop 8 side is, at the moment, ahead in the fundraising race and has not begun airing its TV ads in earnest.

"Based on what happened in other states and what we know about those who support Prop 8, their ads will undoubtedly be filled with lies and distortions, making false claims that domestic partnership is the same as marriage, making false claims that Prop 8 requires the teaching of marriage for Lesbian and Gay couples in kindergarten, and, if the poll numbers don't move for them, we anticipate we'll start seeing some pretty vicious attacks on our community," Kors said in an interview. "Some of those attacks are going to be hard for our community to watch. It's essential that we have the resources to respond to each of their false claims."

To donate to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8, visit http://noonprop8.com/home.



Activist donates Gay books to Wasilla library
In response to ongoing questions about whether Sarah Palin tried to ban books when she was Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, activist Michael Petrelis from San Francisco has donated two Gay-themed children's books to the Wasilla Public Library.

Petrelis sent the library Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate.

Library Director KJ Martin-Albright told the local Frontiersman newspaper the books will go through a process, then either be placed on the shelves or sold by the Friends of the Library group.

The process looks at such things as the author's reputation, the importance of the subject matter to the library's collection, shelf space and other factors, the Frontiersman said.



More Gay characters on TV this year
The number of GLBT characters on broadcast-TV networks' scripted series has more than doubled in the new season compared with last year, says the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

GLBT representations account for 2.6 percent of all scripted series regular characters in the 2008-2009 broadcast television schedule, up from 1.4 percent in 2005, 1.3 percent in 2006 and 1.1 percent in 2007, GLAAD said September 23.

The study looked at 88 scripted comedies and dramas airing in the new season on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW. It found 16 GLBT characters, compared with seven last season.

"This dramatic increase shows how far many networks have come in developing complex, multilayered Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender characters," said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano.

ABC is offering seven such characters this year, Fox has five, NBC has three, The CW has one, and CBS has none.

The number of non-contract, recurring GLBT characters also has risen this year - from 13 to 19.

"The growing number of recurring characters is another example of the networks' progress towards being more inclusive," Giuliano said. "As the networks gradually add characters from all backgrounds and walks of life to primetime programming, more and more Americans are seeing their LGBT friends and neighbors reflected on the small screen."

On mainstream cable networks, the number GLBT series regular characters has dropped to 32 from last year's high of 40.

The Gay networks here! and Logo have 39 series regular GLBT characters this year.

For full details, visit http://www.glaad.org/eye/ontv/2008/.

With assistance from Bill Kelley
picture above: Michael Urie
picture below:Shawn Py
 

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