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Queer Town: Gay Marriage Supporters Behind in Fund Raising

Yesterday, the "No on 8" campaign sent out an urgent email to their supporters asking for $200,000 in the next 48 hours, and with good reason.

According to the most recent campaign contribution reports from the California Secretary of State, supporters of the anti-gay marriage November ballot measure have raised $16.2 million in their effort to pass Proposition 8. Opponents have brought in $10.8 million, which is still a sizable chunk of money.

But Dale Kelly Bankhead, who signed the email as campaign manager of "No On 8," writes, "We must match what is raised dollar for dollar with the right wing; if we do not, we are at serious risk of losing this November."

The email also warns opponents of Prop. 8 of complacency due to recent polling numbers that show Californians seem to favor legal same sex marriage. Interestingly, in an online tracking system created by the LA Times, donations from Los Angeles County, where many of the state's wealthy gays and lesbians reside, total only $1.8 million. The money tracker also shows that supporters of the gay marriage ban have raised nearly 7 million more dollars in California than its opponents.

Bankhead writes: "You've probably heard that the polls show our side ahead. Some are saying that victory for our side is a sure thing. Don't be fooled! This race is too close to call. The ugly truth we have learned from defeat after defeat in states across the country is that people lie on polls, especially about how they feel about LGBT people. In contest after contest, from Wisconsin to Colorado, we have gone into election day with polls showing our side with 7 to 10 points more support than we actually received at the ballot box."

On October 15, when absentee voters in California start to mail in their ballots, the decision to keep or ban same sex marriage will begin...as will the TV and radio ad campaigns to win over the minds and hearts of those voters. Money will be crucial for either side to get out their messages. Karen Ocamb, news editor at In and Frontiers magazines, has an excellent article on A-list gays who have been missing in the same sex marriage fight.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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