SAN FRANCISCO -- At least 64,000 people from all 50 states and more than 20 foreign countries have given money to support or oppose a same-sex marriage ban in California, reflecting broad interest in a race viewed by some as second in national importance only to the presidential election.
Ten days before the vote on Proposition 8, campaign finance records show that total contributions for and against the measure have surpassed $60 million, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
That would be a record nationally for a ballot initiative based on a social rather than economic issue, campaign finance experts say. It also eclipses the combined total of $33 million spent in the 24 states where similar measures have been put to voters since 2004.
If approved by California voters, Proposition 8 would overturn a state Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriages by changing the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman.
Campaign committees formed to respectively back and battle the amendment were close in fundraising as of Oct. 25, AP's analysis found. Supporters have raised at least $28.2 million, while opponents have taken in $32.3 million, closing a fundraising gap that had them $8 million behind a month ago. The figures for each side are actually higher because these totals do not include most donations under $100 and contributions under $1,000 since Oct. 18.