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Willisms

« The Social Security Debt Filing Cabinet (a.k.a. "The Trust Fund"). | WILLisms.com | Lessons From The Schiavo Memo Fiasco. »

The Mainstream On Gay Marriage.

A recent poll that went largely unreported:

gaymarriagepoll.gif


Meanwhile, support for a Constitutional amendment reached new contemporary highs, while opposition to such an idea reached new lows:

gaymarriageamendmentpoll.gif


The Public Brewery blog has some problems with the poll, however, or, rather, with The Washington Times' reporting of it.

Daly Thoughts concurs that the numbers in The Washington Times' story were "cherry picked... to make the movement appear more stark."

We really have no problem with the way The Washington Times framed the story, because, cherry picked or not, the numbers are stark. There are very real majorities of Americans, a very large mainstream made up of more than the "far-right," who oppose gay marriage.

However, we have a very real problem with the poll itself. Only 443 and 466 individuals were surveyed in the recent respective poll questions. As we noted before, any poll with under 600 respondents is one you can pretty much throw out.


Nonetheless, the mainstream on gay marriage does seem more traditional and conservative than many make it out to be.

Here are how some of the states' referenda on the issue have broken down:

57-43 = Oregon.

59-41 = Michigan.

62-38 = California.

62-38 = Ohio.

66-34 = Utah.

67-33 = Montana.

71-29 = Kansas.

71-29 = Missouri.

73-27 = North Dakota.

75-25 = Arkansas.

75-25 = Kentucky.

76-24 = Georgia.

76-24 = Oklahoma.

78-22 = Louisiana.

86-14 = Mississippi.

Kansas, incidentally, just re-affirmed its ban on gay marriages this week.

UPDATE:

More, from Mark Noonan:

What I've seen, greatly to my astonishment, has been a growing and hardening of opposition to gay marriage over the past few years. I was one of those conservatives who were resigned to gay marriage; I just didn't see how we could fight effectively against it when any efforts so mounted would invariably be condemned as "homophobic" bigotry. It seems to me, however, that the people have taken a hand; for whatever reason, the people just don't want to accord the union of same-sex couples the status of marriage; and they are unafraid to speak and vote their minds on the subject.

Posted by Will Franklin · 6 April 2005 01:48 PM

Comments

"There are very real majorities of Americans, a very large mainstream made up of more than the "far-right," who oppose gay marriage."

And on this, I concur wholeheartedly.

My objection with the WashTimes story is not over framing the matter that there is substantial objection to gay marriage; that is almost beyond question. My objection was that they framed it so as to make there appear to be movement, when I am pretty sure there has been no movement.

Posted by: Gerry at April 6, 2005 01:58 PM

You're absolutely right. Movement on any issue is rare, and there's really no exogenous shock to have caused such movement.

If anything, the numbers appear to have sort of gradually moved back to earlier levels, after a brief spell of belief among the general public that gay marriage was inevitable and imminent (thus, opinion shifted toward more acceptance, to "get on the bandwagon"). That's now receded, and the old numbers have sort of reemerged.

But then again, the poll has so few respondents, it is difficult to say with any certainty what the exact levels of public opinion are/were at any given time.

I'd be more interested in the regional differences, racial differences, gender differences, etc. But again, not enough data to make any conclusions.

Posted by: Will Franklin at April 6, 2005 02:08 PM

I am for gay marriage. I believe that a gay couple should have every opportunity as a straight couple... I would hate to think I couldn't be married to my husband if it were the other way around! it makes me sad to think anyone would be discriminated against in our country today. I know I am going to get alot of disagreements on this subject but I just feel it is important.

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 6, 2005 02:25 PM

I agree with both Will Franklin and Gerry that the polls are clear on this: a majority of Americans do not support same-sex marriage.

On the subject of demographic differences in support, however, one of the most intriguing findings is the age gap on same-sex marriage. In the polls that I've seen, younger respondents are considerably more pro-same-sex marriage than are older respondents.

If that gap persists (a big "if," to be sure), then demographic replacement (less polite term: dying off) will eventually reverse the majority. I'm talking decades here, though, not from poll to poll.

Of course, if there's an amendment to the U.S. Constitution by that time (another big "if"), then the new majority will face a difficult task in overturning the amendment. After all, the amendment process is all about supermajorities.

Posted by: Paul Brewer at April 6, 2005 03:50 PM

But of course the polls are irrelevant. What do the judges think?

Posted by: Ralph at April 6, 2005 05:32 PM

I agree that the majority of Americans do not agree with Gay Marriage. The question is not whether they are right or wrnog, but is it right or wrong for us to tell them what they can and can't do. US, in this case, meaning those of us who disagree with it. I don't agree with Gay Marriage but I don't think it is right to force my religious views on someone else.

Posted by: Joseph (Advocate of Democracy) at April 6, 2005 06:54 PM

I don't agree with the homosexual lifestyle but it is not my place to enforce my religious views on others.

Posted by: Joseph (Advocate of Democracy) at April 6, 2005 07:00 PM

Although the message is clear, the polls show that most American's oppose same-sex marraige, it becomes irrelevant for several reasons. First on a legal level it is up to the judges. And second on an opinion level, I believe that everyone should be able to separate themeselves from there own personal lifestyle and be mature enough to recognize others live differently then they do.

Posted by: Carly Franklin at April 6, 2005 07:21 PM

Personal and religious beliefs aside!...I have to say homosexual marriage in america would be ok! As long as they are tax paying hard working individuals like us all. I believe no person of legal age should be denied the right to marry just because of sexual preference...I love this country! I believe this is something we all should consider just because homosexuality is something that isn't really a choice...I am sure there will be many debates and disagreements on this issue!

Posted by: Claire at April 8, 2005 03:11 PM