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CNN Poll is First To Show Support for Gay Marriage

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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:46 PM
Original message
CNN Poll is First To Show Support for Gay Marriage
Source: 538

A landmark of sorts was achieved today as CNN just came out with a poll showing a 52 percent majority of Americans agreed with the statement that "gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law as valid." Some 46 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement.

CNN also asked the question in a slightly different way to half its respondents, omitting the term "should" from the question above, i.e. "Do you think gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law as valid?". Using that phrasing, 49 percent said yes and 51 percent said no.

Combining the two subsamples has 50.5 percent of Americans in support of gay marriage and 47.5 percent opposed: just about the barest possible majority. But a majority nevertheless, something that no previous poll had shown. An ABC/Washington Post poll from April 2009 had come the closest, showing a 49/46 plurality in support of gay marriage rights; a few other polls had also shown gay marriage to the plurality position when respondents were given a three-way choice of marriage, civil unions, and no legal recognition. But no national poll, save for one debatable case with highly unorthodox phrasing, had shown it to the the majority position.

Polls, of course, have a margin of error, and needless to say it is not yet safe to say that support for marriage equity has become the plurality, let alone the majority, position. At the same time, it is probably also no longer safe to say that opposition to same-sex marriage is the majority position, and it is becoming dubious to call it the plurality position. Opinion on the issue, instead, is close to evenly divided, with results varying somewhat depending on things like question wording. It may be noteworthy that CNN tends to find slightly higher levels of support for gay marriage with a question that is explicitly framed around constitutional rights, echoing arguments that are very much at the center of the ongoing legal case against California Proposition 8.

Read more: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/08/cnn-poll-is-firs...



Here's the link to the actual results: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/11/rel11a.p...

Would've linked to CNN, but their title of "Americans Split Evenly on Gay Marriage" wasn't quite as descriptive of this important landmark.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:51 PM
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1. Awesome. nt
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. Just like the polls about the New York mosque ...
Polls don't matter on issues of freedom.

Fareed Zakaria said something that really dug deep on such issues. In response to Rose's question about polls that showed a majority opposed to the mosque, he replied (paraphrasing here): "Well, that's what's remarkable about our Bill of Rights. It's actually anti-democratic (in a good way). The founders determined that basic rights, like religion (or in the case of our discussion here, rights that give equal protection to all people, regardless of sexual orientation to marry) are inviolable. People don't get to choose. No poll or referendum or vote can take away these rights."

So it doesn't matter, in the end, whether people support gay marriage or not. The question is whether our Constitution provides rights to all. And that is what will be decided legally. And the answer should obviously lead to equal marriage for all. It helps that people have evolved to that position on their own, but (as George Bush used to say), who cares what people think. Same goes for the mosque: they can say 95% of the people are against it: but we have freedom of religion in this country.

I hope I'm being clear here. Because I think the media's elevation of polls to the exclusion of all else is misleading. We need more focus on civil rights as defined by the law.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. It all comes down to the definition of rights. nt
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. The term "majority" is vague and non-descript.
Remember when over 70% of the public wanted a Public Option during the health care debate, and yet we were constantly informed that a "majority" disapproved of a public option.
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