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CNN Poll is First To Show Majority Support for Gay Marriage

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racaulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 03:42 PM
Original message
CNN Poll is First To Show Majority Support for Gay Marriage
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.

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SocialistLez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:10 PM
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1. I'm still very skeptical
There has yet to be a state to approve same-sex marriage by the ballot box.
California was close but I think they are one of the few states with a citizenry that is okay with same-sex marriage.

Once a lot of people in the 65+ age group die off, I think we'll see gay rights really advance.
That is not to say ALL 65+ people are bigots (I know a lot of people tend to put words in my mouth so I'm just trying to shut them up right there with that sentence) but pollsters have found those 65+ are a huge group that have a problem with same-sex marriage. There is a reason when you see these anti-gay rallies, you mainly find elderly people there.
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racaulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Oh, I'm skeptical as well.
There is definitely a disconnect between the opinion that is communicated to pollsters and the opinion that is expressed at the ballot box. I think a part of it is because that the anti-equality side is much more motivated to get out and vote than the pro-equality side is, which leads to their side experiencing victories in elections. I think also ShadowLiberal below has a point in that people may not express their true opinion to pollsters as to not out themselves as homophobes, but are more willing to vote against marriage equality measures when they know their vote will be anonymous. Regardless, I think the fact that we have a poll showing majority support is noteworthy, even if that doesn't yet translate to ballot box victories.

And you're right, as older folks die off and as younger people become eligible to vote, we will start to see growing acceptance for marriage equality on the whole. It's only a matter of time. :hi:
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hurrah -- not just a right, but a constitutional right.
Of course this is important only in signaling a trend -- it will not soon have much impact on politics.
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ShadowLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. That's great news, looks like we're darn close to a 50/50 split nationally
Definitely good news in the poll, but lets keep in mind that polls have shown that when it comes to gay marriage bans that most of the 'undecided' voters in those polls seem to vote for the ban on election day, probably because they're too ashamed to admit their bigotry to pollsters. The support for gay marriage however has been consistently very accurate on gay marriage ban votes however.
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