CBS Poll: support increases for couples

Timothy Kincaid

August 27th, 2010

CBS has a new poll out which asks a slew of questions on a broad range of subjects, and a few of them related to gay issues.

Relatedly, today NOM’s Maggie Gallagher whined about Ken Mehlman’s support for marriage equality:

Supporting gay marriage, however, is a very different and very public matter… The American people — including over 80% of Republicans and even 40% of Democrats — oppose same-sex marriage. NOM has already proven in races from New York to California that it is a particularly bad idea for Republicans to support gay marriage.

First up was marriage:

q57 Which comes closest to your view? Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry, OR
gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry, OR there should
be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship?

40% – Allowed to legally marry
30% – Civil unions
25% – No legal recognition
5% – don’t know / no answer

We are now seeing some consistency to support for full marriage equality. In April, CBS reported 39% in favor of equality, and this confirms that April’s response was not a fluke.

But more importantly, the opposition to any legal recognition appears to be weakening For quite some time, nationally the polls have revealed a fairly even 1/3 split between marriage, civil unions, and nothing. At 25% is the lowest I’ve seen reported in the “nothing” category.

As for Maggie’s assertions about Republicans, they just don’t seem to hold up to the facts (like so very much that she says). Actually, Maggie and other opponents of gay couples also appear to be losing their sole demographic.

According to this poll, only 37% of Republicans oppose all recognition, while one in four Republicans now support marriage equality with an additional 34% opting of civil unions. Considering that well over half of Republicans now support couple recognition, this may well help us understand the party’s silence on both of the recent Massachusetts and California judicial decisions and the “congratulations” response to Kel Mehlman’s recent decision to come out. And Maggie’s increasing appearance of anger and depression.

Next came DADT:

q58 Do you favor or oppose permitting gay men and lesbians to serve in the military? Do
you favor/oppose that strongly or not so strongly?

54% – Favor strongly
21% – Favor not so strongly
10% – Oppose not so strongly
9% – Oppose strongly
6% – Don’t know / didn’t answer

No real surprises. As we have long known, large majorities of Americans favor gay service personnel (including 70% of Republicans). This number is up about 5% from earlier this year, mostly from the undecideds.

What is interesting is that 61% of Americans who have served or are currently serving in the military agree (sorry, Elaine Donnelly).

But then CBS skewed their own survey by asking the question a second time, but this time emphasizing “openly announcing their sexual orientation”.

q59 What if they openly announce their sexual orientation? in that case would you favor
or oppose permitting gay men and lesbians to serve in the military?

This is odd phrasing; “openly announce” suggests some form of aggressive activism.

Further, by asking again, CBS implies that this should change your answer. Any time a pollster asks, “yeah, but what if…” it will almost always result in some who question their first response and instinctively change it.

The poll would have been much more accurate had it simply asked the first question with the word “openly” before gay. I very much doubt that q58 would have had different results, as that is what most people would think they were answering anyway. But by asking a second loaded question, the “favor” numbers dropped by 11%.

Lindoro Almaviva

August 27th, 2010

NOM has already proven in races from New York to California that it is a particularly bad idea for Republicans to support gay marriage.

Oh, thank Jesus! I thought that she was going to say who their Summer tour proved unequivocally how people across this nation support denying marriage rights to gay people.

Hi Maggie! Yep, that was still a failure. No, you have not proved anything. Wait, I take that back, you do have proved something: Your organization is a complete failure and your ideas will be extinct sooner than the humpback whale.


August 29th, 2010

VT’s experience with civil unions from 1999-2009 destroys the arguments put forth by NOM and others against SSM. NOM opposes civil unions for all the same reasons it opposes SSM. Yet if any of the dire consequences that NOM predicts had come to pass in VT, support for civil unions would have plummeted. If VT schoolkids were being indoctrinated and taught about gay sex acts, if Christians were losing their jobs and if churches were losing their tax exempt status, the only issue in VT would have been how quickly to amend the constitution to eliminate civil unions. None of that happened. Instead, support for gay marriage rose and 2/3 of the legislature voted for it. Similarly, as can be seen in last week’s NY Times article on state-by-state support for SSM, support for gay marriage rose in MA, IA, CT, and NH. If anything that NOM says was remotely true, support would have gone down.

At this point, MA schoolkids should be entering their 7th year of gay sex indoctrination, but support goes up.

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