ONTD Political

Opponents of same-sex marriage struggle to explain why polls have turned against them

9:55 am - 03/27/2013

The Gaying of America

Opponents of same-sex marriage struggle to explain why polls have turned against them.


The struggle to protect family values from homosexuality is starting to feel a bit lonely. In the last five years, eight states have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples. After years of winning ballot measure fights, gay-marriage opponents went 0-for-4 in November. Scores of Republican luminaries have signed a brief urging the Supreme Court to declare a constitutional right to marriage regardless of sexual orientation. And two weeks ago, for the first time, a sitting Republican senator, Rob Portman of Ohio, endorsed same-sex marriage. Behind these developments lurks an ominous trend: Gay marriage, once a fringe idea, is now backed by a majority or plurality in nearly every poll.


What the opponents fear next is that these setbacks might influence the Supreme Court. Those mushy-middle justices might decide that the country is ready to accept gay marriage as a constitutional right. This conclusion has to be squelched. Forget the poll numbers. Forget the election results. Americans are dead set as ever against same-sex marriage. Here’s how the right intends to set the record straight.




  1. "The polls are skewed.” That’s what Gary Bauer, the president of American Values, said yesterday on Fox News Sunday. Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, points to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, which asked whether “it should be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian couples to get married.” That question, Sprigg explains, is biased because Americans “shy away from making things ‘illegal.’” (FRC also claims that a Reuters/Ipsos survey, which deflated support for gay marriage to 41 percent by including civil unions as a third option, was biased by Reuters’ efforts “to push that number higher.”) The unbiased approach, according to opponents, is to ask whether "marriage is between one man and one woman"—i.e., to avoid mentioning gay people at all.

  2. We won 30 states. Marriage “tests very differently at the ballot box than it does in a poll,” says Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. The difference, Sprigg argues, is that in ballot measure fights, “both sides are fully aired.” And what’s the record in ballot measure fights? Thirty to three in favor of traditional marriage, its defenders report. They leave out November’s loss in Minnesota, which actually makes the record 30-4. But the four defeats are the most recent votes. So the difference between winning and losing isn’t whether it’s a poll or a ballot measure. The difference is time. Opponents are using the cumulative record, going back decades, to hide the fact that the tide has turned against them.

  3. Yeah, we got swept in November. But barely. “My side had 45, 46 percent of the vote in all four of those liberal states,” Bauer notes proudly. In a post-election analysis, Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, blamed the defeats on “political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states.” Brown neglected to mention Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all of which voted for President Obama, despite having been targeted by NOM as “presidential swing states.”

  4. Blame the elites. NOM and other opponents have long claimed to represent ordinary Americans against liberal judges. Have the recent ballot measures and polls chastened them? Not a bit. They insist that “media elites,” “cultural elites,” and “major donor elites” are corrupting the polls. Bauer says “a lot of people are changing their minds because there's been a full-court blitz by the popular culture, by elites … to intimidate and to cower people into no longer defending marriage.” Sprigg adds, “It’s not surprising that younger voters are somewhat more likely to support marriage redefinition than their elders. After all, they have been subjected to a drumbeat of support for it from the news media, entertainment media, and higher education for literally as long as they can remember.” Brown thinks polls undercount his Republican sympathizers: “How many more young conservatives probably support true marriage but are intimidated by their liberal college environment and peer pressure into hiding their pro-marriage views?” These cowed supporters of traditional marriage—apparently poor, uneducated, and easy to command—are hiding in the closet.

  5. We still own the GOP. So what if opposition to gay marriage is no longer a majority position among voters generally? It’s still a majority position among Republicans. Reed, Perkins, Rush Limbaugh, and other opponents have fallen back on this argument, warning party leaders that any retreat will trigger a fatal walkout by social conservatives. NOM, unable to assure Republican politicians that opposing same-sex marriage is a safe position in a general election, threatens them instead with defeats in their primaries.

  6. Polls are shifting back in our favor. FRC says the Post survey is old news:
    "Just two days ago, news outlets were plastering its poll results of 'record' backing for same-sex 'marriage' on their websites—only to see the support vanish as quickly as it appeared. Today, the Reuters Corporation released the results of an even bigger poll than the Post's and found that only 41% of America supports [gay marriage]. … In 48 hours, we've seen a 17-point swing in public opinion on marriage."

    How did 17 percent of Americans turn against gay marriage in 48 hours? They didn’t. The Post poll was taken from March 7 to 10. The Reuters poll was taken from Jan. 1 to March 14. So the shift, if there was one, went the other way. In truth, you can’t compare the two questions, since one offered a middle option and the other didn’t. But you can examine trends within each survey over time. Every single polling organization shows same-sex marriage gaining ground.

  7. Young people will drift our way as they age. Perkins argues that “history—and most statistical data—shows that young people tend to become more conservative and more religious as they grow up, get married, and start families of their own.” Beyond age 23, “people become increasingly religious—meaning that a hasty retreat on marriage may score cheap points now, but it would actually alienate the same people later on.” But the data behind this analysis pertain to religion, not homosexuality. And there’s no precedent, in any generation, for the level of support today’s young people express for same-sex marriage.

    Nobody knows whether public support for gay marriage will continue to rise at the same rate. This issue might go the way of interracial marriage, or it might get bogged down like abortion, assisted suicide, or single parenthood. But it’s clear that over the last several decades, homosexuality has become widely accepted, and opponents of same-sex marriage have now lost their grip on public opinion. The question going forward isn’t how many more states will ban same-sex marriage, but how many of the bans already passed will survive, and for how long.



Source: Slate
executivehpfan 27th-Mar-2013 05:13 pm (UTC)
They insist that “media elites,” “cultural elites,” and “major donor elites” are corrupting the polls.

Really. REALLY NOW.

This fucking right-wing pressed fest over gay marriage rn. I can't.

nesmith 27th-Mar-2013 09:56 pm (UTC)
What's really amazing to me is how they keep using that same argument over and over and over and over. It hasn't worked, not once (because of course the "elite corruption" is all in their heads) and they keep using it, as if maybe this is the time it'll work and make sense and be true!

At this point we're verging into "clinical definition of insanity" territory.
ultraelectric 27th-Mar-2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
“history—and most statistical data—shows that young people tend to become more conservative and more religious as they grow up, get married, and start families of their own.”

I find this very offensive. I get that, I've heard these studies and to a degree I believe that most people do become more conservative as they get older pertaining to certain things (ie money, things like that). However, my generation (I'm 24) and everyone 30 and under, we aren't going through a "support same-sex marriage"-phase, this isn't a rebel phase we'll regret when we hit whatever age or when we get married. Our family and friends who are LGBTQ aren't going to suddenly change their sexual orientation as they get older and become straight. When I'm in my 60s I'm not going to look back on my younger years and be "wow, I was such a dumb ass for supporting marriage equality for all".
thesilverymoon 27th-Mar-2013 05:46 pm (UTC)
Agreed. A lot of adults I know have gotten more fiscally conservative they older they get, that's true, but the vast majority of them have gotten more socially liberal. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of republicans that I know only vote that way because of fiscal issues.
I mean, look at my grandmother--82 years old and only 40 years ago she wouldn't let my father hang out with one of his friends because she suspected the friend might be gay.
Now my grandmother is accepting of my cousin who is openly gay and is staunchly in favour of gay marriage.
mutive 27th-Mar-2013 05:25 pm (UTC)
young people tend to become more conservative and religious as they grow up

Eh, not so much. (At least unless Perkins can find a better study to quote.) Older people just start from a more conservative position to begin with.
happythree 28th-Mar-2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
Yep, I'm pretty sure this is what I heard from my former prof. Young people now are of a generation that supports gay rights and thus makes the older folks look like conservatives if they don't, even if that position wasn't required for someone who's in their 70s to be considered a liberal back when they first developed political consciousness.
brittlesmile 27th-Mar-2013 05:29 pm (UTC)
This issue might go the way of interracial marriage, or it might get bogged down like abortion, assisted suicide, or single parenthood

Wait, what? Sorry if I'm really ignorant of something going on, but one of these things seems much less divisive than the others.

Obviously the whole thing is bullshit. Tho I am loving the "Gaying of America" title.
yesthatnagia 28th-Mar-2013 04:28 am (UTC)
I can't tell you how many people have been surprised I've "turned out so well" for growing up in a "bnroken" family. And you know, my family's got its own issues of huge fuckedupitude on both sides, but broken? All because my mom spent most of my childhood unmarried?

There does seem to be a large amount of vitriol aimed at non-traditional families in this part of the US South. Heaven forfend someone imply that a household might be better off without a husband/father or that a child will turn out okay under a single mom (and suggesting that two moms would be okay could probably result in an angry mob).
lovedforaday 27th-Mar-2013 05:57 pm (UTC)
Young people will drift our way as they age.

I've seen this talking point from O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Bryan Fischer and it makes no sense. Even if younger people do become more conservative as they get older, there's no guarantee they'll be as conservative as the old people before them. And you know who replaces young people who become old? More young people. Who's to say the new generation of young voters won't be as liberal, or even more liberal than, their predecessors.

But the data behind this analysis pertain to religion, not homosexuality. And there’s no precedent, in any generation, for the level of support today’s young people express for same-sex marriage.

They seem to believe everyone who's a Christian is socially conservative, but that may be just from them being in their bubbles and their belief that only real and true Christians are them.

Edited at 2013-03-27 06:00 pm (UTC)
violetrose 27th-Mar-2013 06:19 pm (UTC)
their belief that only real and true Christians are them.

This is exactly what they think, trust me. I believe it is one of the reasons Christianity is haemorrhaging members as a whole.
jocelyncs 27th-Mar-2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
I've been wondering about it myself and imagining/hoping that maybe the economic downturn and the healthcare debate caused a shifting of priorities and perspective enough to make a lot of people realize, "Hey! I have other things to worry about than what complete strangers are doing in their bedrooms! What they do in their bedrooms and who they marry does not affect me in any way, so why do I care when I can't find a job/pay my medical bills?"

Too optimistic?
lovedforaday 27th-Mar-2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
probably.
wrestlingdog 27th-Mar-2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
 photo i9Siz7b_zps5df8925e.gif
astridmyrna 27th-Mar-2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
Yaaaaaas.
spyral_out 27th-Mar-2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
tbh even if DOMA is overturned, this entire DOMA-SCOTUS circus has me so humiliated and ashamed of the US right now.

This basically covers it
http://www.theonion.com/articles/supreme-court-on-gay-marriage-sure-who-cares,31812/

Just ... go fuck yourselves, you tiny-brained hate-bots. And you wonder why your shit-ass religion is DYING.

Edited at 2013-03-27 06:13 pm (UTC)
underlankers You tell 'em Boromir: 27th-Mar-2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
FUCKEM
world_dancer 27th-Mar-2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
Sigh.

You know what? At this point, it sounds like a concrete ruling on Gay Marriage could only help Republicans. It would take the ball away from them so that some small percentage of crazies on their team would go away and middle of the road Republicans might actually consider voting for them during the mid-terms.

They need to just drop it already.
astridmyrna 27th-Mar-2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
stay pressed photo: stay pressed tumblr_ma2apyMUZx1roya0s_zps59529770.gif
zinnia_rose 28th-Mar-2013 03:28 am (UTC)
A+++++++
eyetosky 27th-Mar-2013 08:02 pm (UTC)
"Beyond age 23, 'people become increasingly religious—meaning that a hasty retreat on marriage may score cheap points now, but it would actually alienate the same people later on.'"

So you admit that your opposition is rooted entirely in religious bias and should therefore be thrown out by the Supreme Court with much laughter?

funny-gif-pervert-face-girls
jjona_lol
flk6tz
afghan-phone-o
dancitydancedance
elobelia 28th-Mar-2013 12:28 am (UTC)
Funny, because my old church was busy clutching their pearls and saying that you HAVE to convert people while they're young, because once they get into college the chances of them becoming Christians drops significantly (I WONDER WHY). Which one is it?
satellite__eyes 27th-Mar-2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
moonbladem 27th-Mar-2013 09:15 pm (UTC)
Yep, keep convincing yourselves that you're not racing headlong towards irrelevance. I'll be here at the finish line drinking Republican tears.
amyura 27th-Mar-2013 10:42 pm (UTC)
#7 is my favorite. In high school, I was a libertarian asshat until about senior year, though I always supported Democrats over Republicans politically. In college, I was center-left. When I started working, I was solidly liberal. Now my beliefs tend toward the left end of socialism. So much for that.
elobelia 28th-Mar-2013 12:28 am (UTC)
Same here. My family is full of libertarian/ultra-conservative idiots. As soon as I got away from them and into the real world my outlook changed drastically.
i_amthecosmos 27th-Mar-2013 10:53 pm (UTC)
Another reason NOM, American Values, and other groups are losing public support: THEY ARE RUDE ASSHOLES. Most of them don't stop at not wanting gays to marry, they don't want gays to exist. When one side of an issue can't even recognize the other's right to be a part of society on any level, eventually that's going to rub most people the wrong way.

Even moderate to conservative people have a threshold for arrogant nastiness.

Edited at 2013-03-27 10:53 pm (UTC)
blackjedii 27th-Mar-2013 11:12 pm (UTC)
baaaaaaaaaaawwwww
darth_eldritch 28th-Mar-2013 02:23 am (UTC)
Wah wah wah

Republicans are so fixated on making people live their way, no wonder they are losing traction as time goes on.
apostle_of_eris 28th-Mar-2013 05:33 am (UTC)
I knew we were going to win when I saw Ellen DeGeneres in an American Express ad. Amex sells IMAGE, and if they think Ellen will get them traction with their target demographics, then we're over the worst of the struggle.
wrestlingdog 28th-Mar-2013 11:45 am (UTC)
Why do I keep feeling like that's an Onion headline?
lizzy_someone 28th-Mar-2013 10:38 pm (UTC)
Brown thinks polls undercount his Republican sympathizers: “How many more young conservatives probably support true marriage but are intimidated by their liberal college environment and peer pressure into hiding their pro-marriage views?”

I'm lucky enough to live in a place where this sometimes actually happens! And it absolutely warms the fuck out of my bitter little queer heart. Even if I still don't always feel comfortable with openly being queer, at least I get to enjoy the fact that some people don't feel comfortable with openly being a bigot.
zinnia_rose 28th-Mar-2013 10:53 pm (UTC)
The real reason polls are turning against you is because YOU'RE WRONG. Imagine that.
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