Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Monday, April 27, 2009

Poll Accidentally Shows Gay Marriage Gaining Ground

Posted by on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Pastor Gary Randall, president of the anti-gay group Faith and Freedom, has released a poll that was supposed to show voters would support a referendum to repeal the recently passed domestic-partnership bill. “If I didn’t believe [the referendum] would pass, I wouldn’t put the work into it,” Randall said two weeks ago. “We’ll make the poll public when we get it, unless it's so ugly that I don’t want to tell anybody.” But the results are out, and, ironically, they show growing support for gay marriage but show nothing about domestic partnerships.

The survey asks, “In your opinion, should homosexuals be allowed to legally marry?” Here is how the 405 Washington voters answered:

Yes — 43%
No — 50%
Didn’t know or no answer — 7%

Conducted by Elway Research, the poll shows an unmistakable trend of growing support for marriage equality. Another poll paid for by Faith and Freedom and conducted by Elway Research in 2005 found that only 35 percent of voters supported allowing gays and lesbians to marry (.pdf). By October of last year, the University of Washington found that 37 percent of state voters supported same-sex marriage (.ppt). But now—after the hoopla over Prop 8, the approval of marriage in Vermont and Iowa, and the passage of Washington’s third domestic partnership bill—support for marriage equality has jumped.

“That is incredibly good news,” says state Senator Murray (D-43), who sponsored the domestic partnership bill. “It indicates that things are moving in our direction.” He adds, "I don’t think we are decades away. I think we are just a few years away from same-sex marriage in this state.”

This poll, however, provides no indication of how people would vote for the domestic-partnership bill, if it’s placed on the ballot via referendum. Polling by the UW last year found that 66 percent of state voters support either full marriage equality or all the rights of marriage for same-sex couples.

But Faith and Freedom, as evident by this poll, probably plans to confuse the issue between marriage and domestic partnerships. The Washington Values Alliance, which Randall says is “very involved” in the referendum effort, ran television ads in March, claiming the bill would "redefine marriage” and result in "teaching that gay marriage is normal and healthy in public schools."

“They know that if they are honest and admit that domestic partnerships are neither the legal equal equivalent of marriage nor confer the dignity of marriage they have no way of creating public opposition to domestic partnerships,” says Josh Friedes, spokesman for Equal Rights Washington, which supported the domestic-partnership bill. “I don't believe the public will be easily fooled.”

 

Comments (15) RSS

Newest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
15
The underlying problem facing conservatives is that they have no rational argument against marriage equality beyond "I don't like Gay people, and neither does my God." followed by "But we've never done that."

Unfortunately, the NO on 8 campaign tried to win with a junior high civics class instead of making the issue about real people and the real impact of inequality on their families.

News flash: this debate is about Gay marriage. Present real people instead of the civics lesson, and most people will see and quickly understand the real harm caused by denying equality.
Posted by gary47290 on May 13, 2009 at 7:34 AM · Report this
14
The underlying problem facing conservatives is that they have no rational argument against marriage equality beyond "I don't like Gay people, and neither does my God." followed by "But we've never done that."

Unfortunately, the NO on 8 campaign tried to win with a junior high civics class instead of making the issue about real people and the real impact of inequality on their families.

News flash: this debate is about Gay marriage. Present real people instead of the civics lesson, and most people will see and quickly understand the real harm caused by denying equality.
Posted by gary47290 on May 13, 2009 at 7:33 AM · Report this
13
The underlying problem facing conservatives is that they have no rational argument against marriage equality beyond "I don't like Gay people, and neither does my God." followed by "But we've never done that."

Unfortunately, the NO on 8 campaign tried to win with a junior high civics class instead of making the issue about real people and the real impact of inequality on their families.

News flash: this debate is about Gay marriage. Present real people instead of the civics lesson, and most people will see and quickly understand the real harm caused by denying equality.
Posted by gary47290 on May 13, 2009 at 7:32 AM · Report this
12
I am Social Libertarian/Fiscal Conservative and I think that if you are in a commited relationship with someone of either sex and are willing to accept the tax and other drawbacks of marraige you should be allowed to do so. At its essence in marraige in America is a legal contract between 2 parties. You should be able to inherit your partners property, make medical decisions and you should have the honor of paying more taxes thanks to the IRS rules etc. etc. etc. The time has come for this to happen. After it is done it doubt we will ever hear about it again.
Posted by kelly_foster on May 9, 2009 at 12:17 PM · Report this
11
Another interesting thing to note about the poll is that the majority of the respondents were over 50 (63 percent) and retired (37 percent). Which makes sense if cell-phone respondents were not a part of the survey—indeed, per Stuart Elway himself (via an e-mail exchange), “We called only land lines.” Pollsters need to get their shit together and start including cell-phone numbers in surveys, especially since cell-phone-only-ers tend to be much more liberal. As of mid-2008, 17.5 percent of Americans depend solely on cell phones (up from 13.6 the year before). I bet that number is only growing in These Hard Times.

As for the old folks, only 11.7 percent of people in Washington State are over 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimations for 2007. This data isn’t completely comparable (the census isn’t limited to registered voters like the survey is, the age groups are a little different), but the point is clear. The growing support for gay marriage in Washington State is probably even higher than this poll indicates, considering its tilt toward the old and cell-phone-less.

Randall and his ilk will be gone soon. As Dan so eloquently put it, “Old people are the real villains… and they’re dying, which is some comfort… We’re going to outlive, outlast, and outsmart the bigots.”
Posted by Jesse Vernon on April 28, 2009 at 9:47 AM · Report this
10
The only chance for action for the far right is NOW. If they wait, the next showdown will be marriage, when being the issue.

The Mass. and Vermont situations show us that people adapt very quickly - the sky did not fall - and in neither state is there any more popular political traction to the right on marriage.

On the long term, we are sitting pretty.

In a low turnout, off year, if they can get the signatures, it could be a very hot fight on a Ref. on domestic partners. They need money and resources now .... will they show with the signatures??, I doubt it. Thus far, all bluster for many years.

Eyman is for hire, but, that relationship is busted. Calif. anti gay operative would work here, but, only for tons of money.

Remember - people LIE on polls about feelings about gays, the bigot factor.

An old term that means a lot when talking about polling data. The actual sample is also very critical and can tip results in all directions.

Stay tuned is the word.
Posted by Ace on April 28, 2009 at 2:16 AM · Report this
9
If the Gary Randall and Faith and freedom folks manage to turn this into a referendum on GAY MARRAIGE, and they lose, what the fuck will they do then? They run the risk of hastening the end result they fear.
Posted by seabear on April 27, 2009 at 7:54 PM · Report this
8
Another thing to keep in mind while drawing conclusions from these polls is the fact that the precise wording of questions dealing with controversial topics can have great effect on the results.

In this case, using the term "homosexuals" instead of "gays and lesbians" or "same sex couples" may have skewed the results to produce more "no" answers.
Posted by Matty on April 27, 2009 at 6:01 PM · Report this
7
@5 -- Funny.

As we discussed ad nauseum on Slog, their side has a plurality, not a majority.

20% of the respondents were from the East side of WA, only 12% from Seattle, that might be a good sign, too.
Posted by Tizzle on April 27, 2009 at 5:31 PM · Report this
6
I hear you, Matt from Denver. I've had all I can take.
Posted by Dominic Holden on April 27, 2009 at 5:27 PM · Report this
5
I think the troll may be right. There may be a limit to how much gay marriage news can be processed in one day.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 27, 2009 at 5:16 PM · Report this
4
Thanks for the post.
Posted by kim in portland on April 27, 2009 at 4:32 PM · Report this
3
Well, considering today's WaPo national poll shows those people willing to self-identify as GOP is down from 25 to 21 percent, I'm guessing those who hate gay marriage are literally dying off.

And that is a good thing.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 27, 2009 at 4:32 PM · Report this
2
The best part is that if the referendum makes it on the ballot its not going to say "GAY MARRIAGE Y/N? But "Concerning Domestic Partnerships". The phrase gay marriage won't appear anywhere in the title or official description.
Posted by sgiffy on April 27, 2009 at 4:12 PM · Report this
1
So Senator Murray basically got a big pat on the back for holding back on a marriage bill? And the results of the Domestic Partnership question were too ugly to reveal? And support for marriage is growing?

If they want to take this to marriage, we can take this to marriage. If it's pointed out that the few hundred rights granted by these measures pale in comparison to the well-over-1000 denied federally, I'm sure there's going to be a nice neutralization of their "BUT IT'S MARRIJ!! THEY STOEL MARRIJ" argument.
Posted by Baconcat on April 27, 2009 at 3:45 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Advertisement
 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy