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Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos. 2/3-6. Registered voters. MoE 3.1% (1/16 results)

Which of the following best describes your opinion on gay marriage: 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.

         Marry        Civil unions        Neither
All         31 (34)       34 (31)         34 (33)

Dem         46 (53)       30 (24)         21 (20)
Rep         10 (11)       34 (35)         55 (52)
Ind         36 (37)       38 (34)         25 (27)

Lib         67 (78)       20 (10)         11 (12)
Mod         37 (40)       39 (38)         22 (20)
Con          9 (8)        32 (32)         56 (57)

Tea Party   13 (17)       36 (30)         50 (52)
Non-TP      38 (42)       33 (30)         27 (27)

18-29       41 (52)       26 (13)         32 (33)
30-45       35 (37)       29 (31)         34 (29)
46-65       27 (31)       34 (36)         33 (31)
65+         22 (23)       41 (34)         34 (42)

Not much has changed since kos wrote about our initial results on marriage equality last month:

We're going to be asking this question every four weeks, so over the next several years, we should have some fascinating trendlines to look at. For now, this is our own baseline, and not surprisingly, it is conservatives/Republicans/Teabaggers who hate the notion of marriage equality. Also unsurprising -- opposition to equality is directly correlated with age, and as that older generation dies off, it is replaced with the infinitely more tolerant millenials. That's why the rightwing is desperately trying to codify their hate into law and state constitutions -- because they know the march of progress and the changing culture is headed toward a more tolerant future, not less.

One thing to note is that while the top lines haven't changed much, the numbers within groups have changed. That's largely because with sub samples, the margin of error is a bit higher. Fundamentally, not much has changed: an overwhelming majority of Americans support at least civil unions for same sex couples.

Another thing that is fairly interesting is that in all the age cohorts, one-third are opposed to any legal recognition, but younger people are more likely to support full equality than older folks. So it seems that those who are most committed to bigotry might be set in their ways, but within the two-thirds of the country that is more tolerant, there's some flexibility.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:28 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wish "Liberal" support were higher than it is (11+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure how to interpret 67% support. Its nothing to spit at, but I would have expected higher amongst a more "enlightend" sub-group.

  •  IN looking at constitutional amendment against. (8+ / 0-)
    There's two types of reasons for constitutional amendments:

    "This is a princple that is timeless, and should be enshrined in our organic document"


    "This is a principle that is time dated, and will certainly be rejected by the next generation, so we should get it in the organic document in order to tie their hands and we are still the boss long after we are dead and gone, fuck you kids."

    Silly Kids! New Years is for Rabbit!

    by Inland on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:33:36 AM PST

  •  every 4 weeks? (6+ / 0-)

    I don't think this will fluctuate so much that this is necessary. I'd like seeing a poll every six months and then ask other questions every 4 weeks, such as, "are you still a jerk?". I'd like us to have a dkos jerk index.

    •  Seems much too frequent for me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      decembersue, Matt Z

      any change is going to be static.

      Cultural changes like this take long periods of time, a monthly snap-shot is probably not going to show much change.

      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -- George Bernard Shaw

      by Inspector Javert on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:38:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  best to take average on subgroups (0+ / 0-)

      Since the polling is way more often than needed to track slowly changing opinions, we can lump successive polls together to get better pictures of the subgroup opinions. In this case, that means that 65+ are more strongly in the "no rights" category than are other groups. The interpretation that the 65+ changed significantly in a few weeks is implausible.

      Michael Weissman UID 197542

      by docmidwest on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 01:30:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is great and everything (0+ / 0-)

    but how the hell do these state constitution amendments keep passing?

    If apes evolved from humans, why are there still humans?

    by Bobs Telecaster on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:38:40 AM PST

    •  Because our states aren't terribly democratic? (0+ / 0-)

      It's not like even a majority vote in most elections -- so it's not even arguable that referendums or state elections reflect the "will of the majority".

      Many countries require one to show up at the polls -- you can refuse to vote, but you don't get an advantage over those who do, in order to make the elections democratically legitimate -- aka, not dominated by a small number of fanatics.

  •  I will say it again (12+ / 0-)

    people who support civil unions are people who support marriage but don't know it yet.

  •  Let me just say (8+ / 0-)

    Civil Unions are second rate and a mark of second class citizenship.  I will NEVER enter into a civil union because I am an American and I am equal regardless of sexual orientation.  Civil Unions are not marriage.  And they never will be.  

    I might add too that polling on civil unions is stupid.  Why?  Because it only lowers the amount of support in polls for true equality.  Thus, it gives a another weapon to conservatives to attack LGBT people.  Civil Unions are not an adequate option, they're really not on the menu at all.  I do not support them, I will not support them, and they do not represent equality but a symbol of inferiority and special status.  

  •  Does anyone know (0+ / 0-)

    if any Republican has ever sponsored any civil rights legislation in the last 30 years?  

    "Children lack morality, but they also lack fake morality." Mignon McLaughlin

    by djbender on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:45:48 AM PST

  •  THE PROBLEM IS.. (0+ / 0-)

    The problem is that many democrats have learned that with gay marriage comes mandated desegregation in schools.

    Recent talk of instituting instruction in elementary-level health classes of gay sex as normal has spooked a visceral reaction among even those people who previously identified as "liberal".  And yet in order to fully complete the psychological transition to accepting gay marriage, naturally gay parents must be acceptable to peer groups of their children.  

    Many gay advocates were worried about this snag and apparently it has happened.  Any thoughts about how to mitigate people's fears that teaching gay sex as normal doesn't necessarily mean teaching gay sex itself to young straight kids?

    •  What are you talking about? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AUBoy2007, bythesea

      Recent talk of instituting instruction in elementary-level health classes of gay sex as normal has spooked a visceral reaction among even those people who previously identified as "liberal".

      Really?  Do you have an example of this?

    •  What is gay sex? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I imagine it's oral and anal sex, sort of the same things that many heterosexuals practice.

      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -- George Bernard Shaw

      by Inspector Javert on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 12:02:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lesson plans for sex ed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      straight sex ed - use condoms to prevent disease and pregnancy, lube is your friend, especially if you engage in anal, be careful if you wear braces while giving a blow job or cunnilingus, ensure your partner enthusiastically consents every step of the way, a feather is kinky but using the whole chicken is perverted.

      gay sex ed - use condoms to prevent disease, lube is your friend, especially if you engage in anal, be careful if you wear braces while giving a blow job or cunnilingus, ensure your partner enthusiastically consents every step of the way, a feather is kinky but the whole chicken is perverted.

      The only difference I see between 'straight' sex and 'gay' sex is that by definition, pregnancy is not a concern among homosexual couples. Everything else is pretty much the same because hey guess what? Straights engage in oral and anal sex as well.

      Next question?

  •  Ha! (6+ / 0-)

    I like how the Tea Party pretends to be bi/non partisan and all about economic conservatism, and yet 50% of them don't think gay people should even have the right to enter in to a legal partnership.

    Proud supporter of nuclear power!

    by zegota on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:46:18 AM PST

  •  I feel as if we've reached a tipping point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, CajunBoyLgb

    in the last few months regarding equal rights for LGBT.  But still, to see that one out of three young people are still opposed to either marriage or civil unions is disheartening.

  •  Michelle Bachmann gets out of bed (5+ / 0-)

    every day with sheer dedication on how to repeal Obama's health care law. Well.......*i* get out of bed fucking EVERY morning fighting for gay marriage.

    Where are the jobs, Mr. Boehner? As a very proud gay male, I am proud of the DADT repeal and am hopeful that gay marriage and ENDA will be law one day.

    by SimonBarSinister on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:52:57 AM PST

  •  This is why... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, CajunBoyLgb, Inspector Javert

    We make laws about these things.
    Voter's do not have societies best interests in mind only their "beliefs".
    Which is why we legislate the big items like slavery and MediCare.
    We are to short sighted and mean to do the right thing as individuals.

    Every time.

  •  Every Day, Another Way, Most Americans Are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, RandomSequence, Julie Waters

    too purity lefty to be in the serious conversation.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:54:01 AM PST

  •  65% favor civil unions for some sex (4+ / 0-)
    speed reading skilz, I haz em


    Responsible people leave neither loaded guns nor paranoid, eliminationist ideologies laying around for the mentally ill to play with.

    by KenBee on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:55:50 AM PST

  •  It is the civil rights issue of our time. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, CajunBoyLgb

    This is the politics of anti-Libertarianism. This is the way of true freedom and civil rights.

    No one is free under a system where repressive minorities infringe on the rights of the individual, legislating their particular brand of morality upon the majority.

    This is true for sanctimonious pro-lifers who are even against RU 486, and it is certainly true of Christian fundamentalist evangelicals & homophobes who would turn this nation into an armed camp permitting GLBT people to be persecuted.

    This is also what happens when you elect a President by a landslide and he turns himself into a moral wuss pursuing change by some evolutionary standard and poorly educating his constituents about issues in code. We have been ready to fight the good fight for years. Obama's tenure has only made me readier. If that's been his objective - driving us crazy - he has certainly succeeded.

  •  Thank you so much Democrats!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AUBoy2007, CajunBoyLgb

    Why, almost a FULL HALF of you think I deserve marriage equality!  How could I ever think of sitting out an election of voting 3rd party.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:58:20 AM PST

    •  Liberals, even self-described are the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AUBoy2007, CajunBoyLgb

      greatest ally and I think that "self reporting" is part of the issue.  This is a bedrock issue of civil rights and anyone calling themselves liberal should be ashamed to fall under the niether category...hell, they should feel ashamed to fall under the domestic partnership category.

      "If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."- J. Danforth Quayle

      by Sychotic1 on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 12:12:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but the fact is, they aren't...and of course Conservatives are against us almost to a man.  I look at how far we've come, and just get depressed looking at how far we have yet to go to achieve anything close to equality.

        Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

        by lostboyjim on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 12:37:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Do civil unions get you benefits? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, CajunBoyLgb

    We know that even for couples in states that recognize same sex marriage, they still don't get the federal benefits available to heterosexual couples. They may get certain state benefits such as deductions on their state tax return or the ability to file jointly.

    Employer-provided health insurance is an example of the unfairness. While a company may provide coverage for that same sex spouse, the couple must declare the value of the coverage on their federal tax return. Not so for the heterosexual couple.

    DOMA has to be repealed or found unconstitutional for same sex marriage to truly be equal but even if it is, I doubt they'd ever say civil unions are equivalent to marriage.

    I'm concerned that if civil unions become the rule, people are going to say "well, we solved that" and there will never be equality.

    •  In Vermont, theoretically (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, bythesea

      civil unions provided all the same benefits as marriage.  Full marriage equality doesn't change a lot about the legal benefits conferred, but they provide legal standing for when DOMA is repealed.

      •  But in Practice... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sorry, but civil unions are NOT treated equally under the law in practice.

        For that matter, thanks to DOMA those of us who ARE legally married still suffer grossly unequal treatment in basically every aspect of our lives.

        My husband and I have set up a living trust for ourselves since we can't rely on being treated with respect and dignity as a same-sex couple outside of California and a few other states. It's humiliating that we have to beg and plead for even miserable hints of some kind of fair treatment of our relationship, while a drunk opposite-sex couple can stumble into the Little White Chapel in Vegas and get hitched and take on those 1,138+ rights and responsibilities enumerated in Federal marriage laws.

        It's bullshit. Pure and simple. And I want my marriage to be treated equally under the law. RIGHT. FUCKING. NOW.


        by CajunBoyLgb on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 12:59:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in practice, they are not the same.

          I also am aware that whether or not I want the federal government to recognize my marriage, it's not quite there yet.  We're getting there.  We've made significant progress towards same sex marriage on the federal level but we are not yet at the point where we can make it happen.  

          We'll get there, but there's a lot of work yet to be done.

  •  Right wingers... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, Matt Z
    ..this is a culture war you have lost.

    To all the lurking teabaggers & right wing Fixed News mavens take this to heart:  You have lost the culture war on gay rights in America.

    The army now determines gays as exact equals to their heterosexual counterparts.  That must really stick in your craw, Beckheads.

    Even before a baby boomer like me dies, the majority of states in the U.S. will have legalized gay marriage.

    That must really piss off you, Palinistas.

    I can see why all of your right wing hacks & puppets in congress are so obssessed with abortion:  Because they realize the gay rights culture war has been won by the liberals.  

    So they are hysterically trying to "save" abortion before "pro-life"  becomes the new DADT.


  •  While I have the chance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    let me restate my objection to the three part question. There is no reasonable middle ground: either you support equality or you do not.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 12:15:36 PM PST

    •  I agree in one way (0+ / 0-)

      but the point is gauging where the population is not what we prefer.  Civil Unions are an inferior option for us imo too, but they do exist as an option in the real world (IL and soon HI, as well as in other countries that don't have full ME yet) and keep in mind in most other countries there is no state/federal distinction which makes the whole "second class" aspect a purely symbolic one, when here it is much more impactful since anything short of federal recognition cuts off a great many rights and benefits that are specific to the federal level.

  •  And remember, PPP does not include cell phones (0+ / 0-)
    in its sampling, so they are most likely understating support for gay marriage and civil unions, and definitely overstating opposition among the youngest age group.
  •  From the Onion (6+ / 0-)

    Future U.S. History Students: 'It's Pretty Embarrassing How Long You Guys Took To Legalize Gay Marriage'

    "Children lack morality, but they also lack fake morality." Mignon McLaughlin

    by djbender on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 12:30:02 PM PST

  •  It's a Bit Disheartening... (0+ / 0-)

    If you look at the data, the support for full marriage equality actually softened over the four weeks. What has happened to make people less supportive of equal rights for law-abiding, tax-paying US citizens?

    What the hell makes us LGBTQ folk so damn scary to idiot Americans?!?

    And so-called liberals who don't support full marriage equality should get their Liberal Cards taken away-- and then they should be taken back behind the shed for a good whippin'.

    Every day, another kick in the gut from the God-fearing psychotic religious wingnuts who are now in Full Panic Mode. And I'm losing hope. I'm losing energy for the fight. I'm tired of America withholding its promise of Equality and Justice for All. I'm tired of the qualification "except for you icky homos and lesbos, eeewwwwwwww!".


    by CajunBoyLgb on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 01:09:13 PM PST

    •  Teaching gay sex in schools I think.. (0+ / 0-)

      I've been hearing a lot of discontent about new programs aimed at desegregating schoolkids by teaching in health classes in Montana and Alameda, CA that gay parents are normal.  

      There are plans to implement the teaching of anal sex, oral sex and other forms of non-reproductive sex as normal to kids.  I think this is where the hangups are.  A lot of otherwise rational parents were already iffy about just teaching reproductive sex at school. I think the additions are really making them squirm.

      Even usually supportive people get up in arms when it comes to their kids.  I wonder how it can be pitched to straight parents where they won't get fearful that a "gay curriculum" is being taught?

  •  Civil Unions vs Same Sex Marriage (0+ / 0-)

    Anyone know the difference between the two?

  •  The polls diverge from elections (0+ / 0-)

    I honestly don't understand how gay rights poll so well and end up failing so consistently at the ballot box. Either people are lying to the pollsters or the majority is being outvoted by a motivated minority.  

    Which one it is I don't know...but I honestly don't doubt where the opinion in this country is trending and that is to the side of justice.

    •  Another possibility (0+ / 0-)

      At the moment, there are no active ballot campaigns regarding marriage equality, so it's an "abstract issue" to most people. When a campaign becomes active, marriage equality becomes a "concrete issue" to many people and that can often change their preferences.

      It's like back in the late 90s when polls showed that if a vote for President were conducted on that day, Colin Powell was the overwhelming favorite. But a lot of that support was because people didn't perceive Powell as a politician, a perception that would necessarily change if he actually ran for office.

      If you Google "headache brain tumor", you will come away convinced that your headache is actually cancer—Seth Mnookin

      by ebohlman on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 06:07:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the feedback (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think you're on to something. Perhaps it's only a "concrete issue" when it's your sister or aunt or neighbor that is made a second class citizen. Difficult problem.

        •  In general, our biggest problem (0+ / 0-)

          is that our support is "soft" (abstract) whereas our opposition is "hard" (concrete). The majority is generally pro-gay on most issues, but for most of them it's not something that they really care about personally (to the point of expending time, money or effort in support of us). The opposition does tend to take it personally, and is willing to work for their beliefs.

          If you Google "headache brain tumor", you will come away convinced that your headache is actually cancer—Seth Mnookin

          by ebohlman on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 08:11:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Polling Can Be Tricky (0+ / 0-)

      It also depends on where the polls are taken.  For instance, if you polled people in blue districts and used that data to represent "how american people feel", you wouldn't be lying, not really.  Because those districts are in America.

      And lots of times it's unfortunate.  You can't really plan a strategy if you're deceiving yourself.  

      Both sides of the aisle do this too.  They use polls to reflect "reality" when reality doesn't reflect the polls.  The healthcare issue is a famous one that conservatives manipulated. "Most people aren't in favor of Obamacare" is true.  They just neglect to tell you why it's true.  Most people believe it didn't go far enough.  So taken at face value, the GOP isn't lying.  But it is a lie nevertheless when looked at from a distance as a whole.

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