Safety In Numbers

Most Americans Don’t Know Most Americans Favor Marriage Equality

gay_marriage_rings_thSo, yeah, there’s yet another poll out that shows that the majority of Americans support marriage equality. This time it’s the venerable Gallup poll, which for the third time in a year shows that a majority of those asked support same-sex marriage. No surprise there, but there is another one buried in the poll results: what most Americans think most Americans think.

The Gallup results are in line with other recent polls that continue to show that the tide of public opinion has definitely turned on marriage equality. But where the Gallup poll contributes some real insight is how those asked think the rest of the country feels about marriage equality. By a whopping 63%, the respondents think that most Americans oppose marriage equality. In other words, the majority thinks it’s the minority and doesn’t know otherwise.

What accounts for the disconnect? As much as it might dismay pollsters, most Americans don’t spend their days lovingly reviewing public opinion surveys. The real question, though, is how tentative are people in expressing their beliefs if they think most people are against them. Could there be a drag on the momentum for marriage equality if the public think it’s still something only about a third of Americans support? No wonder politicians still seem leery. It may take time for the public to catch up with its own attitudes, but equality would seem a lot more solid if people knew the force of opinion behind it.

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6 Comments

  • MikeE

    It’s not very complicated: the enemies of equality waste no opportunity to shout from the rooftops that the majority of Americans are against equality.

    Obviously, at some point, this will have an impact on the general population, who will start to believe the lies spewed by the Hateful Right.

    Get told often enough that “most Americans are against redefining marriage” and you will start to suspect you yourself are in the minority for believing in equality for all.

  • FStratford

    Even the gays in this forum think that way. Just like HRC, they think the timing is “off” and “we should wait”…

  • Deepdow

    I tend to believe that most people, Americans or otherwise, falsely assume that marriage was invented by religion, when in fact religion merely institutionalized it. No wonder most people equate holy matrimony with marriage. Still, I’m one of those who firmly believes thar all all unions based in love are God approved.

  • Kevin B

    I wonder if the average American is right. It’s not exactly unknown for people to lie to pollsters if they think their opinion might make them look bad. So people tell the pollsters that they support marriage equality, but their friends and neighbors know better.

  • Deepdow

    @Kevin B:

    I would disagree about this particular question, which is by no means personal, but it stands to reason that when about personal sexual orientation, the actual figures for homosexuality and specifically bisexuality, are in fact much higher, because people generally do lie if the focus is on – them.

  • JayHobeSound

    We Americans can be some of the most incurious, uninformed people on the planet.

Comments are closed.