And more gay marriage polling…

More polling today, this time from Essential Research, on same-sex marriage.

This 53% support, 36% oppose result is less decisive than the 62%/33% result recorded by Galaxy Poll in October.

There were differences in the questions, with Galaxy prefacing its question by telling respondents that gay marriage already existed in other countries. Perhaps that helped sway respondents without strong views.

And as is often the case the polling technology probably made a difference with don’t knows of 11% for the online survey and 5% for the phone poll, where respondents have less obvious opportunities to give a neutral response.

‘Soft’ opinion seems to be leaning towards the pro-gay marriage position.

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In the papers this morning Roy Morgan geographic research on how people perceive the morality of homosexuality and their views on gay adoption. It helps explain why Julia Gillard, who is unlikely to be personally against gay marriage, is taking a politically cautious approach to it.

14 Responses to “And more gay marriage polling…

  • 1
    steve from brisbane
    November 16th, 2010 07:25

    Andrew, I’m not sure if you have covered this before or not, but is the issue of what is and isn’t a “gay marriage” possibly confusing things in surveys here? People probably think of the British situation as “gay marriage”, but technically it is a civil partnership which has the legal consequences of marriage. But I suspect that if you avoided the “m” word in survey questions, there might be even less resistance. (Although, on the other hand, if people saw “civil partnership” ceremonies in England, they would probably assume that “gay marriage” is an appropriate term for what already exists.)

    I am also curious as to how the Tasmania experience with their Domestic Relationships recognition. Given that it is available to couples of all sexuality, I assume that it might have an even better chance of doing well in a survey.

    BTW, I don’t want to give the impression I am sympathetic to gay marriage. I remain amazed that people today think that marriage can just be redefined to mean something it has never meant before since the beginning of society. Postmodernism has been much more successful that it realised.

    I agree with much of this 2005 essay which might be well known, for all I know, but I only read it recently.

    http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005244.htm

  • 2
    john malpas
    November 16th, 2010 08:08

    Have you questioned the attitude to ‘ gay marriage’ of the various religions?

  • 3
    Andrew Norton
    November 16th, 2010 09:06

    Steve – There was some polling on civil unions a few years ago, with results less favourable than gay marriage now. But that may be because opinion generally on these issues has moved on.

    As for marriage being ‘redefined’, I believe this is far less radical than that. I don’t think it will change the character of the modern love marriage at all. I won’t rehearse the arguments I have made in other posts. But I think the key question people need to ask themselves is whether preventing gay marriage will really help marriage, families or children; or is it just needless nuisance and cruelty to gay couples and their dependents? I think it is the latter.

    BTW, your link was not working when I tried it.

    John – Obviously, many religions are against it, in line with their theological views on homosexuality.

  • 4
    steve from brisbane
    November 16th, 2010 09:35

    That’s odd. The links looks OK, I’ll try it again.

  • 5
    Andrew Norton
    November 16th, 2010 09:56

    It’s working for me now. Nicely written, but it does not sway me. The mechanisms by which marriage generally will be harmed remain very obscure; the benefits of gay marriage are clear. Enough reason to do it.

  • 6
    conrad
    November 16th, 2010 10:30

    “I remain amazed that people today think that marriage can just be redefined to mean something it has never meant before since the beginning of society. Postmodernism has been much more successful that it realised.”
    .
    Yes, now instead of postmodernism, we have right-wing revisionism instead, where some people now simply ignore history and pretend that gay people haven’t been getting married in one form or another across the millenia.

  • 7
    Andrew Norton
    November 16th, 2010 10:39

    Conrad – I’m willing to concede that history is on the conservative side; while diligent historical research can turn up a few past examples of sanctioned ‘ gay’ relationships they have not been a significant part of Western history.

  • 8
    conrad
    November 16th, 2010 11:24

    “while diligent historical research can turn up a few past examples of sanctioned ‘ gay’ relationships they have not been a significant part of Western history.”
    .
    I imagine only diligent research can turn up examples of extended periods of time when women had equal rights to men (both legally and culturally), which doesn’t mean the steps we’ve made to rectified this for the last 50 years or so were bad (you can insert any number of groups here: gypsyies, conquered indigenous peoples, various religious groups, etc., or if you want sillier examples, this is the first time in history we all live in cities and sit in front of computers all day).
    .
    (that comment isn’t directed at you incidentally — just the people that think mob-rule throughout history is evidence that something should be kept the same way).

  • 9
    Baz (da Ordinary Aussie)
    November 16th, 2010 13:10

    The best thing about all this ‘gay marraige’ business, is that if it goes ahead, it mighten lessen the need for all the laws around ‘de factos’. It’s crazy – I just can’t believe that I’m up for half my assets to the missus if she ever wants to leave – and I aint even married!
    Where did I sign up for this???

  • 10
    conrad
    November 16th, 2010 15:44

    Baz,

    you should have got a trade in at 1 year and 11 months.

  • 11
    fxh
    November 16th, 2010 19:51

    It is possible that the “don’t knows” really mean “I don’t care” or ” It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other” **

    There fore that 11% could well be added to the 53% YES making it 64%.

    ** Not everyone has to have a black and white opinion on everything.

    and given that probably 10 % would say no a free lolly or to anything then 64% isn’t to bloody bad

  • 12
    john malpas
    November 17th, 2010 05:43

    Go on – tell us what the moslems say.

  • 13
    Baz (da Ordinary Aussie)
    November 17th, 2010 11:04

    John – wtf? – not every issue concerns I-slam you know.

  • 14
    Andrew Norton » Blog Archive » And yet more gay marriage polling…
    November 22nd, 2010 04:58

    […] Fairfax broadsheets this morning have the third recent gay marriage poll, with the usual pattern – a small but safe majority in favour, and a bit over a third […]