Reader comments · Analysis: Did the Catholic Voices poll show a Britain opposed to gay marriage? Not really · PinkNews

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Analysis: Did the Catholic Voices poll show a Britain opposed to gay marriage? Not really

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  1. Amen.

  2. it’s often said that the general public would support bringing back hanging if they were given a free vote. So the opinion of the general public is often more retrogressive than that of Parliament. It’s one of the reasons why law-makers should follow their conscience and not be the slaves of public opinion.
    in this case, as you say, I do not think the poll was representative. if the majority of the public in comparable countries supports marriage equality, i can’t see any reason why England would be different.

    1. I don’t necessarily agree that the public are more retrogressive. Some people would like us to believe that’s the case, because it suits their ideology, but I disagree. You used the old “the public would bring back hanging if we gave them a vote on it” argument, and yet if you compare the two (now closed) competing petitions on the government’s website – one in favour of bringing back capital punishment ( and the other in favour of retaining the ban on capital punishment ( – the latter petition had received far more signatures than the former, despite it not being around for as long, and both of the petitions closing at the same time.

      I agree with this article, that it was entirely how the questions were asked. If the public were given a straightforward question of “Do you believe that same-sex couples should legally have the right to civil marriages?” the results would be very different.

    2. Spanner1960 9 Mar 2012, 7:33pm

      One has to take these views with something of a broader brush. Sure many would agree with bringing back hanging, (myself included), but one has to weigh up the general consensus of the population with what is considered acceptable within an (apparently) civilised society. The problem is everyone loves to bandy the word “democracy” around, as long as it coincides with their own opinions; as soon as it deviates from that they start preaching “human rights” or some other set of rules. You cannot have your cake and eat it. You, (or at least the majority) voted these people in, so you have to abide with their decisions, whether these are right or wrong. The alternative is either a dictatorship or anarchy. Take your pick.

  3. It’s not “gay marriage”, it’s equality. Our society is just and supports the idea that citizens should be treated equally under the law, or it is not. There is no special “gay” consideration. It’s nothing more or less than people demanding equality.

  4. It’s not Gay Marriage, it’s marriage. I don’t have a gay birthday, or drive a gay car, or have a gay job. I have a birthday, a car, a job and I want to get married.

  5. It was very obvious that it was rigged.

  6. Brilliant article which very clearly nails what’s wrong with this nonsense.
    Thank you.

  7. opening paragraph of the original article linked within this one is

    A ComRes poll commissioned by Catholic Voices has found that 70 percent of two thousand people agreed marriage should only be available to a man and a woman.

    Surely 2,000 people does not represent the whole of the population of the UK and of those 2,000 polled how many were catholics and how many non denomination.

    i’m a married hetero woman who has no problem with same sex marriages and to be perfectly honest i know far more that don’t have issue with it than do.

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Mar 2012, 12:02pm

    We shouldn’t expect transparency from the Roman Catholic church regarding this poll. Let’smake no mistake, just because they believe they are “christians”, doesn’t automatically make them honest. I’m quite certain the poll was skewed favouring the catholic point of view.

    I’m also convinced that 70% of the population at large aren’t opposed. This poll makes no sense whatosever.

  9. Funny how the Catholic Voices poll contradicts not just the audience reaction on last night’s Question time, but a similar online poll carried out two days previous in the Daily Telegraph, which no-one would imagine is biased towards a liberal demographic.
    The questions were pretty loaded in this instance, even before the sample group was taken into account.

    1. It was perfectly clear on Question Time last night that almost all or all of the audience either actively supported equal marriage or felt it was not something they were opposed to and welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate equality and fairness in the UK.

      Its perfectly clear from this well written article that there are good reasons to have concern as to the integrity of the evidence found.

      In any event whenever opinion polls are done there will always be one or two which skew an unsurprising result (usually due to odd methodlogy, loaded questions or dubious analysis of results). This may well be one of those dodgy opinion polls. The overwhelming evidence is that the populus support fairness. However, even if they didnt human rights and protecting minorities should not be left to the decisions of a majority, referendum or opinion poll. It is a governments duty to ensure fairness, impartiality and protection of minorities.

  10. Sir Humphrey Appleby says it all –

    – from about 1:00 minute in :D

    1. Brilliant sketch which, like this article, sums up the whole poll as being as about as believable as … transubstantiation.

  11. I didn’t see anything in the first article on this subject that said this was an on-line poll. Now that this has been revealed I see no reason to give this any credibility.

    This poll will be fodder for anti-equality organizations to feed to their supporters but will be largely ignored by any objectives news organization.

  12. They were lying of course.

    But that is par for thecourse for the catholic cult hierarchy.

    Look at the way that the catholic cult told barefaced lies to the police, authorities, society etc about the fact that large number of catholic priests were involved in the industrial scale rape of children for years.

    Lying is 2nd nature to the catholic cult.

    1. Don’t tar all people in the catholic ‘cult’ with the same brush

      1. When I say catholic cult I mean the catholic hierarchy – from the pope down to the child-raping priests.

        I am well aware that lay people who identify as catholics are in fact more likely to suipport marriage equality than among other mainstream religions.

  13. Andrew Grant 9 Mar 2012, 1:30pm

    With the greatest of respect, despite all the talk about equality, heterosexual marriage and the (intended) gay “marriage” – have vast differences. The mechanics of sex, for example. The ability to biologically produce children is another. With these two significant differences, why get so hung up on trying to make it the same?

    In the eyes of the law, a civil partnership is already an equivalent legal union and gay partners are not legally disadvantaged. Unfortunately, one cannot change the biological/ physical aspect that comes with nature. It is not equal from that perspective. Why not leave the semantics alone in order to preserve the biological distinctions that are inherent in the different type of unions.

    1. Your post is utterly irrelevant.

      Civil marriage is a civil contract. It is a civil right that is denied to same sex couples because they are gay.

      It is a civil rights issue – nothing more, nothing less.

      You shall remain free to not marry someone of your own sex,.

      Babbling on about ‘bioogical /physical aspects’ is utterly irrelevant.

      Or are you asking that infertile straight couples be denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage because they are infertile?

      1. Sorry David, you got there before me!

    2. What on earth are you talking about, what about heterosexual couples who are unable to procreate, are their marriages not as valid as those heterosexual couples who can have children. Surely the important point is that marriage should be a union between two adults who love each other irrespective of whether they can have children or not. There are plenty of biological differences in marriage as it currently stands. By giving gay and lesbians equal footing doesn’t diminish marriage at all, indeed many heterosexual couples get together and have children before they even consider marriage, if they do at all. Try not to get to hung up and obsessed on the mechanics of sex, it’s love that brings people together and giving gays and lesbians equal marriage rights won’t lead to the end of the institution of marriage or the end of the human race as we know it.

    3. Starting a discourse with “With the greatest of respect” or similar usually translates as “With the greatest of (dis)respect” and unfortunately you haven’t disabused me of this Andrew.

      So, for people who are for one reason or another unable to have sex or children are out of the running for marriage in your book…

      …as indeed are people of intersex but then, I guess you didn’t consider that particular aspect of your biological determinism.

      And you say “With these two significant differences, why get so hung up on trying to make it the same?” Indeed! So, using your words, “Why not leave the semantics alone” and treat Everyone with equality and fairness that respects them as people and their right to marriage; not as pawns in some fatuous game of scapegoating for quasi-religious fundamentalists for whom sexual obsession appears to border on the pathological…

  14. Exactly.

    1. Huh? I agree with article.

      1. I suppose many thought you were responding to the previous comment. How unfortunate!

  15. Awesome article. Good work PN! :)

  16. A brilliantly written article. Excellent stuff.

  17. Catholics and Christians lie and will do anything to stop gays and I do mean anything, wake up LGBT people the enemy are Christians who are no longer Christians but people who have joined forces with Satan to destroy people. They have lost their way and become the very evil they have been fighting if no where else but in their twisted minds and Christians have failed to stop what they think is evil and now they will target anybody they think is their enemy.

    1. Don Harrison 10 Jun 2012, 9:26pm

      Well the Catholics still need to recover from their sexual and other abuse of kids.
      I am an out Gay Christian (C of E)
      Look at

  18. It really, really annoys me when same-sex marriage is referred to as ‘gay marriage’ – it isn’t always the case that both participants are gay!

    Also, why is it that opposite-sex marriage is taken for granted, and seen as a right, yet for same-sex marriage you have to actively campaign for it? The injustice is disgusting.

  19. They are very devious! Next step is they excommunicate anyone in favour of equal marriage.

  20. Derek Williams 9 Mar 2012, 5:00pm

    Called “leading the witness” in a court of law.

  21. John Lameck 9 Mar 2012, 5:46pm

    I wouldn’t believe anything the Catholic Church states as gospel. That poll was probably done among church supporters whom they knew would reply the way they wanted them too.
    This is the reason that todays generation are breaking away from the Church in vast numbers. You’ve got a bunch of OLD fogey’s running it who hid all the clergy that had sex with boys and girls. I was one of those kids.

  22. Here is an article with the text of the letter to be read out in RC churches on Sunday and a video of one of the RC Archbishops reading it out.

    Appalling prejudice and indoctrination.

  23. It’s possible to read any sufficiently ambiguous statistic in any way you want, with a little imagination.

    This article, while good, perhaps doesn’t help much except calming us who want equality, by telling us things might be ok after all.

    What’s perhaps more telling is the accumulated statistic of many polls with different wordings and different samples. That shows a trend for supporting equality, and that is what gives me hope.

    1. I think you’re being unfair to the article. It doesn’t tell you that things might be okay. Read the last paragraph. Rather, it merely asks how reliable the poll methodology and its findings are. And, the article begins by reviewing the different polls that have been conducted. Surely, it’s rigorously researched?

  24. If you disagree with the poll findings, then engage another pollstar to conduct a poll for you. That is how intelligent people behave. You cannot use your views, no matter how strong they are, to contradict a poll. For now, the poll reflects public opinion untill otherwise shown

    1. Are you kidding? If a poll has bad methodology, and is badly conducted, then how can it be representative? The article doesn’t disagree with the poll findings, it questions how the poll was conducted, and how reliable the poll findings are? Read before you comment, for god’s sake!

    2. We already have a recent polls showing 61% of Christians and 70% of the general population in favour of equalising marriage …

      A poll conducted with poor methodology, commissioned by a biased organisation with loaded questions is about as relevant as used tissues.

    3. Commander Thor 10 Mar 2012, 10:48pm

      Done. I just polled 10 of my mates at the pub. All in favour. 100%. This is the new poll that “reflects public opinion untill otherwise shown”.

  25. Benjamin Cohen 9 Mar 2012, 7:10pm

    I’m pleased to say that a more reliable source (i.e. a newspaper) has commissioned another survey on this issue. I don’t know the findings of it, but I imagine they will be sane and I hope show a majority of the public in favour.

    The simple question should in my mind be: Same sex couples can register civil partnerships in registry offices which offer the same rights as marriage. Do you agree with the government that civil partnerships should be renamed civil marriage?

    Before you start flaming me- I’m aware there are slightly different rights to a civil marriage but it’s just for an imagined survey.

    1. Pray, which is the newspaper?

    2. @Ben

      Seems a perfectly reasonable survey question!

      Are you prepared for the significant amount of news there is likely to be in the next few weeks – it might well stretch the resources of PN given the amount of news worthy material likely to be generated.

      Good luck in keeping abreast of the developments!

      Given that PN is now the “militant” news agency according to the RC church you have quite a battle on your hands – and I wish you well.

      I would like to see you contacting lots of big players (other media outlets, politicians, significant personalities etc etc and seeking their comments on equal marriage) – show how much support there is, and expose those who do not support human rights!

      Thanks for what you have done so far, please keep it up!

      1. Benjamin Cohen 10 Mar 2012, 12:37pm

        Sunday Times poll by YouGov. I’m hoping that the paper will join its sister The Times and back equal marriage. As it goes, we’re currently working on a number of ideas to help ensure a significant number if high profile responses to the Government’s consultation

  26. Sister Mary Clarence 9 Mar 2012, 7:51pm

    Not sure it its the same poll, or Comres are doing a lot of these:

    The Conservative party risks losing Christian votes if it goes ahead with legalising gay marriage, a recent survey conducted by ComRes, on behalf of Premier Christian Media Trust has shown.

    More than half of respondents (57%) say they would be less likely to vote Conservative.

    Revd Colin Coward from the gay rights group Changing Attitudes tells Premier’s Sarah Johnston the loss of votes is unlikely to change policy.
    The ComRes survey has also revealed 83% of those polled were opposed to changing the law.

    This view was particularly strong amongst the older generation, with 90% of over 65s saying they were against the plans.

    Revd Paul Dawson from the campaign group Reform tells Premier’s Sarah Johnston he welcomes the figures
    However 26% of young Christians aged between 18-34 say they support legalising same sex marriage.


  27. Sister Mary Clarence 9 Mar 2012, 7:52pm


    Peter Tatchell, a gay rights campaigner, tells Premier’s Sarah Johnston people of all faiths should be supporting this change.

    Premier has contacted the Conservative Party and is waiting for a response.

    Methodology: ComRes surveyed 544 UK Christians on Cpanel between 25th and 31st October 2011 by online questionnaire. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

    so, this was a poll of Christians on Cpanel

  28. GulliverUK 10 Mar 2012, 4:06am

    The poll was fixed and unrepresentative.

    As to one example,

    their data show that about 21 percent of those surveyed were over the age of 65. However, Index Mundi says that only 16.5 percent of U.K. residents are that old, while Wikipedia has it at 15.7 percent. Either way, older people, who are generally opposed to marriage equality, were given disproportionate influence in the poll, skewing the results in the direction that Catholic Voices wanted.

    1. Coming late.

      You have missed that the survey is of 18 year old and older, while your alleged different data is the entire age range.

  29. Looks like Balaji was right after all?

  30. It’s a good article and I agree with your analysis of the methodology behind this poll i.e. it’s poor. But something that should also be considered when gauging the validity of such polls is that many people feel a need to be ‘poltically correct’. The whole argument for same-sex marriage is framed in the language of ‘rights’ and ‘equality’ and of course no one wants to consider themselves, or be seen by others, as against these things. Their responses are likely to be influenced to some extent by these pressures. But this is not a matter of equality but rather re-defining marriage; the ‘rules’ as they stand are exactly the same for all i.e. you can marry someone of the opposite sex but not the same sex, regardless of your sexual orientation. So in a sense, while those who conducted this poll sought to influence the result through questionable methodology, it’s no worse to my mind than trying to gain support by continually framing the issue in the context of ‘rights’ and ‘equality’.

    1. @Brad

      Why would someone who is orientated as gay want to marry someone of the opposite sex? Surely, if they wanted to marry someone of the opposite sex – either they are not gay or they are lying to themselves, their partner and/or others?

      Surely the issue is entirely about rights as someone who is straight is entitled to marry someone they love – someone who is gay is not entitled to marry someone they love …

      1. Of course they have no reason to want to marry someone of the same sex, but it’s largely irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make. The ‘rules’ as they stand are the same for everyone. I, as a heterosexual cannot marry another man either. Which ever way you are orientated doesn’t change the fact the law is the same for everyone. It does not discriminate. The law, and the current definition do not accomodate same sex couples. This is the issue at hand. Is this right? Are we happy as a society to redefine marriage to allow same sex marriage? To frame it as a matter of equality and rights is an appeal to emotion; it seeks to gain the support of others by inviting them to put their own morality on trial, rather than tackle the issue itself. If the public are happy to redefine marriage in this way, I, on a personal level, see no problem, but just as this poll is clearly using underhand means in an attempt to influence decision-making, so too are those who are pushing for a change.

        1. If you are saying that its not about rights but that only people of one orientation are entitled to do something, then its about apartheid then?

  31. Don Harrison 10 Jun 2012, 9:35pm

    It is the Catholic who are still covering all the abuse to kids in US, Ireland and all round the world.

    I am an out anglican Gay Christian in my church.


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