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Comment: Gays, God, marriage and the politics of polling

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  1. Lies, damned lies and statistics. Anyone who does not know that polls can be manipulated to serve an agenda needs to go back to bloody school. The issue here is not “what is popular” it is “what is right”. And in the absence of a cogent legitimate argument against marriage equality, the law must change.

    1. Spanner1960 17 Mar 2012, 11:23am

      Tick 1 if you agree, 2 if you disagree, 3 if you don’t know.

      1. Tick 1 if you agree strongly, 2 if you agree, 3 if you don’t disagree.

      2. Spanner1960 18 Mar 2012, 9:22am

        Fck me, there are some humourless twats on here.

    2. Yes of course, but a proper poll can actually give you the right answers, if the questions are formulated in the most neutral possible way.

      But of course you are absolutely right, there is something called minority protection and it is the job of the government to make sure that minorities are protected through and in legislation as well as policies

  2. An excellent excellent piece with which I whole heartedly agree.

  3. The only poll I’m interested in is whether LGBT people, their friends and family want “gay” marriage. I don’t care what figure appears on polls or petitions since this change only affects us and quite frankly it’s no-ones’ business but our own.

    1. Spanner1960 17 Mar 2012, 11:30am

      I see where you are coming at, and in essence I agree, but one has to look at the bigger picture. If LGBT people want to up their profile, become more accepted and/or tolerated and homophobia reduced, then we have to be seen to have a place within society. The amount of posts I have seen on news sites alleging the “gay lobby”, be it Stonewall, Peter Tatchell or the Gay Mafia, that have railroaded these decisions through, and consequently seriously pissed-off a lot of folk.

      I am not for one minute saying we should not get what we want, but sometimes it can be more about the approach than the aim, and I just think sometime these things can stir up a wasp’s nest when it wasn’t necessary.

      1. Tim Hopkins 17 Mar 2012, 5:00pm

        All of our significant campaigns for greater equality have encountered a backlash, usually from conservative religious interests. It’s inevitable I think. Campaigns for significant steps to greater equality will be unpleasant, because our opponents will try everything they think might work to block change.

        But when we win, not only will we have legal equality, but our position as citizens of equal value will be enhanced, and public opinion will further shift in our favour.

  4. Father Dougal 17 Mar 2012, 1:28am

    Good article!

  5. Craig Denney 17 Mar 2012, 11:14am

    Here is a Youtube clip of Yes, Prime Minister where they talk of how to fix polls:

    1. Tim Roll-Pickering 19 Mar 2012, 1:40pm

      But often unquoted from that clip is the exchange about how the reputable companies don’t practice that way, and Sir Humphrey is commissioning the less reputable.

      Public polling these days is also reinforced by industry safeguards including the requirement to publish full breakdowns of the polls reported.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Mar 2012, 11:33am

    An excellent, balanced article. Polls really mean nothing and do not reflect any accuracy. They either show bias towards one thing or the other, good or bad. What is more important is that Parliament passes legislation making same-sex civil marriage legal first and foremost. We saw the exact reaction to CPs from our opponents, not that the law passed with a super majority but the nation has had time to see that there was nothing to fear. The same will happen once we get access to marriage and society will look back and think what was all the fuss about? Heterosexuals will continue to go about their lives, they will continue to marry in their places of worship and elsewhere without any impact from gay couples marrying in registry offices throughout the country. The Telegraph, the Daily Mail ten years from now will learn that their anti-gay rhetoric and fear mongering was all in vain and hopefully their readeship will have diminished significantly.

  7. I’ve said it over and over
    -Marriage does not belong to any religion
    -Polls can be manipulated or made up
    -If we decided human rights based of polls, interracial marriage never would have been legalized
    -Homosexual marriages are as valid as heterosexual marriages

  8. Precisely. We do not vote on the rights of others, whatever the polls say. Otherwise, we have mob rule.

  9. You should see the number of comments on this discussion forum 3308(!) and many of them vitriolic racist, xenophobic and homophobic comments. There are a few great gay people giving them as good as they get. I am finding it quite entertaining with my popcorn watching it! Would love to see Will, Iris, Spanner or anyone else joining in!

    1. There are some really scary people posting there. It’s entertaining and horrifying in equal measure.

      1. Some very scary people. They are getting some great put downs though!

  10. Conor McGahon 18 Mar 2012, 11:25pm

    While the debate has unleashed the hounds of hell on the issue of gay equality, Christian, Jewish and now even the Shikh fiery chasm is spewing forth, it does raise a fundamental question for the UK and perhaps Western society in general.
    Is it time for a clear and unequivocal separation between Church and State so that the jurisdiction of each is defined for the future?
    Would the discussion and public commentrary on this Consultation have become so blurred if that distinction were already in place?

  11. Polls are like popularity contests – not a good way to decide right and wrong

  12. Another report regarding the polling methods being carried out

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