How about we talk about the lengths some people will go to avoid acknowledging a fact that disputes their position? That's some serious denial going on there. The fact is that all the polling aside, every single time "the people" have voted on extending marriage benefits to gay couples, they have rejected it. What's so strange is that despite this, people like Joph will confidently post about polls showing that the majority favors that very change.
Clearly, they don't. At least not when and where it really matters.
You do realize that the polls are recent right?
So was the 60% vote in NC on this issue. What's the point?
Like within the last six months or so. We've had marriage initiatives making the rounds for close to ten years now.
And? So what we're seeing is that while the way people actually vote on the issue when it's on the ballot hasn't changed much (or at all) over that 10 years, the way people respond to polls has. Which would seem to support my point about a disconnect between what the polls are asking and what the actual legal issues people are voting on are about. I'd even go so far as to argue that this is deliberately done so that people can make exactly the kind of point Joph (and others) make about how somehow those who vote against gay marriage must be gay-haters, or blind followers, etc.
I think the simpler and more likely explanation is that when we ask the question in a poll, we're not really asking the same question people ask themselves when they vote. The alternative, as I explained when I started this particular sub-thread, is that over 50% of voters in every single state that has held such a vote are gay-haters and/or blind GOP followers. Since that's clearly not true, it should be the first clue to look for another explanation. And while that explanation may not be as rhetorically satisfying, it's more likely to be The Truth(tm)
. Yay logic!
Aside from that, I take issue with the way you keep phrasing this. You keep saying "voting on extending marriage benefits." That hasn't been the way the measures have been phrased. There's a difference between extending marriage benefits, and changing your state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman only, which is what HAS been happening.
Sure. Defined for the purpose of state laws. Um... Which means that it affects the way the state interacts with those couples legally. Like with regard to benefits and whatnot. Give voters a bit of credit for understanding what such a legal change actually means. It's not like there's a marriage police running around arresting anyone who refers to themselves as married, but doesn't meet the legal requirements. It only means that the state can't consider them married.
It's strange that you'd make such a point about semantics though given that the polling questions are much much much farther off. Asking "do you support the right of same sex couples to marry", isn't asking remotely whether or not the state can consider them married. Again though, you bump into the way different people view rights. Most conservatives don't view a right as being contingent on obtaining a legal status. The "right to marry" has absolutely nothing to do with whether there exists a legal status by the same name, and whether or not the state includes my name on a list somewhere that grants me some set of benefits.
The reason the polling doesn't match the voting is exactly because they are about different things. The list of people who will answer yes to that question (including me btw), includes people who believe that everyone should have a "right" to marry, but that gay marriages and straight marriages can or even should be served with different legal statuses. So if your state has domestic partnerships or civil unions, you might answer yes to the question, but oppose simply expanding the legal requirements for marriage to include same sex couples when it comes to a vote. Similarly, some of us believe that gay couples already have the "right" to marry regardless of whether a legal status exists. Those people will poll with a "yes" answer but are almost certainly going to vote against the expansion.
It's not some great mystery why those numbers don't match. But I suppose some people just can't resist making hay out of it. Ask the correct polling questions, and you'll get very very different answers. But, as I suggested before, those who conduct the polls don't want accurate information about how people view the legal issue at hand. They want to promote the assumption that the public is moving in a given direction on the issue and anyone who opposes it is wrong-headed or something. So they contrive polling questions to ensure that the number of answers appearing to support gay marriage is as high as possible. And some people fail to see that this is what's going on and fall for it, I guess. Sadly, some of them even post on this forum!