Friday, July 24, 2015

Trolling the Polls


A Gallup poll in May showed record-high support for same-sex marriage at 60 percent.
But a Reuters poll taken in the two weeks following Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex "marriage" in all 50 states, showed a drop of almost 10 points, down to only 51 percent. These are the lowest numbers since 2012.
The poll (post-Obergefell) asked, "Do you support or oppose allowing same-sex couples to legally marry?" Those in support were 51 percent, while 35 percent opposed it, and 14 percent remained undecided. 
The poll also shows a shift in popular thinking with regard to the roles of the state vs. the federal government, as well as the roles of each branch of government. In response to the second question, which asked who should decide the issue of same-sex "marriage," 37 percent (the highest percentage in the group) answered that the Supreme Court should make the law.
As we know, marriage has traditionally fallen within the scope of state law, and has traditionally been a matter solely determined by the legislative branch of government. The judiciary was almost never involved, except in cases requiring interpretation or application of already-existing marriage laws passed by state legislators.
But in light of decades of what critics have called judicial activism, where the Supreme Court and other federal courts have violated the doctrine of Separation of Powers by usurping the role of the legislature, American opinion has gradually shifted towards seeing the judiciary as no longer apolitical — as was once the case — to now seeing it as the supreme "legislative" body in the nation.
Only 10 percent of those polled believe gay "marriage" laws should be determined by state legislators, while only six percent believe the federal Congress should make these determinations. Twenty-four percent believe it should be determined by state voter referendum, while 23 percent are undecided.
The gap narrows with the fifth question, which asks, "Would you support or oppose a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman only, meaning same-sex marriage would not be legal?" Thirty-eight percent support such an amendment, while only 46 percent oppose it. Sixteen percent remain unsure. This is also promising. OREMUS.