Skip to comments.Republicans for Gay Marriage? One GOP pollster thinks itís all but inevitable.
Posted on 03/13/2013 6:50:42 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Jan van Lohuizen, a former George W. Bush pollster with a Ph.D. from Rice, is on a mission to show that opposition to same-sex marriage is a political and demographic dead end, propped up by a shrinking core of the old, the undereducated, and the highly churched. Bitter clingers, if you will, to the idea of traditional marriage.
“I have any number of gay friends who are Republicans, but what makes me tick is that I have concerns that this is another issue that would limit the growth of the Republican party,” van Lohuizen told me in a phone interview.
“If you believe that the government is better off if it is governed by Republicans than Democrats, you have to worry about issues that impede the growth of the party. And this is one.”
Together with Joel Benenson, former lead pollster for President Obama’s first campaign, van Lohuizen has looked at decades of polling data on gay marriage and come to some interesting conclusions in a series of memos the pair has distributed to policymakers, think tanks, and political media.
Most significant, support for gay marriage is accelerating. “We originally wrote a memo in May of 2011 that basically said that in the previous 20 years, the increase of support for gay marriage had been about 1 percent a year,” van Lohuizen told me in a phone interview. “And then somewhere around 2009 there was an increase to 4 or 5 percent. It’s like a hockey-stick curve. All of the sudden there is this elbow.” With due apologies for the “hockey stick” reference, this is certainly borne out by the shift in the fortunes of pro-gay-marriage ballot initiatives. After a decade marked by almost universal failure, all four pro-gay-marriage measures on state ballots in 2012 passed.
Second, the coalition supporting gay marriage is more broad-based than the coalition opposing it. “If you look at the crosstabs, the opposition is really concentrated in a few really small groups,” van Lohuizen says. “Evangelical whites, tea-party Republicans, older voters, and whites that do not have a college degree.” Indeed, national exit-polling data from the 2012 election shows that while support for gay marriage sits at 37 percent with voters 65 and older, 52 percent of younger voters support “freedom to marry” (the phrase strategically used in place of the slightly more loaded “marriage equality” in Benenson and van Lohuizen’s memo on the subject). Likewise, gay marriage enjoys majority support from all major religious confessions except white evangelical Protestantism — including mainline “non-evangelical” Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. And while a majority of whites without college degrees oppose gay marriage, majorities of whites with college degrees, and nonwhites of all education levels, support it.
Even among Republicans, opposition to same-sex marriage is increasingly tenuous, particularly along two axes. First, self-described tea-party Republicans oppose gay marriage 84/13, while Republicans who describe themselves as neutral toward or opposed to the Tea Party oppose gay marriage by smaller 62/34 and 52/47 splits, respectively. This is a more or less momentous split depending on how credible one finds evidence that tea-party membership is in sharp decline.
Second, and perhaps most critically, exit polling shows that 51 percent of Republicans under 30 support gay marriage in their state. If this datum alone holds, one might think, gay marriage is a fait accompli in the near to medium term. And indeed, the polls report just that feeling among the broader public: 83 percent of voters, supporters and opponents included, think that gay marriage will be legal nationally in the next five to ten years.
But is a Republican party that is broadly pro-gay-marriage an inevitability, and sooner than later? Here the data is perhaps less definitive than it looks on the surface. Consider the above datum, which shows that young Republicans support gay marriage in their state. This, of course, fails to capture a number of distinctions that most Republicans and conservatives consider important to the gay-marriage debate. Does support among young Republicans for “freedom to marry” in one’s state of residence imply support for federal intervention in the marriage question?
Many on the left who support “marriage equality” frame it as a civil-rights issue and favor a federal remedy, as they do in most civil-rights contexts. But it would be dubious to infer that the Republican respondents to the above question would favor a similar remedy, considering the relative importance Republicans and conservatives place on the principles of federalism. Likewise, I asked van Lohuizen whether any of the data he looked at distinguished between support for various other means of gay-marriage legalization — from judicial imposition to legislation to ballot referenda — that are likelier to draw out distinct responses from self-described Republicans and conservatives for similar, principled reasons.
While van Lohuizen admitted that such distinctions aren’t captured in the data that informs his memos, he referred to a survey he helped design on support for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Two questions — one on the section of DOMA that forbids the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex unions from the states, and the other on the section that denies various legal benefits afforded to spouses (such as hospital visitation) to same-sex couples — suggest that support for and opposition to same-sex marriage can and do exist apart from support for and opposition to individual principles and doctrines implicated in the gay-marriage debate.
To wit, the survey shows that while only 52 percent of respondents supported gay marriage, 59 percent believed the federal government should recognize legal same-sex unions from the states. And even larger majorities believed that the government should extend to same-sex couples various privileges and responsibilities attendant on traditional marriage:
Interestingly, while there are conservatives and Republicans who express these sorts of “cat’s out of the bag4” views on issues attendant to legalized gay marriage, there are also attempts by some gay-marriage proponents to accommodate the worries of Republicans and conservatives on the same. Here, van Lohuizen pointed to Maryland’s Question 6, which last year granted gay and lesbian couples the ability to obtain civil-marriage licenses. But the ballot question also, according to an official summary:
protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.
It’s not crazy to think that Question 6, which passed with a narrow majority of 52.4 percent and represents the first time same-sex marriage has been legalized in the United States through a popular vote, was pushed across the finish line by such protections. Indeed, the legislative precursor to Question 6 passed the Maryland state house only after its sponsors beefed up religious protections.
In a world in which one can be against gay marriage but for its recognition, and for marriage equality but against requiring its religious recognition, it’s not enough to ask whether the Republican party is destined to wed “freedom to marry.” The truth is, it’s complicated.
— Daniel Foster is NRO’s news editor.
I’m scratching my head: which one am I? Old, undereducated or highly churched (whatever that is)? Possibly all 3.
Probably only two I would suggest. The “undereducated” category only means you are not educated sufficiently in the ways of the fag world.
What does marriage mean, well, in the history of the world, it has meant between a man and a woman. Seems to have worked for thousands of years. Of course I am not educated enough to understand societial mores based on thousands of years and across every civilization are not deemed correct by today’s PC fag crowd.
If states wish to propose domestic unions, fine with me, I don’t care what concenting people do but don’t tell me that is a marriage, it is not and never will be.
Go ahead, make this grand compromise because then I'll never again feel any obligation to donate one dime or work any phone bank, drop any lit — nothing, ever. Why should I? You NO LONGER REPRESENT ME.
For generations, we have given the State the power to create artificial persons, in the form of corporations, foundations, trusts and the like. Nobody is confused by this government-defined fiction. We know that a corporation is not a real human person.
Another government-defined fiction that we have allowed for generations is that the State can also define “marriage” and who is “married” and who is not. But marriage predates any State because it is God who defines not any State. Indeed, any “marriage” a State defines is just as much a legal fiction as when it tells us that a corporation is a “person” that has freedom of speech.
The State attempts to force us to recognize its power. One way is to presume the power to define who is married and who is not. We cede this power in part because we allow the State to tax incomes and estates. To administer such taxing power, the State must define who it considers to be “married” and who is not. Just as when it defines a corporation to be a “person”, as silly as this would be to God, the State does not hesitate to define anyone it pleases as being “married”, totally apart from how God would define them. Sadly, even ministers allow the State’s definition of marriage to be the controlling definition.
Jesus, who was recognized as a prophet by all three monotheistic religions, is quoted in Matthew chapter 19 that from the beginning of humanity, it was God’s intent that marriage would only be one man and one woman. Scripture in many ways and places also tells us that God defines sexual morality and that people who refuse to practice that His morality simply do not qualify for His freely given gift of eternal life. (for example, see Ephesians chapter 5). Of course, people are free to believe whatever they want, but that does not change what God clearly said to us.
If you review the arguments advanced by supporters of same-sex marriage (like at HRC.ORG), you will find that many of them are related to taxation, inheritance and medical issues, all issues controlled by the State. But existing law addresses those and any defects in the law can be easily repaired apart from the issue of “marriage”.
I dont want a government that can tell me what I may or may not do in the privacy of my own home or relationships. In a secular Constitutional Republic with a provision that prohibits Congress from making any law respecting religion, I have to allow others to have their own beliefs and morality. I can only be an advocate for the morality and beliefs that I think are true. I take my understanding of sexual morality from Scripture and that is where I learn that God considers sodomy to be an abomination to Him.
If a State decides that two (or more) people can marry, if that is all that happened, I could live with that because I don’t have to approve, change my beliefs or what beliefs I pass on to my children.
However, once gays and their supporters have sufficient influence with a State to redefine marriage, they dont stop there. They use the State to forbid me from acting on my morality and beliefs. In fact, the State in some cases forces me to accommodation in their practices.
If I have children in public school, the State will insist on teaching them that gay marriage is just as normal as God’s definition of marriage. You will be sanctioned as a parent if you attempt to remove your children from such indoctrination. As long as they are enrolled in government-controlled schools, they will be graded on how well they accept the State’s idea of normal, or refuse to reject God’s idea of normal.
If you run a business that could provide services to the public, you will be sanctioned if you decline to treat gays as non-gays. For example, if you run a wedding photography business, you will be sanctioned if you decline to photograph a gay wedding. This has already happened in California and New Mexico .
You may lose control of your own property. 
You might have to go out of business to stay true to your principles, so as to avoid being fined or sued into bankruptcy. [3,4]
From the article:
“Wedding vendors elsewhere who refused to accommodate same-sex couples have faced discrimination lawsuits and lost. Legal experts said Discover Annapolis Tours sidesteps legal trouble by avoiding all weddings.
“If they’re providing services to the public, they can’t discriminate who they provide their services to,” said Glendora Hughes, general counsel for the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. The commission enforces public accommodation laws that prohibit businesses from discriminating on the basis of race, sexual orientation and other characteristics.”
To advance the legal case that a marriage between two people of the same sex is no different than a marriage as God defines it, the US Justice Department will base their arguments before the Supreme Court that a child does not need, nor have a right to a mother. 
In short, gays will demand that non-gays accept them as moral equals, which they are not and cannot be. When the State says they are equal it is forbidden for a private citizen to dissent from that status. In doing so, they seek to force me to give them approval for something that I will never approve of. It is that last point that galls gays the most.
Curiously, when advocates of gay marriage are asked if their policy also would allow polygamy or polyandry, they recoil in horror and insist that it does not. However, logic demands that it does. I would ask how same-sex parents are going to react in the future when, for example, Utah public schools officials require that teachers instruct the children that LDS-related polygamy is just as “normal” as same-sex “marriage”. The fact that this will be an issue will show yet again that gay “marriage” is not about marriage at all it is about forcing the rest of us to approve of repugnant sexual immorality, something that LDS polygamists never demanded.
After same-sex marriage causes polygamy to be recognized polyandry won’t be far behind. Brave new world!
 Refusing To Shoot Gay Marriage Is Discrimination, Says New Mexico Appeals Court
 Judge Rules Christian facility cannot ban same-sex civil union ceremony on its own premises
 Opposed to same-sex marriage, company ends wedding business
Trolley owner says move made to avoid potential lawsuit
 Baker refuses to make wedding cake for lesbian couple and ‘calls them abominations unto the Lord’
Aaron Klein, owner of Sweet Cakes in Gresham, Oregon is the subject of a state investigation after one of the brides-to-be filed a complaint
 DOJ: Children Do Not Needand Have No Right to—Mothers March 3, 2013 By Terence P. Jeffrey
Good article... Very interesting.
I think the guy is right: As a party, Republicans HAVE to find some way to deal with this... we’re losing the argument... especially with young people.
They don’t care about the religious aspect. And, we’ve not effectively answered the question “how does two gay people getting married affect me??” Yes... this is the ME generation.
Everyone’s insurance and pension cost will go up. And, as more and more people start to abuse the system, just to get benefits, we might ALL lose such benefits.
But, THAT argument doesn’t win either. About the best I’ve been able to come up with is:
Get GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE MARRIAGE business...
Leave that to churches... Change the name of all government recognition to Civil Unions. Then, I don’t care so much what the hell they do. We can argue it on economic terms... or equal treatment... blah blah.. I don’t care.
Just don’t force me to accept immoral behavoir as being equal to a GOD DEFINED “Marriage”.
George P. Bush will decide which is “popular” with his new campaign for land commissioner in Texas. Imagine bringing up all those hated social issues while running to administer the public lands for leasing for minerals.
Polling is dead. See: http://www.people-press.org/2012/05/15/assessing-the-representativeness-of-public-opinion-surveys/ which reveals 91% of selected respondents end up not responding (leaving it all to the 9% who push all the right buttons) and http://www.gallup.com/poll/158066/special-report-adults-identify-lgbt.aspx (which makes it possible for a very small group ~ gays ~ to respond as though they have 10X their number ~ just by making sure they answer or call back each and every poll that might contact them).
Note ~ with polling dead as a useful tool the educated person stands back and screams THAT’S ALL B.S.
I don’t trust this survey. Look at who Simon and Goodwin are:
GSSR Partner Paul Goodwin runs the Los Angeles office of Goodwin Simon Strategic Research. Since 1990, hes been polling for political and public sector clients in California and around the nation.
His political work includes ballot measures addressing complex social and policy issues, such as end-of-life care, abortion, drug policy, prison and sentencing reform, education funding, and transportation.
His candidates include more than 75 state and local elected officials in California, Oregon, and Washington, often in the toughest and most contested districts. He also works for the Washington and California Democratic party caucuses on critical targeted races.
His public sector work includes work on social marketing and program evaluation projects related to environmental protection and smoking prevention for cities including San Diego, Santa Barbara, and San Jose, and Los Angeles County.
Hes also an expert on the challenge of passing local bond and tax measures, and has helped school and college districts, cities, and counties raise well over a billion dollars in needed revenue.
Paul Goodwin has a bachelors degree from UC Davis and a Master of Public Policy Degree from Princeton Universitys Woodrow Wilson School.
Amy R. Simon
A partner at Goodwin Simon Strategic Research, Amy Simon brings 20 years of political experience to her work as a pollster and communications strategist. She conducts research on a variety of public policy issues and her clients include state and local government, non-profits, labor unions, and both political and candidate committees. She has worked on candidate and ballot measure campaigns at the federal, state and local level in over 40 states.
Prior to founding GSSR, she worked as a pollster at Bennett, Petts and Blumenthal and GLS Research. A former campaign manager, direct mail consultant, and political director before becoming a pollster, Ms. Simon helped elect pro-choice women at the Women’s Campaign Fund and was an organizer on the Dukakis presidential campaign. Locally, Ms. Simon managed city council and state assembly races.
Ms. Simon serves on the Board of Directors of PeacePAC and Emerge America and is a contributing author to True to Ourselves, a collection of essays by prominent American women. Ms. Simon graduated with Honors from the University of Michigan in 1987. She studied at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (Universities of Maryland and Michigan). She is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and the American Association of Political Consultants.
You’re part of the Republican base. You know, the people they wish would go away.
Word. People who allow their opinions to be shaped by polls are merely 'useful idiots'.
If states are going to extend the same benefits, rights and responsibilities to gay couples that married couples currently enjoy, they’re essentially re-creating marriage in all but name. It seems almost hypocritical to oppose same-sex marriage and support domestic partnerships.
It’s definitely a demographic dead end. That’s been clear in polls for at least ten years.
(Secularism and Marxism)...Obama has little character...he is overtly Marxist.
The truth is, it's not complicated at all.
"Marriage" is a noun that has a meaning. Laws do not change the meaning of nouns.
"Freedom to marry" is universal, with a few legislated exceptions having to do with consanguinuity. There are no men who are not free to marry, excepting siblings, parents, and first cousins. Similarly, there are no women who are not free to marry in the same sense.
Even if you call, even if EVERYBODY calls, a personal and sexual services contract between two men and two women "marriage", it does not make it so.
‘No Republicanism for me today, thanks.’
The GOP is busy attempting to poll Scott Romney or Mike Rogers into the nomination for Levin’s senate seat here in Michigan.
The caller got short and hung up on me when I mentioned a couple of names that weren’t on his list of acceptable establishmentarians.
I don’t believe it is inevitable of course that is the tack that the gay activists take. They said the same thing about abortion yet this issue depending on how you poll after several decades of Roe V Wade has moved in favor of the Prolife position not against it. Why because of those who stand on principle. This is an issue that when the arguements are made with disregard of empty charges of bigotry and homophobia and people are provided the full information outside of the narrow uneducated left wing msm picture of this issue that people move towards marriage. Even in New York we’ve seen candidates pick up considerable support when they make the case for marriage. Even in states like MD, MN, and WA where SSM made in roads in 2012 the marriage protection side polled better than Mitt Romney and I’d venture did better at the polls than any state wide GOP in the state. The only reason the left is winning ground on this issue is that many conservatives are letting themselves be silenced while rampant progay cleansing and political correctness is is continuing to occur at our Universities, our Businesses, our Military etc. If you are not showing people what the consequences of giving in on this is will be then how do you expect the young or others who are ambivalent to join you. Either way this is NOT something that would keep good conservatives out of the party. They only people who this issue keeps out of the party of those that already are mostly left leaning to begin with and I don’t see how that is a bad thing. If the GOP would run a full court press intelligently promoting traditional family with fiscal responsibility they’d be far better off in general instead they let the Democrats run their War on Women while they only have heartedly become energized on the REAL war on religion and freedom of association that SSM marriage presents. If you want a world where your little kids in public school are told and encouraged from kindergarten on to be gender ambiguous and further have the natural behavior of little boys suppressed and have them punished when they don’t take kindly to another boy being inappropriate with them and have anyone who dares suggest that marriage between a woman and a man is the best possible arrangement for raising children be ostracized in order to satisfy the egos of a narrow group of deviants then shut up and let it happen otherwise get out there and help the National Organization for Marriage and groups like the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance and if you are a conservative media personality you need to man up and put on pro traditional marriage researchers, conservative sex researchers, and give a platform to those people (students, military chaplains, and professionals) who are sufferring under the political correctness onslaught of a modern gaystapo of sorts who know that their biggest asset is intimidation and our silence.