Brian Raum

Recently, PR Newswire ran the latest Harris Interactive poll under the headline, “Over Half of all Americans Favor National Recognition for Same-Sex Marriages.” And like so much of the homosexual agenda, both the headline and the story beneath it demonstrated the Left’s not-so-subtle habit of using verbiage to say one thing but communicate another.

For example, the headline was worded in such a way that readers might glance at it and believe that a majority of Americans favor same-sex “marriages.” But in reality, the questions in the poll revolved around how Americans feel about forcing state “A” to recognize – legally sanction – a same-sex “marriage” that took place in state “B,” even if state “B” does not license such “marriages” within its borders.

A bigger problem with the poll is that Harris Interactive purposely oversampled those who engage in homosexual behavior, thus guaranteeing the results would not represent the overall American sentiment, but rather would be skewed to reflect the views of those seeking to further the homosexual agenda. (To the credit of Harris Interactive, they admitted the oversampling in the fine print at the bottom of their survey results, albeit in a place few will see, and even fewer will care to search for.)

How significant was the oversampling? Consider this: those who identify as homosexual only constitute 1.4 to 1.7 percent of the U.S. population, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the Harris Interactive poll, they constituted a sample of well over 14 percent. With this distortion understood, it’s no wonder the poll showed that “‘49% of all U.S. adults…support the right for same-sex couples to marry,’ [vs.] 41% who oppose the right, and 10% who are not at all sure.”

These numbers simply aren’t trustworthy (and they are definitely nothing to brag about once the oversampling is brought to light). And if we look at scientific polls, like the one conducted by the Alliance Defense Fund and Public Opinion Strategies during May 16-19 of this year, the distortion of the Harris Interactive poll is simply too great to go unchallenged.

For example, on the issue of marriage, 62 percent of those polled agreed that “marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.” That means nearly two-thirds of those polled believe marriage should remain what it has been for so many millennia, rather than be changed to accommodate the demands of the homosexual agenda.

All of this demonstrates that the Left doesn’t use polls to gauge public opinion as much as to form it.


Brian Raum

Brian Raum serves as senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund.

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