About that Washington Post/ABC News poll on same-sex “marriage”

Yesterday, Allahpundit looked at the Washington Post/ABC News poll that shows 59 percent of the American public supports same-sex “marriage.” It’s a devastating number, but no real surprise, since the numbers have been trending that way for years.


Far more interesting than the support for same-sex “marriage,” however, is the way the poll reveals the real intent behind its creation: to create a narrative, not actually get the public’s opinion on the matters referenced in the poll.

First, the poll asks what people think about giving “gays and lesbians the legal right to marry.” This is the wrong question for three reasons:

A. Homosexuals cannot “marry” each other. Marriage is between heterosexuals. A secular government cannot change what “marriage” is, no matter how much it may want to.

B. Gay and lesbian Americans already have the legal right to marry. They can marry someone of the opposite sex.

C. Lastly, the poll should be asking what people think about gay and lesbian American couples having the right to participate in a marriage-like ceremony. Again, homosexuals can already legally marry.

Second, the poll asks if respondants “think businesses should or should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians”? Again, this is the wrong question. Businesses – or, rather, their owners – are not refusing to serve homosexuals. They are refusing to participate in helping homosexuals commit sin.

The difference is critical. From Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic, discussing the now-famous New Mexico photography case:


Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin lost a case before the New Mexico Supreme Court, and have now appealed the ruling. As noted in their petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Huguenins’ photography business does serve gay and lesbian clients, just not same-sex weddings. Insofar as a photographer can distinguish between discriminating against a class of client and a type of event—there is, perhaps, a limit—their business does so: “The Huguenins gladly serve gays and lesbians—by, for example, providing them with portrait photography—whenever doing so would not require them to create expression conveying messages that conflict with their religious beliefs.”

The photography business has also turned down clients other than gay and lesbian couples while citing religious objections. “They have declined requests for nude maternity pictures,” their petition states, “and photographs portraying violence.”

Finally, it isn’t just same-sex weddings they’d be uncomfortable photographing: their petition states that they’d also refuse business capturing a polygamous marriage.

A restaurant owner who provides a meal to a homosexual is not helping that person commit sin, and in fact by not serving that person would probably do more harm than good to the cause of evangelization. Similarly, a doctor who saves the life of a gay person is not an accomplice to that person’s immoral actions later on in life, in the same way that doctor is not responsible for the immoral sexual activities of a heterosexual person who sleeps around.


However, a Catholic restaurant owner who provides a wedding reception for a homosexual couple would be participating in sin.

 The poll also asks the following:

Do you think businesses should or should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians? (If should NOT,) What if the business says homosexuality violates their owners’ religious beliefs?

In American culture, “homosexuality” generally means someone has homosexual attractions (though many theologians and other intellectuals in religious circles would define “homosexual” as an act, not a person). Business owners aren’t asking people for their gay identification cards, or putting up gaydars on their front doors. Even the allegedly hateful Catholic Church distinctly separates homosexual attractions from homosexual acts.

It is the acts that are the issue, not the attractions, when it comes to service – something both ABC and the Post know, but choose to ignore in order to get the results they want.

Interestingly, the Post/ABC poll comes less than a month after the Public Religion Research Institute published a survey of 4,500 adults about various religious issues. While 53 percent of respondents supported same-sex “marriage,” 51 percent believe “sex  between  two  adults  of  the  same  gender” is immoral. (54 percent of respondants said abortion is morally wrong, and 65 percent believe pornography is morally wrong. So maybe there’s hope for American culture, after all.)


I’ll pull an Allahpundit and ask two exit questions: First, will the same people up in arms over Arizona Senate Bill 1062 (which is a surprisingly short read, and unsurprisingly is not “anti-gay”) be as angry if an unmarried heterosexual couple is turned down by an inn owner because they want one room, not two? And where’s the public flaying of the gay hairdresser who refused to serve the governor of New Mexico because of the latter’s opposition to same-sex “marriage”?

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