Majority Don't Support Domestic Partnerships

Analysis by Dr. Joe Fuiten 

A proprietary poll done by Elway Research for Positive Christian Agenda and Faith and Freedom Network in late March 2007 would suggest that less than half the public actually supports granting the rights being proposed in SB 5336. Further, existing support for marriage-like rights for homosexuals is highly subject to erosion.
The poll was taken with the following questions:

1. In general, do you favor homosexual couples having many of the same legal rights as married couples? Or are there valid reasons for treating marriage as a unique relationship with unique benefits?

2. Advocates for domestic partnerships want to give benefits to homosexual couples that are presently enjoyed by married couples. Some have said they believe domestic partnerships are a step toward gay marriage. Even though it might seem fair to give similar benefits to homosexual couples as to married couples, if you knew that giving benefits to homosexual couples will be used as a stepping stone to gay marriage, is this proposal for giving legal rights to domestic partnerships something you; definitely support, probably support, probably oppose, definitely oppose, don’t know.
Our first question tried to present two sides of the issue to see where the public would come down. The homosexual side says it’s about equality. We say it’s about preserving the unique institution of marriage. If people have those two ideas presented, how would they be inclined to vote?

Same Legal Rights 47%

Unique Legal Benefits 38%

Don’t Know/No Answer 16%

The most basic thing you can say about Domestic Partnerships is that a majority of the citizens of this state do not think Domestic Partnerships should have the same legal rights as married people.
Presented with both sides people are not certain of their viewpoint and can change their essential opinion within a minute. In the second question we shifted terminology to probe the apparent support a little deeper.

We referred to them as “homosexual couples” not “same-sex couples.” We did not use the term “rights.” We just mentioned “benefits.” Rights are deserved, benefits are earned. Our guess was that calling them benefits without enumerating the specific benefits would change the perception. We pointed out that homosexual activists want to use domestic partnership legislation as a means to gay marriage, which is what they have openly said. We thought that exposing their political strategy might give a different perspective on their use of the sympathy card. After the second question, a dramatic flip has occurred:

Definitely support 26%

Probably support 20%

Probably oppose 16%

Definitely oppose 26%

DK/NA 12%

Within thirty seconds, from our question one to our question two, support for Domestic Partnerships drops by 1% among its supporters while opposition rises by 4%. The extent of public uncertainty and fluidity is indicated by the number of undecided respondents. Such fleeting support for SB 5336 confirms the Biblical Proverb “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.”