NYU Professor’s Findings on Gay Marriage and Public Opinion

25 Jun

In an interview with NYU Local, NYU politics professor Patrick Egan discusses the findings of his most recent study on same-sex marriage campaigns and equality movements. Taken from that interview-

Egan finds that despite the best attempts by campaigns to sway voters’ opinion on gay marriage, they make little or no difference at the ballot box, and the “share of the public saying they intend to vote for or against these measures typically changes very little over the course of these campaigns.” In keeping with disheartening news, Egan also found that surveys taken before voting time consistently underestimate the share of voters who would vote to ban same-sex marriage.

I tend, though, to disagree with the interviewer’s next conclusion: that there is “little or nothing” we can do to change the minds of anti-equality voters. As Egan notes later in the interview, the movement would be better served by a multi-method approach to political campaigns that goes beyond the ballot box and also goes beyond marriage in seeking rights for a broader scope of LGBT individuals.

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