Blog Post

Beware of Polls Claiming Catholics Support Same-Sex Marriage!

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist  In spite of widespread headlines claiming that a majority of Catholics (53%) support same-sex marriage, the polls, which were funded by a homosexual activist group, contained a variety of problems from too small of a sampling size to outright misrepresentation of the results. Tom Peters of the popular blog has been exposing the recent poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, which received it's “major funding” for the survey from the Arcus Foundation (which means "rainbow" in Latin), founded by wealthy homosexual activist Jon Stryker. Even though this was not explained, the actual findings show that majority support for same-sex marriage only came from inactive Catholics. " . . . (O)nly 26 percent of Catholics who attend Mass weekly support same-sex marriage," Peters explains. "That number jumps to 59 percent among Catholics who attend Mass less frequently than once a month." One of the other problems with the poll is that it only gave respondents two choices - same-sex marriage or no public recognition of homosexual unions. When a third choice - the option of a civil union is introduced, only 43 percent of Catholics favor same-sex marriage with 31 percent supporting civil unions and 22 percent saying there should be no legal recognition for a homosexual copule's relationship.  "What a majority of Catholics may support is civil unions for gays and lesbians," Peters says. "It’s only when you take the civil unions option off the table that a (slim, within the margin of error) “majority” of Catholics say they support same-sex marriage, mostly because the middle-of-the-road Catholics worry that without marriage rights there will be no civil protections for gays and lesbians (which is not true, but people think it)." In other words, the only way LGBT-funded pollsters can get Catholics  to 'support' same-sex marriage is to create a false choice between full same-sex marriage on the one hand, and 'no legal protection/recognition' on the other, Peters explains. "As soon as you introduce the reality that there are other ways of accommodating homosexual relationships into civil law without redefining marriage, support for same-sex marriage among Catholics drops off again." Another problem with the survey is its small sampling size and a wide margin of error of plus or minus six percentage points. Mark M. Gray, Ph.D., director of CARA Catholic Polls and a research associate for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, told the Catholic News Agency that the claim of majority support cannot be made “with any certainty, given the relatively small sample size here and the margin of error.” The survey interviewed about 3,000 people, including about 600 Catholics, Gray said. The margin of error for the Catholic population was plus or minus six percentage points. “Any percentage here, for all Catholics, could be six points higher, it could be six points lower,” he explained. He criticized the institute’s report for not including either the margins of error or the numbers of Latino Catholics, which he said was “standard practice.” Another problem is that many Catholics may not realize that support for civil unions is also against Catholic teaching. In a 2003 document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote: “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.” © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®