Quantcast

«

»

Feb 06 2013

A poll you won’t have to think twice about

Simple question, simple answer.

Should Ireland legalise same-sex marriage?

Yes 56%
No 37%
Don’t know 6%

I always wonder about those “don’t knows”. They’re the ones I want to probe deeper and find out why they’re waffling.

32 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    dianne

    Ireland and other countries should either legalize same sex marriage or stop granting privileges to people because they’re in relationships. One or the other.

  2. 2
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I always wonder about those “don’t knows”. They’re the ones I want to probe deeper and find out why they’re waffling.

    My pulled-out-of-my-pasty-white-privileged-arse guess is that those who are not sure are hung up on the supposed ickiness of same-sex marriage. Just a guess.

  3. 3
    IslandBrewer

    “I always wonder about those “don’t knows”. They’re the ones I want to probe deeper and find out why they’re waffling.”

    I thought, given the percentage, that it meant they would then be pressured to get married, and no longer have the excuse, “well, Mum, it’s not legal, that’s why I’m not proposing … say, how’s Aunt Maggie? Didn’t she vacation in France this spring?”

  4. 4
    clayhale

    It’s plausible that some number of the ‘Don’t Knows’ could be against marriage period

  5. 5
    brianwood

    Prolly time we got rid of the patriachal, disbursal of property institution called marriage anyway, although I admit I enjoy being married.

  6. 6
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    France, United Kingdom, Ireland …. who is next ‘Merkins?

  7. 7
    Gregory in Seattle

    This video has been around for almost 4 years, which shows how long the matter has been under discussion in Ireland. It’s the second-best pro-marriage commercial I’ve ever seen (the one from Australia is number one.)

  8. 8
    Gregory in Seattle

    Here is the Australian video.

  9. 9
    Draken

    Perhaps “don’t know” must be read as “don’t care” or “not my business” or “is it important?”. Which can be taken to imply ‘yes’.

  10. 10
    glodson

    I guess the don’t knows could think that marriage shouldn’t be a legal matter, but I doubt that. I have a feeling that some are just apathetic and the others are bothered by a conflict of good thinking with religious superstition.

  11. 11
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Which can be taken to imply ‘yes’.

    I’d disagree with that (this is a personal opinion). Those who cannot be arsed to care about human rights, those who think that human rights are “not my business”, those who do not see human rights as important, are supporting the status quo which, in this case (as it usually is when human rights are involved) means supporting those who seek to deny human rights to a certain segment of the population.

  12. 12
    puppygod

    Perhaps “don’t know” must be read as “don’t care” or “not my business” or “is it important?”. Which can be taken to imply ‘yes’.

    Well, if they can’t be arsed to take position, why do they even bother to vote in this poll? That’s what’s baffling for me. Why do they even vote?

  13. 13
    glodson

    Well, if they can’t be arsed to take position, why do they even bother to vote in this poll? That’s what’s baffling for me. Why do they even vote?

    Don’t know.

  14. 14
    Rip Steakface

    France, United Kingdom, Ireland …. who is next ‘Merkins?

    To be fair, we’re actually doing better and better on LGBT rights as a matter of law in many places in the US. We are not a monolith. The military is now fully integrated, nine states (less than 20% of the country, but not bad!) have instituted marriage equality, the president is mentioning them in speeches, and we have a lesbian Senator from North frakkin’ Dakota, one of the most conservative states.

  15. 15
    Olav

    I agree with some commenters here. Were I forced to participate in such a poll I would answer “yes”, of course. And within the Irish context that has the added reward of sticking it to The Church. But if there was an option that said: “I don’t care because civil marriage should be abolished anyway”, I would vote that.

    As to the “don’t know” voters, I really don’t think it is possible to know what they are thinking without asking them (and perhaps not even then).

  16. 16
    Marcus Ranum

    But on the same page there’s a link to “Pope says mankind at stake over gay marriage” ( http://www.thejournal.ie/pope-says-mankind-at-stake-over-gay-marriage-726221-Dec2012/ ) as a misanthrope, I support gay marriage! Thank you popey! Together, with the help of gay marriage, we will move The Earth one little step closer to the happy day when humans are extinct. I know your Catholic Church tried its hardest, and failed – wiping out mankind is a big task – but with the help of gay marriage, maybe we can pull it off!

  17. 17
    dianne

    nine states (less than 20% of the country, but not bad!) have instituted marriage equality

    Given that one of those states is New York (but Vermont and Iowa are two others), I wonder if the percent of the population where marriage equality is instituted is higher or lower than 20%.

  18. 18
    weatherwax

    “I always wonder about those “don’t knows”. They’re the ones I want to probe deeper and find out why they’re waffling.”

    I saw one poll in Arizona some years ago asking opionions on President Ronald Reagans second term. The “undecided” column was appended with the number of respondants who had never heard of Ronald Reagan.

  19. 19
    grumpypathdoc

    And in related news…the Irish PM is catching flak about his lukewarm comments about the “Magdalene laundries”:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21326221

    It’s a twofer when you can embarrass both a political figure and the Roman Catholic Church for being total assholes.

  20. 20
    drxym

    Ireland already has a form of civil partnership so I expect the exact same drama would play out in Ireland as it did in the UK until yesterday. The catholic church will stick it’s nose in, predicting thousands of people will be sacked for their faith and all other kinds of dire consequences.

    Despite the strides made in Ireland of late, it’s questionable that it would pass a vote in the Dail, but it could well pass if it was put to a referendum. Referendums can be get pretty dirty and underhanded though.

  21. 21
    Gregory in Seattle

    For those of you who support the abolition of marriage….

    Civil marriage provides a boilerplate of rights, responsibilities, protections and priviledges. Many of these are non-trivial: powers of attorney, inheritance, joint ownership with survivorship on such things as pensions and insurance benefits, the ability to pool assets when filing taxes or going through personal bankruptcy (very advantageous if only one spouse has an income), guaranteed access if spouse is in a hospital, prison or other institutional setting, spousal priviledge in court and automatic next-of-kin designation. All in all, there are (as of 2004) 1,138 federal laws in the United States that benefit legal spouses. Most states have at least that many, including things like community property and protections if the marriage is dissolved. Then there are the tens of thousands of judicial rulings over the last 350 years that have touched on marriage, and the long list of benefits and privileges offered by private companies including employers and insurance companies.

    As a middle aged gay man, I have seen many couples try to secure these rights contractually. It typically takes several visits to a specialist lawyer, at a cost of thousands of dollars, to end up with only a tiny fraction of them; and even then, it is quite easy for hostile immediate family — parents, siblings or children — to assert their superior legal claims and have these contracts completely thrown out. All while other couples are able to get all it, rock solid guaranteed, for only $65 and a trip to the county records officer.

    Assuming you agree that these rights, privileges, protections and responsibilities are important and fully within the function of the law, how would you secure them if we got rid of marriage?

    If your issue is with the word “marriage” itself, please note that under US statutory and common law, marriage is a secular matter. We do not — we cannot — have laws regulating religious rituals: there will never be laws or court rulings on who can be ordained a minister, or confirmed, or bar mitzvah-ed, or baptized. People get legally married all the time without the “benefit” of mumbo-jumbo, and those marriages are completely valid. The waving of hands and muttering of incantations is not what creates a legal marriage in this country. The fact that legal marriage shares a name with a religious ritual is entirely irrelevant. If the churches and synagogues and mosques don’t like this, well, it will much easier for them to change the name of their ritual than it would be to change centuries of law.

  22. 22
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    It’s plausible that some number of the ‘Don’t Knows’ could be against marriage period

    Perhaps “don’t know” must be read as “don’t care” or “not my business” or “is it important?”. Which can be taken to imply ‘yes’.

    I wish I had the same kind of optimism that some here have about our fellow humans… Like what glodson @10 said, I’m (pulling out of my ass) guessing that most of the “don’t knows” are simply stuck between “Well I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with it” and “but my church says it’s wrong” and they haven’t given it the proper amount of thought required to, you know, THINK FOR YOURSELF.
    So instead of doing the intellectual heavy-lifting of resolving that conflict and judging for yourself what you feel is moral they just instead say “so… um… I don’t know”.

    That’s my biased guess, but I kinda hate humanity as a whole and I don’t think you can underestimate a significant portion’s intellectual laziness.

  23. 23
    DLC

    I wonder if there aren’t some of the “Don’t know” crowd who simply think Marriage is an outdated institution and a social construct we no longer need? It seems like a plausible possibility but I have no data.
    On further reflection it seems more likely it’s just a bunch of know-nothings expressing their apathy.

  24. 24
    Marcus Ranum

    Why do they even vote?

    They’re the evangelical agnostics.

  25. 25
    Sastra

    I always wonder about those “don’t knows”. They’re the ones I want to probe deeper and find out why they’re waffling.

    While there’s probably a variety of reasons, my guess is that a lot of the people who “don’t know” if same-sex marriage should be legalized think that their lack of firm opinion somehow places them in the Golden Middle between the extremes.

    Gee, everyone has a point, every side has some right to it and some wrong to it and can’t we all just get along? Can’t we accept the fact that we can’t KNOW what is right and best for everyone? This issue is so divisive. Let’s resolve it, therefore, by exercising some humility and standing small and brave and ducking both our heads and the issue at the same time: “Don’t Know!”

    Militant agnosticism.

  26. 26
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    The smartass in me wants to answer, “No, they shouldn’t legalize it, because it should’a never been illegal to begin with.” But, of course, that’s neither productive nor among the permitted answers. <sigh>

    ***
    Ogvorbis (@2):

    My pulled-out-of-my-pasty-white-privileged-arse guess is that those who are not sure are hung up on the supposed ickiness of same-sex marriage. Just a guess.

    Prolly a good guess, but it’s weird: Surely it’s teh ghey secks itself that’s “icky” to those folks, right? You’d think wrapping it up in a nice socially acceptable package like marriage would make it less icky, if anything. And yet, that’s never how the antis react, is it? ‘Tis a puzzlement….

    ***
    Gregory in Seattle (@21):

    For those of you who support the abolition of marriage….

    Civil marriage provides a boilerplate of rights, responsibilities, protections and priviledges. Many of these are non-trivial….

    Speaking as one who used to take the “civil unions for everyone” line, the point was never to eliminate the formalization of those rights, responsibilities, and privileges, but rather to separate (and thereby insulate) them from the invidious moral prescriptions regarding love, sex, and permanent sexual exclusivity that attach themselves to “marriage,” and that taint that institution with quasi-religious values even when it’s ostensibly purely civil.

    I still think a state in which the State has no interest or stake in whom, or for how long, or through what behaviors, you love is a desirable long-term goal… but I now grok that “marriage” is what we’re stuck with, and we must first make it as equitable as humanly possible before we even consider that further evolution.

  27. 27
    robro

    I was really torn between “Yes” and “Fuckin’ Of Crourse” but the later option appears to have been removed.

    Most of us realize that civil unions and domestic partner arrangements don’t provide gay couples with the same protections and advantages as regular marriage does straight couples. The other day I happened onto another one. I was in a retirement planning class and they showed an income illustration where the wife starts Social Security early while the husband, about the same age, gets the spouse benefit so he can delay his full retirement to maximize his benefit.

    Gay couples can’t do that. The DOMA specifically denies gay couples the SS spouse benefit. This despite the fact that gay people have paid SS tax just like everyone else.

  28. 28
    golkarian

    You would have to ask them. But I think the “don’t knows”, or at least a lot of them, might be Christians that think same-sex marriage is wrong, but don’t think they should impose their beliefs on others, so they end up at an impasse.

  29. 29
    ck

    All I know is that Canada legalized it a long time ago (effectively in 2003-2004, but the law was formally updated in 2005), and our society and country hasn’t collapsed or suffered great calamities inflicted by a vengeful deity, so it’s probably safe. It didn’t destroy the three countries that legalized it before us, either.

    After a few years, even the Conservative Party of Canada has decided against trying to repeal it, despite Harper’s vow to do so if his party got power. So, it’s only scary if you haven’t permitted it yet. Once allowed, it loses its scare factor and becomes positively mundane within a few short years.

  30. 30
    David Marjanović

    Yes 7272 63 %
    No 3543 31 %
    Don’t know 602 5 %

    If your issue is with the word “marriage” itself, please note that under US statutory and common law, marriage is a secular matter. We do not — we cannot — have laws regulating religious rituals: there will never be laws or court rulings on who can be ordained a minister, or confirmed, or bar mitzvah-ed, or baptized. People get legally married all the time without the “benefit” of mumbo-jumbo, and those marriages are completely valid. The waving of hands and muttering of incantations is not what creates a legal marriage in this country.

    Still, it’s not like where I come from, where only bureaucrats are allowed to perform legal marriages. People traditionally marry again in church the next day, and the churches only perform that ceremony for people who are already legally married.

    Surely it’s teh ghey secks itself that’s “icky” to those folks, right? You’d think wrapping it up in a nice socially acceptable package like marriage would make it less icky, if anything. And yet, that’s never how the antis react, is it? ‘Tis a puzzlement….

    Well, when you marry, you’re announcing to the world: “Yo! The two of us fuck, and we fuck often!”* So, you remind the world of the existence of teh ghey secks, and you remind the world that real people do it, as opposed to theoretical abstractions.

    * That’ll be the default assumption, even if you’re both asexual.

  31. 31
    David Marjanović

    I should perhaps spell out that theoretical abstractions are much easier to hate and despise than real people who look mostly harmless.

  32. 32
    devnll

    Don’t Knows are strange beasts. They apparently care enough to read and respond to a survey on the topic, and yet still don’t know where they stand. Think about it; on how many issues would you not be able to characterise your position, yet still care enough to write a protest sign and stand on a streetcorner to tell people that you’re not sure? More extreme of course – doesn’t take much effort to fill out an on-line survey – but its the same category of act, just at a different magnitude. If you honestly don’t know, what possessed you to take any effort at all to tell other people that you don’t know?

    Of course some issues can be complicated – I might be for increased pathways for _legal_ immigration, but also for strict enforcement of immigration laws, for instance – but the polls like this are generally about issues that are fairly simple. Gay marriage being a perfect example; either you agree to treat gay people as humans entitled to equal human rights, or you don’t. How long can that take anyone to work out?

Comments have been disabled.