A Curious Headline about Gay Marriage

Politico and George Washington University just released a poll showing that 40 percent of Americans favor gay marriage. The same poll also says that 30 percent support civil unions but not gay marriage, and 24 percent oppose any kind of legal recognition of gay unions.

What do you think the headline reporting this news should say? Here are some options, all of which would have been accurate:

A majority of Americans oppose gay marriage

Poll says 54% of Americans oppose gay marriage

Despite recent gay rights gains, majority still oppose same-sex marriage

Majority favors some legal recognition for gay unions but still opposes gay marriage

So what headline do you think Politico chose for its report on its own poll? Here it is:

Plurality supports gay marriage

Does that seem like the most obvious headline to you?

4 Responses to A Curious Headline about Gay Marriage

  1. WJacksonWatts December 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Great example of how worldview and sociology are always complicated because of the most subjective ingredient–interpretation.

  2. James Stanton December 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    The most obvious one is that a strong majority prefer some type of union. I don’t particularly see a big difference between civil unions and marriages but this has become a zero sum game.

    • Denny Burk December 10, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

      I agree. I don’t think there’s a big difference either.

  3. Matt Martin December 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    40% support gay marriage. 30% support gay marriage, but just don’t want to call it marriage. And only 24% oppose gay marriage. Yep, the headline got it right.

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