As a final note on Pride – we spend much of the weekend in a lovely little town on the north Jersey coast. It was one of those places that makes you think twice about your preconceptions about the Jersey Shore – but not three times.
We were so impressed that when we returned to read about how two-thirds of New Jerseyans support civil unions, we were pleased, but not surprised. An interesting side note to this story is the order in which questions where asked:
“The poll found that although respondents clearly supported expanding rights for gay couples, they were not decisive about whether marriage was the answer. Half of the respondents were asked about same-sex marriage first; the other half were asked first about civil unions. Those asked first about same-sex marriage supported it by a 53 to 40 margin, but those asked about civil unions first were split, with 48 percent in favor of allowing gay marriage and 47 percent opposing.”
This makes the obvious point that wording is incredibly important. While folks seem to instinctually want gays to have the same rights as straight couples, when they are reminded that they have TWO choices (marriage vs. civil unions), they go for the less charged option. This is, of course, the result of right wing and religious rhetoric. Imagine what would happen if those forces combined to do the same thing at McDonalds, and make ordinary Americans go for “Medium” rather than “Supersize.” As a nation we’d probably lose ten pounds on average.
Thank goodness instead they’re focusing their energy on something that helps everyone.