Saturday, January 24, 2009

Encouraging news

Politicians who say they don’t pay attention to polls are lying. All pay attention to them. It’s how they use that information that is important. Bill Clinton’s presidency got the reputation of forming policy around poll results, which turned out to be a smart policy for a while. But all it takes is one contrary poll to cause confusion and doubt.

Same-sex marriage is a popular topic for pollsters, and there is a plethora of these polls. A recent one comes out of Florida, where the Orlando Sentinel reported that most Florida voters were in favor of either allowing same-sex marriage or civil unions. That’s encouraging news; however, the article fails to reveal the poll’s methodology as well as how many Florida voters were sampled and where they lived.

But the results are bothersome as well because I continue to be troubled by the support that exists for civil unions, which I liken to Rice-a-roni, the ultimate consolation prize (watch the movie “The Broken Hearts Club” to see what I mean).

The blogger at Joe.My.God. has some news that the Swedish parliament may be taking the right step to move beyond allowing same-sex couples to register within civil unions by expanding the right to marry, both civilly and within a religious ceremony. And as would be expected, the legislation allows for ministers to opt out of conducting same-sex marriages. Which supports a point I’ve always tried to make – Your religious beliefs cannot accommodate same-sex marriage? Fine! You don’t have to conduct any of them. But don’t stand in the way of those religious leaders who are willing to conduct them.

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