FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – On Wednesday, the University of Arkansas released its fifteenth annual Arkansas Poll. The poll included questions regarding Arkansans’ views of same-sex marriage and civil unions.
Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement saying he agrees with the general conclusions made by the University of Arkansas. “The poll says, ‘by and large results were similar to previous years, with less than a quarter of Arkansans supporting marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples. When it comes to the statement “There should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship,” only 46 percent of Arkansans agreed, the first time the response has dipped below 50 percent.’ Overall, I don’t think this poll shows us anything all that new. Sixty-seven percent of the people polled said they do not support same-sex marriage. Twenty-three percent said that they do. Now, yes, some of that sixty-seven percent say they support civil unions and domestic partnerships, but if you look at the numbers, you see that has always been the case in Arkansas.”
Cox said there’s a lot of debate and confusion over what constitutes a civil union. “To some people, a civil union is something that gives a person the right to visit another person in the hospital. To others, it’s marriage by a different name. Everyone has their own idea of what civil unions are.”
Cox also said there is much more going on than polls reveal. “Experts at RiceUniversity studied this issue for six years, from 2006 to 2012. What they found was that people on both sides of this issue change their minds. They don’t just switch from opposing same-sex marriage to supporting it. They also go from supporting same-sex marriage to opposing it. The end result, though, is not much has changed. Most people oppose same-sex marriage; some people support it; and some are undecided.
“The most important poll I’m concerned with is the one the State of Arkansas took in November of 2004, when seventy-five percent of Arkansas voters chose to define marriage as the union of one man to one woman. The way people answer polling questions about homosexuality and the way they vote are not the same. Experience tells us that in the privacy of the voting booth people vote more traditionally. If an election were held today, the majority of Arkansans would still vote to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. That’s what counts.”
Family Council is a conservative education and research organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.