On Fox, Gary Bauer claimed Americans think constitutional ban on gay marriage "is important"; polling shows otherwise

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

On Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson, American Values president and former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer asserted that "the American people" believe that a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage "is important." In fact, according to recent polling, when asked to prioritize the most pressing issues facing the country, most respondents have cited the war in Iraq, the economy, energy prices, terrorism, and immigration, but very few listed same-sex marriage.

On the June 5 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson, Gary Bauer, president of the group American Values and a former GOP presidential candidate, asserted that "the American people" believe that a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage "is important." In fact, according to recent polling, when asked to prioritize the most pressing issues facing the country, most respondents have cited the war in Iraq, the economy, energy prices, terrorism, and immigration, but very few listed same-sex marriage.

  • In a May 16-17 CBS poll, respondents were "asked to volunteer" what they identified as "the most important problem facing this country today," meaning the respondents were free to choose any topic that came to mind. Twenty-eight percent thought the war in Iraq was the most important problem, while 15 percent cited the economy, 12 percent said immigration, and six percent pointed to gas and oil crises. The poll apparently compiled a number of different answers in the "Other" category at 16 percent, but same-sex marriage was not listed. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
  • A May 5-8 Harris poll asked respondents for "Spontaneous, Unprompted Replies" to the question: "What do you think are the two most important issues for the government to address?" "(The) war" was viewed as the top priority, with 28 percent, while "immigration" followed with 16 percent, "gas and oil prices" received 14 percent, and 13 percent said "the economy." Overall, 33 different topics were viewed by at least one percent of respondents as the "most important issue" for government, but same-sex marriage was not among them; the poll noted that less than 0.5 percent identified same-sex marriage. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
  • Listing issues including the war in Iraq, health care, the environment, and same-sex marriage, a May 11-15 ABC/Washington Post poll asked: "What will be the single most important issue in your vote for U.S. House this year?" Seventeen percent cited the economy, 11 percent said Iraq, 11 percent said immigration, 7 percent identified gas prices, and six percent said terrorism. Less than 0.5 percent of the respondents cited "same sex marriage." The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

From the June 5 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:

BUSH [video clip]: This week, the Senate begins debate on the Marriage Protection Amendment. And I call on the Congress to pass this amendment, send it to the states for ratification, so we can take this issue out of the hands of overreaching judges and put it back where it belongs, in the hands of the American people.

GIBSON: That was President Bush a few hours ago announcing his support for a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages.

Will the move help him with the GOP base voters? Let's ask Susan Turnbull, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Gary Bauer, a former Republican presidential candidate and current president of American Values, a D.C.-area nonprofit organization. So, Gary, if I can start with you.

BAUER: Sure.

GIBSON: This came up short last time. And all the nose counters say it's going to come up short this time. So what is the point of trotting this out again?

BAUER: Well, there's a couple of points, John. First of all, it's going to get more votes this time than it did the last time. And second of all, the point is that it's important. You know, the American people think it's important. Voters in 19 states have gone through extraordinary lengths to collect in some cases hundreds of thousands, totally millions of signatures to put this issue on the ballot in those states, and in every one of those states, the American people voted overwhelmingly to keep marriage in the United States between a man and a woman. I'm glad the president has thrown his weight behind this proposal again. I think he has done the right thing, and, quite frankly, I'm surprised that Democrats really want to stand in the way or be perceived by the public as not being sympathetic.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Gary Bauer
Show/Publication
The Big Story with John Gibson
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