Gay marriage ruling unlikely to cause anti-gay backlash

June 19, 2013 by Bettye Miller, University of California - Riverside

Concerns that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling favorable to gay marriage might produce a backlash that would impede efforts to achieve equality are unfounded, according to a study by researchers at University of California campuses in Riverside and Irvine, University of Connecticut and Princeton University.

The paper—"Patience or Progress: Should We Fear Opinion Backlash on ?"—published today on The Monkey Cage blog, a politics and policy website.

"For decades, those invoking backlash have told traditionally disadvantaged groups that they should not press their claims," among them women, African-Americans and Latinos, wrote co-authors Benjamin G. Bishin, associate professor of political science at UC Riverside; Charles Anthony Smith, associate professor of political science at UC Irvine; Thomas J. Hayes, assistant professor of at University of Connecticut; and Matthew B. Incantalupo, a Ph.D. candidate in politics and social policy at Princeton University.

Although holds that threats or changes to the status quo result in opinion backlash, empirical evidence of that has been lacking, the said.

The researchers conducted online experiments in which people were asked to react to a ruling allowing gay marriage and assigned the participants to read articles about the legalization of gay rights in Oregon, a gay pride parade and gun-control policy. A second experiment compared subjects' reactions before and after U.S. hearings on California's Proposition 8 and on restrictions on marriage recognition and benefits contained in the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

There was no evidence of opinion backlash on the issue of gay marriage in either experiment.

In fact, contrary to theories of backlash, experiment participants viewed gays and lesbians more warmly after the Supreme Court hearings than participants did before, the researchers found.

Although pushing for equal rights for gays and lesbians may produce some negative results—such as court rulings that go against gay rights—public opinion backlash is not likely to be one of them.

"It is ironic that almost exactly 50 years after Martin Luther King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail'—a response to Alabama clergy who exhorted blacks to wait for the courts to grant them civil rights—some today suggest the courts themselves should take it slow," the researchers concluded. "While it is possible that other forms of backlash may occur, our evidence suggests that opinion backlash—the primary basis for many of these claims—is not a good reason to do so."

Explore further: US pediatricians back gay marriage, cite research (Update)

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1 / 5 (3) Jun 19, 2013
This is just another attempt at guilt-tripping the heteros and intimidating the Supremes. John Roberts is likely vulnerable to it. Maybe that NSA data-mining already had it's impact on him, a la Petraeus, based on Roberts' jaw-dropping, bizarre rewrite of ObamaCare to pretend it's constitutional.

And gays are right to worry. Look at all that backlash against Muslims in the US after 9/11, what with the burning of mosques, the beating, hanging and stoning of Muslims, all those deportations, and worst of all, the on-going and egregious racist profiling at airports of anybody at all who looks faintly swarthy.

Oh, wait... None of that happened, now did it?
5 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2013
geokstr, did you just equate the horror of 9/11 with a favorable gay marriage ruling? The backlash against Muslims came on the heels of mass murder and destruction - who is going to die if gays are given the same right to marry as heteros?
2 / 5 (4) Jun 19, 2013
Equality is not what gay activists want. Gay Marriage is not what gay activists want. I hate it when Hezbollah Progressives lie.

A gay person right now HAS the same rights to marry anyone of the Opposite Sex as a Heterosexual. What they want is to change the definition of marriage. What they want is to have sexual rights TRUMP parental rights, religious rights, first amendment rights.

Don't believe me, read the news. Priests and Pastors being charged under hate crimes by speaking out against homosexuals. (I've yet to hear a Pastor being brought up on charges for saying adultery or heterosexual pre marital sex is wrong, but don't say a word against homosexual sex) Small business owners sued by Gay Activists, Government workers forced to affirm gay marriage, teacher fired for writing a letter to the editor for traditional marriage.

Perverted Homosexual SEX trumping traditional freedoms is what Gay Marriage is all about.

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