Gary Bauer Says Polls "Skew" America's Support For Same-Sex Marriage

Gary Bauer, an evangelical leader and a president of a conservative organization, claimed "the polls are skewed" when presented with data that support for same-sex marriage is on the rise.

Bauer appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and insisted that there was a simple explanation for one in seven adults changing their mind and supporting same-sex marriage, contributing to the new figures.

"A lot of people are changing their mind because there's been a full-court blitz by the popular culture, by elites, by all kinds of folks to intimidate and to cower people and to no longer defend marriage as being between a man and a woman," he said.

He's right about one thing: several modern TV shows and movies have embraced same-sex relationships, including Glee and The Kids Are All Right, and with prominent figures like President Obama and Hillary Clinton coming out in support of marriage equality, it's understandable that someone so vehemently against the idea might find this overwhelming.

But are these really "intimidating" people into supporting same-sex marriage — or, as he puts it, "no longer defending marriage"? Probably not.

Still, Bauer pressed on, calling the growing support a "radical movement" that is a "profoundly unconservative thing." While he does believe that the states should decide individually whether or not to allow same-sex marriage, he does not believe a federal ban would be unconstitutional.

"The polls that really matter are the polls that are taken when the people actually vote on this," he said. "When people have voted as late as 10 months ago, 30 states have put the natural definition of marriage into their state constitution on average by a vote of 67%t."

What Bauer fails to realize is that the support has been growing, rather than faltering. California is one of only a handful of states to strike down a same-sex marriage law, while in November, Minnesota voted down a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as only between a man and a woman. Meanwhile, California's Prop 8 (which banned same-sex marriage) is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court this week, and Minnesota is well on its way to passing a law allowing same-sex marriage.

Additionally, if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act this month, then those "30 states" Bauer mentioned with same-sex marriage bans would be forced to end them.

Then again, this is all coming from the same person who connected Chicago gang crime to the President's support of same-sex marriage.

Bauer was faced with criticism on the show by Nicolle Wallace, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, who said, "[T]he biggest problem that Mr. Bauer faces, not just this morning but moving forward is that more than 65% of his own base, self-describing evangelical Christians, under the age of 33, support marriage equality. Eighty percent of people in this country, right, left, Democrat, Republican, man, woman, support marriage equality. More than 60% of all Americans, everyone, supports marriage equality."

Bauer snapped back, "If the opinion of the American public was so overwhelming, the gay rights movement and their allies ... wouldn't be asking the Supreme Court to say to the American people, 'You have no say on this issue.'"

While the battle for equality lives on, maybe it's people like Bauer who we have to worry about "intimidating" Americans, as he spouts emotionally-charged falsehoods in a nonsensical fight he has to know he can only lose.

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Christine Salek

Christine is a writer and perpetual student living in Des Moines, Iowa. Her writing can also be found on Medium, the Gonzaga Bulletin, and ResearchGate.

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