Media Study: More Pro Views on Same-Sex Marriage
NEW YORK -- Around the time the U.S. Supreme Court was considering the same-sex marriage issue, news reports had more comments from supporters than opponents, a study released Monday concluded.
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism looked at nearly 500 stories on the topic over a two-month period that began just before the court started hearings in March on legalizing same-sex marriage. By a 5-to-1 margin, the stories with statements in support of legalization outweighed those dominated by opponents’ views.
But Pew said the results were in large part because many of the stories were about polls showing societal attitudes swiftly moving toward support for gay marriage, or about politicians announcing their support. A disciplined approach by supporters was also a factor, Pew found.
"Certainly it is evident in these findings the degree to which supporters of same-sex marriage were largely successful in getting their message out in a clear way, a consistent way, across a wide swath of the news media," said Amy Mitchell, acting director of the project.
Supporters primarily defined the issue as one of civil rights. At the same time, Pew said, opponents haven’t coalesced behind a single argument but instead posed many: homosexuality is immoral; same-sex marriage hurts families or society; civil unions are good enough; or government should not impose a new definition of marriage.