Tags: Gay Marriage | gay marriage | Gay Canvassers | same-sex marriage

Study: Gay Canvassers Can Change Minds on Gay Marriage

By    |   Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 06:43 PM

Political canvassers who are gay are effective at softening voters' opinions about same-sex marriage after a short conversation, a new study finds.

According to an 18-month research published in the journal Science, just a 20-minute conversation about gay marriage with a person who is gay can have a long lasting effect, which can also affect that person's entire family.

The study was conducted at UCLA and began as a project at the Los Angeles LGBT Center to test the effect they were having in their door-to-door campaign after Proposition 8 was passed in 2008 in California, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman in the state's constitution. The center began canvassing neighborhoods that had supported the proposition, BuzzFeed is reporting.

Researchers Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA, and Donald P. Green, political science professor at Columbia University, conducted the research on 972 voters from pro-Proposition 8 neighborhoods and presented a scripted argument for gay marriage or for recycling. Those who heard about recycling were the placebo group.

Part way through the conversation, some of the gay canvassers would reveal that they were gay, while the straight canvasser would talk about someone they knew who was gay. And some of the canvassers would not personalize the issue at all, sticking to the script.

Those who spoke to the gay canvassers about gay marriage softened their view on the topic five times faster than the general public.

And the effects were long lasting and far reaching as the voters, who were graded on a 100-point scale increased their support for same sex marriage by 15 points, when the canvassers returned nine months.

In addition, the rest of the household was also affected, showing a 3 percent increase in their support for gay marriage.

Those who had recycling pitched to them had a 3-point increase in their support of gay marriage.

"The conventional wisdom was that any contact, such as mingling, was sufficient [to change opinion]," LaCour told BuzzFeed. "But that doesn't seem to be the case," adding that the key variable in their study was "a real experience with a gay person."

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Political canvassers who are gay are effective at softening voters' opinions about same-sex marriage after a short conversation, a new study finds.
gay marriage, Gay Canvassers, same-sex marriage
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2014-43-11
Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 06:43 PM
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