CNN national correspondent Bruce Morton downplayed support for legalizing same-sex unions by blurring the distinction between same-sex marriage and civil unions. Morton cited a recent Gallup poll showing that 68 percent of Americans oppose same-sex marriage, but failed to note that the same poll showed that only 45 percent of Americans oppose legalizing either civil unions or same-sex marriage.
In discussing recent moves by the states on same-sex marriage on the April 5 edition of CNN's Inside Politics, Morton grouped the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision striking down the state's ban on gay marriage with two civil union plans: Vermont's creation of civil unions in 2000 and a Connecticut proposal to create civil unions. Same-sex marriage gives gay and lesbian couples the right to enter into a marriage contract, while civil unions are a new type of domestic contract that would entitle couples to equal rights at the state, but not the federal, level.
In discussing public opinion on the subject, Morton highlighted a Gallup poll showing that 68 percent of Americans oppose same-sex marriage. But in the same poll, only 45 percent of Americans said they opposed any legal recognition for same-sex couples, while 47 percent favored legalizing either same-sex marriage or civil unions.
From the April 5 edition of CNN's Inside Politics:
MORTON: Here are the states where it's banned in the state constitutions. On the other side, same-sex marriages became legal in Massachusetts last year. Vermont approved civil unions. No M-word, but gay couples could be covered by health insurance and so on in 2000. And Connecticut is expected to do the same thing, probably this week.
Nationally, 68 percent of those answering a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll last month said they oppose same-sex marriages.