Gay marriage polls are unreliable

Referendum is the best way to test public opinion on the matter
Referendum is the best way to test public opinion on the matter

I refer to your Morning View (‘Voters have put their trust in the DUP to resist SF intransigence,’ February 12) in which you state:

“Most opponents of same sex marriage realise that public opinion in favour of it has swept the western world and that Northern Ireland is not immune to that big shift in opinion.”

Letters to Editor

Letters to Editor

How can cone confidently assert that this is the case when public opinion has never been actually tested in Northern Ireland?

Opinion polls have showed consistent clear majorities in favour of same sex marriage etc, but as someone who has experience in the market research industry, it is an open secret that polls are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to divisive social questions like same sex marriage.

Therefore, the only fair, democratic and most importantly accurate way of testing public opinion is to have a referendum on the issue.

A case in point is that opinion polls in favour of gay marriage in two referendums — in both 2000 and 2008 — but then California rejected gay marriage in those two same referendums!

Geoff Wilson, Dunmurry