Study: Gay canvassers more effective at changing minds on marriage equality

The key element, Green said, would be for the canvasser to somehow personify, in a positive way, the issue at stake.

There’s a widespread perception that many Americans have closed themselves to competing viewpoints, Green said.

“The view that comes out of this paper is much more optimistic,” he said. “If you have a respectful conversation between two people, minds can be changed.”

However, he doubted that voters need worry about an array of political campaigns sending canvassers to their doorsteps in quest for a heartfelt 20-minute conversation.

“Talking about this approach with campaign consultants, I get nothing but resistance,” Green said. “Quantity trumps quality in their eyes. They want to have at most a 3-minute conversation with voters, and they do not want to have a two-way conversation.”

Article continues below

On June 26, 2013, just a few weeks after the canvassers’ conversations, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California’s gay-marriage ban and ordered the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages.

Since then, due to a series of lower court rulings, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage has more than doubled to 35.

“We’ve always known that the biggest engine of change of heart is conversation with a gay person or a non-gay person who supports the freedom to marry,” said Evan Wolfson, president of the advocacy group Freedom to Marry.

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Albania gay rights groups open first LGBTI shelter in Balkan region

Previous article

Case continued for man charged in North Carolina hotel homicide

Next article