The ‘gay’ marriage debate – crunching the numbers

Last week, our Neil wrote a blog about the gay marriage debate. He argued that people who weren’t very comfortable with the idea of gay marriage were more likely to avoid even using the word ‘gay’. And he challenged someone to see if there was any evidence to go with this hunch.

Well, it looks like there might be.

The House of Lords has been debating the gay marriage bill – or the ‘marriage (same sex couples)’ bill, to give it its proper name – over the last couple of days. Lords have been giving their speeches for or against the bill, and you can read them in full on the parliament website. I’ve been through some of those speeches, and here’s what I found.

In the first twelve ‘pro’ speeches, the Lords in favour use the word gay a total of 50 times.

And in the first twelve ‘anti’ speeches, they use it a total of five times.

Almost too perfect to be true, right? I laughed out loud when I counted them up, but them’s the breaks.

Now, of course this is far from conclusive. There are plenty of other speeches that I don’t have the time to look at, and the House of Lords isn’t the only place this is being discussed. But it is pretty telling, don’t you think?

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