SOMEWHERE, United States, March 17 - Here are some facts about same-gender marriage support among American college freshman as reported yesterday in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which is not, as it turns out, a pro-marijuana-on-campus publication, but rather a Washington, D.C.- based one the Web site of which describes it as "the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college university faculty members and administrators."
But then, it would say that, wouldn't it?
*Sixty-five percent of college freshman polled last fall support same-gender marriage, according to a study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, a group, or groups, unbowed by ampersands.
*Fifty-eight percent of Americans aged eighteen to twenty-nine support it, Pew&Pew reported.
*Thirty-nine percent of all Americans support it (PewPew).
*Twenty-four percent of college students describing themselves as "far right" support it, as opposed to a mere fourteen percent of conservative Republicans nationwide, according to a recently released study by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.
There are many more facts and figures in the studies, far too many for a lazy reporter to cope with. However, a few bear mentioning, all of them having to do with college freshmen and deriving from both studies.
*Women supported same-gender marriage over men by seventy-two to fifty-seven percent. (Nationwide: women forty-three percent, men thirty-four.)
*Hispanics favored it by sixty-nine percent, white students sixty-five percent, black students fifty-three percent. (Nationwide: Hispanics forty-five percent; whites thirty-nine; blacks twenty-six.)
*Eighty-seven percent of those who identified as Jewish, Buddhist or non-religious supported it; sixty-six percent of Catholics (!); fifty-eight percent of Muslim students; and between fifty to seventy-five percent of students affiliated with most Protestant Christian denominations.
The Chronicle piece quotes a man named Glenn Stanton, who is the director of something called family-formation studies at the conservative Focus on the Family, as being unruffled by the studies' findings. Says he: "Typically, across the board, young people tend to be more liberal or progressive. As they get older ... they really start to see the world in a different way."
This may or may not be true. If true, it is because groups like Focus on the Family brainwash innocent children into their deviant lifestyle of sensual denial and generalized self-abasement.
(The Focus on the Family Web site says the group "is a global Christian ministry that helps build thriving marriages that reflect God's design, and equips parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles. We are... protecting [families] from the harmful influences of culture..." That sentiment no doubt freezes Simon Cowell's blood.)
By way of balance, the Chronicle quoted same-gender marriage advocacy group Freedom to Marry executive director Evan Wolfson as saying college freshmen's growing support stems from personal experience: "Young people who know gay people, talk with them, and examine why marriage matters in the lives of real people move in support."
Incidentally, the journalistic practice of offering "balanced" quotes and opinions - on the one hand; on the other - is an anachronistic way of covering bases. Yes, journalism ought to offer differing views. But quoting a guy from a pro-marriage group, and another from a, well, anti-marriage group, advances the dialogue not a'tall.
But what do you expect from the (pretty) penny press?