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Same Sex Marriage: Contact Analysis

1. Research Question:

Which of these common frames were adopted by these different newspapers in the US in the coverage of legislation associated with same-sex marriage?

2 List 3 variables you will explore as related to your research question

  • Opinions about same-sex unions

  • Religious affiliation

  • Political interference

3. Write a hypothesis for each variable

  • It is hypothesized that the public hold divergent opinions about the aspect of same-sex unions that include; favoring and condemnation views.

  • It is hypothesized that most of the religious institutions perceive same-sex unions as being sinful and inhumane in nature because any form of organised religion do not engage in frequent support of gay couples.

  • It is hypothesized that there will be different perspectives as a result of distinct political interference in most of the US states.

4. Indicate the sample you will study and what units of analysis you will be coding

Sample: 2015 same- sex marriage In United States (6/26/ 2015)

Period: two weeks (From 6/26- 7/10)

Newspapers: New York Time (n=19), Washington Post (n=14), Chicago Tribune (n=22)

Units I will code

A. Five frames B. Headline (Pro or Against) C. What people say (Pro or Against)

5. Create your tally sheet, write any operational definitions to define your terms

Category to be coded

Not Present

Five news Frames

Attribution responsibility

Human interest





Operational Definitions:

Semetko & Valkenburg (2000) came up with a distinctive literature review to establish the five frames that will be vehemently used for this study. It is important to note that even though the literature below provides definition for these terms, descriptions that are deemed specific to the study at hand will be integrated as a way of better comprehending the different perspectives of these frames for the issue altogether.

  • According to Semetko & Valkenburg (2000) conflict frame showcases the level of conflict between individual groups or even institutions as a way of capturing audience interest. For the case at hand, the conflict is manifested between members of the gay community, political interferences and members of the religious community.

  • Human interest frame is used to portray the element of emotional angle to the presentation of a given issue (Semetko & Valkenburg, 2000). In this case, it relates to the gay couples seeking and thereby being denied the right of obtaining marriage license.

  • The economic consequences frame provides information relating to an issue, event or problem in relation to the consequences it will impact on the economic situation of individual groups or countries (Semetko & Valkenburg, 2000). For instance, the access to health care for one of the spouse in same sex legislation framework.

  • The morality frame portrays the issue at hand on a religious perspective or even moral prescriptions (Semetko & Valkenburg, 2000).

  • The responsibility frame portrays an issue in a way that relates to it being responsible for its cause or solution to either government or individual groups (Semetko & Valkenburg, 2000). For the case at hand, it is invoked in same-sex marriage legislation framework.


Semetko, H. A., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2000). Framing European politics: A content analysis of press and television news. Journal of Communication, 50(2), 93-109