Thursday, February 17, 2011

National Organization for Marriage called out AGAIN for distortive tactics

Slowly but surely, people are beginning to get hip to the homophobic sideshow known as the National Organization for Marriage.

Last week, NOM was called out by PolitiFact for spreading a false story that "gay marriage is being taught" to kindergartners in Massachusetts.

This week, the organization has been called out by Erik Hartley from The Capital newspaper in Maryland for a distorted push poll it conducted.

First, a part of NOM's press release about the results of the poll:


By a 54-37 margin, Maryland voters believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, according to a new poll released today by Lawrence Research.

The poll, commissioned by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), also found that 78% of the state’s voters believe the voters of Maryland, rather than the legislature (14%), should have the final word on the issue of whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage.

The state legislature is currently considering legislation to change the legal definition of marriage in Maryland from “a man and a woman” to “any two adults.” Supporters of traditional marriage, including NOM, the Maryland Catholic Conference, and the Association of Maryland Families, have vowed to put this proposal before the voters via Maryland’s referendum process if passed by the General Assembly. The findings of the poll indicate strong voter support for a referendum on this issue.

“The results of this poll strongly affirm that we are on the right side of Maryland voters,” said Brian Brown, President of NOM. “Not only do voters support marriage by a 17-point margin, but they reject the Legislature’s efforts to impose this without public input. We’ll continue to fight to block the current legislation push in the General Assembly, but this poll shows beyond any doubt that despite what the legislature does, the people will have the final say, and they will support marriage.”

Apparently, NOM commissioned this poll after another in January showed that the folks in Maryland in fact supports gay marriage.

NOM whined that the poll had a "misleading" question. So naturally the organization conducted some chicanery of its own. Hartley said the following:

Say you're an interest group that wants to make it seem as if the public is on your side. Just commission a poll, ask the questions a certain way and voilĂ ! You have the poll result you wanted.

That's what an anti-gay-marriage group has just done.

After a recent Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies poll showed most Marylanders now support same-sex marriage, the National Organization for Marriage decided it wanted a different result.

It complained that the Gonzales poll's question ("Would you favor or oppose a law in Maryland allowing same-sex couples to marry, giving them the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples in areas such as tax exemptions, inheritance and pension coverage?") was biased. A "strong, pro-gay marriage bias" was the exact wording.

So NOM asked it this way: "As far as you personally are concerned, should marriage be between a man and a woman, or should it also be available to same-sex couples?"

Hmm. Why the phrase "as far as you personally are concerned"? Perhaps to appeal to people's visceral discomfort with gay people? Note that the question does not ask about the proposed law; it asks about values -- "as far as you personally are concerned" -- and how you think the world "should" be.

That's two weeks and two times that NOM's bullshit has been called out. The third time's a charm as far as I'm concerned.

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Steve said...

If someone asked me the question, "As far as you are personally concerned, should women get abortions?" my answer would be no. But that has no reflection on what I think the law should say. Because, I also know that when it comes to someone else's decision, it is none of my damn business. It is not my body, my future nor the future of my potential child so why in the world should I have a say?

I hope we can help some people look at gay marriage the same way. Just because you personally may be uncomfortable with it, doesn't automatically mean it should not be available to others so they can live their lives as they see fit.

truthspew said...

NOM said 80% of RI'ers want to see marriage equality on the ballot. I proved that it's actually only 29%.

As an old accounting instructor once said to us "Numbers don't lie but figures do!"