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05/03/2005

Shocking: 'USA Today' study reveals AFA to be anti-gay

by Jeremy Hooper

   Today's USA Today features an investigation into the response received by Education Sec. Margaret Spelling in the months since her decision to yank an episode of the PBS show "Postcards from Buster." As you might remember, Sec. Spellings pressured PBS to can the controversial episode back in February because it featured an honest portrayal of a lesbian couple; she much prefers the Sapphic sisters to be presented as soulless heathens.

The USA Today investigation sorta makes it sound like the entire nation was sending Ms. Spelling rose bouquets, so we wanted to conduct our own examination of the numbers.

The paper found that 197,610 people wrote to Secretary Spellings in the weeks following her decision, 81% of which supported her position. So 81% of 197,610 = 160,064 who embraced the bigotry, right? Of those 160,064, USA Today finds that 157,537 of the letters and emails came from the American Family Association, who are vehemently anti-gay by their own admission. Using the actions of the AFA to represent national feeling towards homosexuality is like using the emotionalism of a Star Trek convention to represent the country's affection for "Seven of Nine." If you don't get that reference, then you've validated the point.

So this leaves only 2527 non-AFA members who wrote to Spellings in favor of gay discrimination, which in the grand scheme of things is really not so bad. Especially considering that 37,000+ wrote to support the homo-gays.

We're not saying that the AFA members' opinions should be disregarded, but we do feel their goals and mission as an organization should be clearly noted. Not doing so could lead to confusion among people who don't dedicate their lives to bigotry elimination, many of whom undoubtedly rely on USA Today for info.

'Buster' flap gets huge response in favor of pulling show [USA Today via Yahoo! News]

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