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09/20/2009

The fair and equal message: It doesn't translate to Discriminatory English

by Jeremy Hooper

In reaction to the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll that shows Maine's anti-equality opponents as having a slight, statistically insignificant lead in the state's battle to preserve marriage equality, the "Yes on 1" campaign (i.e. the opponents of fairness) have issued a very interesting statement. Check out this snippet:

Our lead is particularly significant given that the poll was conducted after our opponents had the television airwaves to themselves for two-and-a-half weeks and our ad had aired for just two days. It is clear that their message of fairness and equality do not compel voters to support homosexual marriage, particularly against the backdrop of the serious, real consequences to individuals, small businesses and religious organizations that we raise.
*Full statement: Daily Kos Poll Shows Yes on 1 with Slight Lead over Opposition [Stand For Marriage Maine]

Now, we say this is interesting not because of the second sentence's mistaken employment of "do not" rather than "does not." While funny that this error slipped by (and has remained for two days), it'd be hypocritical for this site to cast stones at it, since we here at G-A-Y are typo artistes.

No, no -- the truly interesting point is the admission that our side's message is one of fairness and equality. The "yes" campaign doesn't call this message alleged or put the terms in quotes. They don't even try to claim that it is their side that possesses the truly fair and equal script. They flat-out give it to us: Our message is one of fairness and equality, while theirs is one of "consequences." Consequences that do not stand up under the weight of fact!

The obvious reason why they'll never use the "fair" and "equal" mantra is because they simply cannot. Doing so would be a crazy stretch, even for a movement that has elasticized itself all the way from Fallacy Falls to Deception Junction. But be as that may, Stand For Marriage Maine's concession here is really quite significant. In this, a campaign where a group of largely faith-based (especially Catholic) folks are trying to roll back civil rights that were granted by the elected legislature, the "yes" folks have the considerable burden of trying to "prove" how and why they're really not being unequal and unfair -- honestly, seriously, they mean it, please believe them for the sake of Maggie Gallagher's career. And in this case, it would seem that even they know that this is an insurmountable task. They seem to be conceding the civil righteousness to us, and simply hoping that their personal views on what they think God seems as righteous, coupled with their fear-mongering, will be enough to convince Mainers that some people's civil rights deserve to be regressed, no matter how fair and equal those fairly- and equally- granted rights may be.

Well, we the gay people don't agree with that liberty and justice for some message. We're convinced that Mainers will also shun this dangerous campaign rather than test out the consequences of unfairness and inequality.

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Your thoughts

I believe our side CAN become the lead if we work enough. How often do they make these polls? Approximately how many Mainers vote per election? We need to apport all we can to preserve marriage equality there. We may also ask all those "progressive" celebrities and big shots to donate for the campaign; they make more money per year than the average person gains during their entire life!

Posted by: ---- | Sep 20, 2009 8:22:18 PM

Polls that show a campaign in the lead tend to instill a sense of complacency in voters / supporters who are in favor of that campaign. That's why I like to see polls that show us behind by a small (and as you say) statistically insignificant margin. It just gives the underdog that much more reason to keep pushing on.

And, I think it is great that they have ceded the fairness and equality ground to us. In fact, they could never run a campaign against us based on fairness, equality, or (dare I say) truthfulness, justice or even decency. The only thing they can do is fear and deception. Unfortunately, fear and deception have worked far too many times.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 20, 2009 8:58:53 PM

"It is clear that their message of fairness and equality do not compel voters to support homosexual marriage, particularly against the backdrop of the serious, real consequences to individuals, small businesses and religious organizations that we raise."

Haha. By their own admission, on our side is fairness and equality. and on their side are butthurt bigots.

Posted by: asdfghjkl | Sep 21, 2009 5:04:22 PM

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