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Yea, Tony? That figure's honest? See nothing false about the witness you've borne? Interesting.

by Jeremy Hooper

Fearful that the momentum is with New York to finally pass marriage equality this legislative session, Tony Perkins and his Family Research Council cohorts are working the idea that the Empire State is against fairness for gay couples. In a post on the subject, Tony is working the idea that....

Picture 21-35
Empire State Strikes Back [FRC]

Only problem for Tony? This stat is completely deceptive! The poll that Tony cites shows that only a scant 19% are actively opposed to same-sex marriage, while a whopping 74% are for either marriage equality or civil unions!

Here's that actual poll data, per Quinnipiac:

Picture 20-45

Alright. So yes, it's true that 59% failed to answer the question with a 100% supportive answer. However, it's unfair to put the civil unions camp in the "opposed" category. It's a near certainty that many (most?) of these civil unions preferrers would absolutely choose marriage equality, if C.U's were taken off the table and they were only given the choice between full marriage and nothing at all. And considering that Tony and company are staunchly opposed to civil unions, it's completely inappropriate for them to count a C.U. supporter as being on their side!

Civil unions are a clunky option that some folks will choose, if given the chance. However, with education on the inadequacies of the system, a large portion (majority?) of those folks will head towards equality, not bias! Which brings us to another issue: This poll was taken before Iowa and Vermont. While the first was a court ruling, the latter legislative action specifically negated the claim that civil unions are equal, which surely opened/changed some minds in neighboring New York!

But of course since folks like Tony Perkins draw all of their comfort from (once-supportive but now waning) public opinion, he and his ilk are trying desperately to paint New York as a homo-hostile state whose Statue of Liberty stands for some, not all. The thing is? Even if the stats WERE exactly how Tony presents them, it still wouldn't matter. Our side isn't sitting back and pulling safety from heightened numbers, even when they do go our way. And we are not stifling our principled legislative or judicial pushes, regardless of the opposition level. Why? Because our fight is RIGHT! We are working towards what's fair, and hoping that our pushes, gains, and teachable moments will eventually get righteous support to as close to 100% as possible.

Because that is what an honorable movement does: Fights for what is just even when against the odds. One should question any civil rights force that confuses polling with merit, and uses the same as their primary justification.

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Your thoughts

The only way he could have done this without lying outrageously:

He asked an expert statistician to frame the data in a meaningful way he could use. The statistician said "59% are not for same sex marriage in a poll where other options are provided."

The underling who got this data got rid of the "in a poll.." after all this information is implied by the careful wording "not for".

Then when Tony got it he realised that "not for" is a synonym for "against", which is a synonym for "opposed"! So 59% are opposed - everybody has to know that this option is being forced upon .... etc.

Either that or he just misused the information, with no knowledge of stats whatsoever, on purpose, and that just can't be true, can it?

Posted by: corvidae | Apr 17, 2009 9:37:15 AM

In a way I'm almost impressed by the sheer ballsiness of taking a poll where only 19% of people agree with your position and using it as a talking point. I mean that's just...wow.

Posted by: Phil | Apr 17, 2009 11:37:23 AM

pardon my french, but I'm completely unsurprised by this since Tony Perkins is *such* an asshole. I know that's probably not constructive, but it's Friday so screw it. Have a nice weekend!

Posted by: ZnSD | Apr 17, 2009 1:36:55 PM

In Sleeping Beauty one of the good fairies wanted Aurora to wear a blue dress and one wanted pink. Quite insistently. And determinedly.

What Tony fails to see is that neither of them wanted no dress at all.

Posted by: Timothy | Apr 17, 2009 2:57:12 PM

Here in RI 57% of respondents are FOR gay marriage. I can't imagine NY is much different.

Posted by: Tony P | Apr 17, 2009 3:31:08 PM

I really don't think the figure is very deceptive at all. 59% of New Yorkers apparently do oppose gay marriage, even if an encouragingly large subset of them also support civil unions.

Posted by: Pender | Apr 17, 2009 4:41:40 PM

Keep in mind the FRC obtains the majority of it's fund raising through the use of GLBT issues in general. Whether it is Hate crimes legislation, Gay Marriage or even The Day of Silence.. Do yourselves a favor sign up at their website for their emails you will "Shit" when you read the things this cretin says about our GLBT community!!! He is evil incarnate!!

Posted by: alex in boston | Apr 17, 2009 5:50:43 PM

Wow, using FRC's calculation, 116% of registered voters are FOR marriage equality!! :)

Posted by: Tom | Apr 17, 2009 7:30:49 PM

I note the AFA has been unusually quiet for some odd reason. I'll have to sign onto FRC's mailing list now.

Posted by: Tony P | Apr 18, 2009 12:40:10 AM

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