More Anti-Gay Math Problems

Timothy Kincaid

February 26th, 2008

Perhaps we should pity the anti-gays; they have seem to have learning problems. I’m not saying that they are downright stupid, but they certainly do seem to be confused about math.

In response to a booklet created by the NEA and the APA called Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth, the usual suspects jumped in with their indignation and, well, ignorance. And the Christian Post was right there to give them a venue.

“Among the so-called ‘facts’ in the 24-page document is the opinion that homosexuality is ‘a normal expression of human sexuality,'” stated Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), in an email to FRC supporters.

I suppose it is amusing that this statement alone is shocking, shocking I say, to FRC’s supporters. You can almost hear the froth forming at Tony’s lips when he says, “normal”.

But the gem in the piece was this:

“Despite decades of activism and media propaganda promoting acceptance and celebration of homosexuality, and a number of political and judicial victories for the pro-homosexual movement, polls show that a clear majority of Americans still believe that homosexual behavior is ‘morally wrong,” said Paul Sprigg, vice president for policy of the FRC.

Well, unless there are two wacky Spriggs, his name is actually Peter, not Paul (or Mary), and he’s the darling of anti-gays such as PFOX. Sprigg is just chuck full of opinions about gays, all of them vile.

As it turns out, not only is Sprigg a raging loon, he also doesn’t understand mathematics. This is the result of Gallup’s annual poll (May 2007) of public opinion on the morality of homosexuality:

49% believe homosexual relations are morally wrong; 47% believe they are morally acceptable; with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

In other words, the numbers are statistically equal. But even without allowing for sampling error, 49% is not “a clear majority”, it’s a simple plurality. A “clear majority” would be a number above 50% which allows for the sampling error.

And those numbers are a year old. Which, if we look at the chart below, may well make a difference when Gallup runs its poll this May.

gallup.gif

Poor Peter (or Paul or Mary or whoever he is). Not only is it clear that time is his enemy, but he left out the other little facts which show that his battle is nearly over and it’s time for him to start sewing the white flag:

* In general, do you think homosexuals should or should not have equal rights in terms of job opportunities? 89% yes; 9% no

* Do you think homosexual relations between consenting adults should or should not be legal? 59% yes; 37% no

* In your view, is homosexuality something a person is born with, (or is homosexuality) due to factors such as upbringing and environment? 42% born; 35% upbringing; 11% both

and even

* Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages? 46% yes; 53% no.

And, as I’m sure you guessed, these trends are not in his favor either. But somehow I think that someone unable to recognize that 49% is not a clear majority also won’t recognize that his brand of demonization and loud (false) accusations is losing badly.

David

February 27th, 2008

Nice visual. As it happens, I attended a lecture by David Blankenhorn today at FRC (aka Satan’s Lair), hosted by none other than Peter (Paul & Mary) Sprigg.

Here is the video of the lecture: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?c=HOME

A couple of things jumped out. First, Blankenhorn emphasized the importance of a spokesman, such as himself, who argues for the denial of marriage equality while distancing himself from ugly, anti-gay rhetoric. Somewhat discomforting for him, right after he had delivered this message my husband and I were on the receiving end of a display of ugly, anti-gay rhetoric by one of the other attendees, an FRC staffer of some sort named Bob Patterson.

Second, in response to a question from a legislative aide to Iowa Rep. Steve King, Blankenhorn all but admitted that they are engaged in a lost cause. He gives the overall assessment that they “are losing this battle,” that “the dynamic is going against us,” and that young people strongly oppose the anti-equality position with a “go-to-the-mat intensity.” From my notes, this exchange is at approximately 1:06:20 on the video. I have the event recorded also, including the vile harassment of us by Patterson.

The lecture was podcast, but the in-person attendance was around 25 at most. It seemed to be mostly interns from AGI thinktanks, Patrick Henry College factulty and such.

-David Weintraub
Equality Loudoun

Timothy Kincaid

February 28th, 2008

David,

thanks for the info

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