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If you don’t like it, you gotta ban it?

Rob Tisinai

February 19th, 2011

NOM is trumpeting a new Maryland poll about same-sex marriage:

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.

And here’s the question they asked:

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.

Emphasis added, for one simple reason: This is not an either/or question!

People could say, without contradicting themselves:

Yes, I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, and yes, it should also be available to same-sex couples.

Just as they could say:

I believe everyone should abstain from alcohol, and I think it should be available to adults.

or

I believe birth control is wrong, and I think people should have the option of deciding that for themselves.

So much for Live and let live.  So much for letting people make their own decisions. So much for any conception of liberty.  If, “as far as you personally are concerned,” you disapprove of something, it never occurs to NOM that your respect for freedom might keep you from trying to control your neighbor’s life.

Nope, according to NOM, if you think something is wrong, then you want impose that belief on everyone.

This attitude pops up again and again.  Remember Miss America contestant Carrie Prejean?

Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And, you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.

Taken literally, she’s offering support for marriage equality even as she expresses her personal belief that it’s wrong. That’s not what she intended, but it’s what she said, without even realizing it.

Obama’s just as guilty:

I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.

If he’s offering this to explain why he opposes legalizing same-sex marriage, he’s failed.  He can believe exactly what he said and still support marriage equality.

I suppose, then, it’s not fair to single out NOM for this. They’re just the latest perpetrators.

My hunch is that NOM is so blind to their own assumptions, they didn’t even realize they weren’t asking an either/or question.  Another possibility, though, is that they knew exactly what they were doing.

Look at the opening phrase: As far as you personally are concerned, should marriage be between a man and a woman…

It’s almost as if they added “As far as you personally are concerned” as a deliberate attempt to distract people from the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage.  As if NOM knew the wording would let them dishonestly claim for their own side those respondents with a live-and-let-live attitude, those who think it should be legal despite their own personal disapproval.

As if they knew they could then distort these results to understate Maryland’s support for legal equality.

So which is it? A careless mistake or a conscious manipulation of the question?  I bet the answer depends on whose mind you’re looking into:  that of Maggie Gallagher (a canny operator) or Brian Brown (a blundering bull).

Ultimately, I see one lesson take away from this. We need to add another weapon to our rhetorical arsenal this one for people who are more comfortable with liberty than with homosexuality:

You can disapprove of something and still think it should be legal!

Comments

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Pogovio
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

Rob, you wrote “My hunch is that NOM is so blind to their own assumptions, they didn’t even realize they weren’t asking an either/or question. Another possibility, though, is that they knew exactly what they were doing.”

The key to answering this is that NOM did not actually do the polling. That was done by an independent polling consultant with decades of experience. With that experience, it’s impossible to be unaware of such subtleties of polling. The consultant understood that the job for which he was hired was to produce poll results that NOM would like, and he knew how to do it.

L. Junius Brutus
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

If these is not a majority in Maine to institute gay marriage, why should I believe that there is one in Maryland (a former Confederate state)?

It’s like the polls showing majority support for gay marriage. If 52% of all people support gay marriage, then support in states like Maine and California should be off the charts: close to 65% – which it is not.

Throbert McGee
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

A question that should be asked on “same-sex marriage” polls — but often isn’t asked, because neither the Maggie Gallagher side nor the Rob Tisinai side necessarily wants to hear the answer, is:

“Does the government have an obligation to legally recognize the relationships of same-sex couples by some term other than marriage, such as civil union or domestic partnership? Or do you think it’s better for the government not to offer any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, under any name?”

I suspect that if the question were framed this way, a lot of religious conservatives would be deeply uncomfortably with how strong the popular support was for CUs and DPs. But a lot of gay Equality!™ advocates would also be uncomfortable with the sharp disparity between the popular enthusiasm for CU/DP laws, and the relatively tepid support for SSM.

Theo
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

Two points, one on MD and one on NOM’s history of polling deceit. On MD, the polling I have seen is not great, although nothing like what NOMs poll shows. We are ahead but under 50 percent. That is probably not good enough to win. I think that in referendum states like MD, we should go for civil unions, which would get bi-partisan support and would be much less likely to go on the ballot or to fail at the ballot box. CUs always accelerate support for marriage so in a few years we could go for the real thing w/ some confidence in winning. I fear that MD may be a repeat of Maine and that we will wind up with a narrow defeat. I hope I am wrong on this, obviously.

On NOM: NOM has a long history of dishonesty with respect to its polling. It is a one-issue organization, so it would not be that difficult to nail down one or more questions that would yield an accurate result. But NOM doesn’t want an accurate result.

In 2009, it polled the question of whether marriage “is between only one man and one woman”. Placing “only” immediately before “one” completely distorts the question and suggests that the question is about polygamy. In 2009, NOM and Cornerstone Action falsely claimed to have polled every household in NH over the course of a few days, a patently ridiculous claim from which they were forced to back down. That same year, it claimed that its poll showed that 50% of GOP primary voters in a hotly contested NY congressional race cast their vote on the basis of the marriage issue. This contradicts every poll ever taken in every geographic region which shows that marriage is not a deciding issue in selecting candidates for more than a few percentage of voters of either party.

Sadly, our side fails to take NOM to the carpet on its systematic deception. HRC’s “NOM Exposed” website is a joke.

Theo
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

@Junius:

MD remained in the Union.

Throbert McGee
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

Just as they could say:

I believe everyone should abstain from alcohol, and I think it should be available to adults.

Um, I believe everyone should abstain from cocaine, and I think it should be available to adults — however, despite being libertarian about drugs, I might just possibly object to the prospect of the government selling people a $35 official document that said “Congratulations, this hereby certifies that you, [the undersigned snowflake], enjoy stuffing large quantities of Peruvian Slim-Fast up your nose!”

To put it another way, when Rob Tisinai writes:

You can disapprove of something and still think it should be legal!

…he’s conflating two different senses of “legal” — there’s “legal” as in “it ain’t a crime,” and there’s “legal” as in “validated and affirmed by the government.”

And it’s crucial to make this distinction, because while most religious conservatives nowadays have zero interest in criminalizing homosexual behavior, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to put the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on homosexual relationships.

Rob Tisinai
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

Actually, Throbert, I have to disagree. Marriage equality activists have long ago realized there’s more support for civil unions than same-sex marriage. We acknowledge this and push for marriage equality nonetheless. It’s the Maggie Gallaghers of the world who pretend they represent the voice of the people, ignoring the fact that the people strenuously disagree with Maggie’s stance of: no recognition whatsoever.

Rob Tisinai
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

Junius, I’m quite willing to believe support for equality in Maryland is below 50%. My point, rather, was the implicit assumption in the poll question that if you believe, for yourself, that same-sex marriage is wrong, then you must believe that it should be banned for everyone.

Throbert McGee
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

Following up on my previous post: Making the case to Maggie Gallagher that she OUGHT to put the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval (Honorable Mention) on homosexual relationships, by endorsing DP/CU laws, is a challenge — but it can be done.

Stefan
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

Support in Maryland has crossed the 50% mark in polls, the last one showing 51%.

Rob Tisinai
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

That’s an interesting point, Throbert, so let’s follow it through. Suppose, as you support, the government legalized cocaine. Presumably, then, one could enter into contracts for the sale and purchase of cocaine. If a seller violated the contract, the legal system would be at buyer’s disposal. In fact, under the right circumstances, the seller could be convicted of fraud. By enforcing the contract, would the government be putting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on cocaine?

Rob Tisinai
February 19th, 2011 | LINK

Still, Throbert, you have a good point about the different definitions of “legal.” Nevertheless, my point remains that personal disapproval of same-sex marriage does not automatically imply thinking that it should be banned, as NOM seems to believe. As an example, I know many, many people who never would have dreamed of an interracial marriage, who thought such a thing would be wrong, but who didn’t think it should be banned. Well, I don’t know them now, but I sure knew a lot in Western Pennsylvania in the 70s.

dave
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

This is how religious people think. They have to twist reality to make their religious beliefs real. It’s the religious nuts that don’t want gay marriage. Religion and reality don’t mix. All religious beliefs are made up. At one time all religion said gay is wrong. Now you drive down the street and see churches with gay flags hanging on them. The church says no to gay but just next door, that church says oh it’s ok. One makes up it’s not ok, and then the one next door makes up it is ok.

Theo
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Stefan-

You are right that one poll shows support at 51%. That is better than any other poll from MD. However, if MD follows the same pattern as CA and ME, then the anti-gay side will hire Frank Schubert and he will run the same successful campaign from CA and ME, with a heavy focus on children being “taught gay marriage”.

When that happens, assuming the old patterns hold, we may expect to see a sharp drop-off in support. So 51% is a sign of improvement, but it doesn’t allay my fear that this will turn out to be a re-run of Maine.

BTW, I predict that this time around, Schubert will have something new in the can, just in case the schools theme doesn’t bite. I think this may be the race card. They had no occasion to use it in ME, but they were clearly ready and eager to use in in Washington DC. I hope that our side is better prepared this time around.

Priya Lynn
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Throbert said “A question that should be asked on “same-sex marriage” polls — but often isn’t asked, because neither the Maggie Gallagher side nor the Rob Tisinai side necessarily wants to hear the answer, is:

“Does the government have an obligation to legally recognize the relationships of same-sex couples by some term other than marriage, such as civil union or domestic partnership? Or do you think it’s better for the government not to offer any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, under any name?””.

I see that question asked all the time but in two parts, something along the lines of:

1) Do you think the government should allow gays and lesbians to marry.

2) Should the government provide civil union or domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples.

In most such polls I’ve seen the combined support for those two is a solid majority. To say our side doesn’t want to hear the answer is completely off-base.

L. Junius Brutus
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Theo: “MD remained in the Union.”

Now that’s REALLY stupid of me. MD was kept in the Union with brute force. I probably meant to say that MD was a slave state. And if you look at the slave states that remained in the Union (MO, KY, MD, DE), they weren’t all that different from the Confederate states – with the exception of Delaware, which was never in any danger of seceding because of the tiny number of slaves.

Rob: “Junius, I’m quite willing to believe support for equality in Maryland is below 50%. My point, rather, was the implicit assumption in the poll question that if you believe, for yourself, that same-sex marriage is wrong, then you must believe that it should be banned for everyone.”

You are absolutely right about that. However, I am disturbed that many people here are too willing to believe rosy polling on this issue, when polling has been demonstrably wrong in the past. Wishful thinking perhaps.

Ben in Oakland
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

I have little concern about what the polls say or don’t say, because they are actually irrelevant.

what is relevant is this: if we do not start addressing head on the issues of religion, anti-gay bigotry, religious bigotry, children, and the closet, we will continue to lose every single election.

we don’t have to call anyone a bigot, but we do have to start talking about 1700 years of bigotry, and the role this plays.

We have to show our children and our families, and start speaking for ourselves about why marriage is important to us. One of the most annoying ocmmericals in the maine campaign showed a male couple and their children, but THEY didn’t talk about their marriage and their children. One of their fathers did. It didn’t even convince me.

I haven’t seen but I think ONE commercial which addressed religon, and showed that a large number of churches and denominations support gay people. Where was the commercial showing a couple getting married in a mainstream chuirch, to the cheers of their families. Where was the minister from our side talking about freedom of religion.

and finally, our campaigns thus far have ignoredo ur biggest asset: ourselves. No commercials encouraging gay people to come out, none encouragung them to discuss this issues iwth family and friends.

Every campagin so far has been run from within the deepest recesses of the closet, and watered by a well of unacknowledged shame.

Bruno
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

@Ben: just as you think polls are irrelevant, I think TV commercials are mostly irrelevant. 99% of people are pretty much decided on this issue, except perhaps the people who are most unlikely to vote in elections, young ones. We didn’t lose in California in Maine because of commercials, we lost because society just hasn’t quite gotten there yet.

I do agree that encouraging gay people to come out helps the cause, slowly. I just don’t think TV commercials make much if any difference in these elections, and they won’t in Maryland.

Spartann
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

to Rob Tisinai…

“I believe everyone should abstain from alcohol, and I think it should be available to adults.”

OK, Mr Tisinai… I know where you’re trying to go with this, but your examples tend to be all too conveniently worded… You see if I change what you’ve said, just by using a different subject matter, let’s say, “owning handguns”… I’m still adhering to your suggested format… but it sure comes off extremely hypocritical:

“I believe everyone should abstain from owning handguns, and I think handguns should be available to adults.”

( Come to think of it, that alcohol comment you made above; on face value alone, it too borderlines being hypocritical.)

Sure people can empathize, that’s part of what makes us human beings… However, as adults we need to take a stance. We need to make an effort to man up: Quit talking out of both sides of our mouths. We shouldn’t tolerate the mincing of words any longer… not when we’re looking for solutions to real problems.

Bottom line here, you can ask a question any way you want… On your head if that makes you feel better. However, no matter how you change it up, people aren’t stupid… so like it or not you’re gonna keep getting the answers you’re trying to avoid:

“Ahhhhhh, yeah, I think you’re a nice person and I like you a lot, but…..”

Come on Mr Tisinai, I’m sure even someone like yourself, has heard that famous line a couple of, two or three times before.

Rob Tisinai
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

@Spartann, “I believe everyone should abstain from owning handguns, and I think handguns should be available to adults.”

Why is that hypocritical? Sure, it would be hypocritical if I believed everyone should abstain from buying handguns, and I bought one myself.

But why is it hypocritical for me to support the right of people to make their own decisions, even when I think their decisions are wrong?

Erin
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Spartann: Clarify please. I don’t see where you’ve made an actual point against Rob’s analogy.

Throbert McGee
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Suppose, as you support, the government legalized cocaine. Presumably, then, one could enter into contracts for the sale and purchase of cocaine. […] By enforcing the contract, would the government be putting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on cocaine?

Your presumption isn’t necessarily justified. In debates about the War on Some Drugs, some people specifically argue in favor of “decriminalization”, while opposing “legalization” — they don’t treat these terms as synonymous.

And people who observe this distinction may believe that individuals should be free to buy and sell cocaine at their own risk, but that the government should avoid facilitating cocaine use by recognizing and enforcing contracts related to cocaine commerce.

I suspect that some conservatives who oppose both SSM and CUs/DPs are making a similar kind of distinction: they approve of not criminalizing homosexual relationships, but they disapprove of the government doing anything to “facilitate homosexuality”.

Related to this, I would observe that the planks of the state GOP in Texas and Montana used the language “we oppose the legalization of sodomy” but avoided saying “we support the recriminalization of sodomy.” Whether this choice to use certain words but not others is significant, I’m not sure — obviously, for some people, to oppose legalization is interchangeably synonymous with supporting (re)criminalization, but other people would say that they’re two different concepts.

Erin
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Throbert, it’s interesting you attacked Rob’s analogy to alcohol, but your drug legalization analogy does not fit either. The bottom line is the government sanctions marriage license for straight couples. It does not do the same for same-sex couples. That is discrimination. Discrimination must have some valid legal reason or some benefit to society in order to be justified. In this case, it does not. Currently the government does not allow any American to buy and use cocaine legally.

Rob Tisinai
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Throbert, while I have to appreciate your pointing out the two different definitions of “legal,” I’m not following you on Texas.

This isn’t like the distinction you made for marriage, because legalizing sodomy doesn’t require the government to take an action to institutionalize it. Legalizing sodomy, rather, simply means the government takes no notice of it at al.

With that in mind, if opposing the legalization of sodomy does not mean supporting its recriminalization, then what does it mean?

Ben in Oakland
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Bruno; you may be right, but I truly don’t think so. My argument would go along the linesd of this old chestnut:

Q: How many men does it take to defend Paris?
A: No one knows. It’s never been tried.

What I saw repeatedly in the commercials in the prop. 8 campaign, and every campaign before and since, was not merely a complete and general failure to address the issues, but specifically, a nearly complete failure to show us as people with lives, families, and hearts, to let us speak for ourselves and what marriage means to us.

Much like dan Choi chaining himself to the white house fence put a human face on DADT discrimination.

It has been shown over and over again that experience with gay people is the greatest determinant of voting behaviour. As you run the gamut from people who are ignorant, stupid, or afraid, to people who believe they know no gay people, to people who merely know gay people, to people who havre notinhg against the gay people in their lives, to people who value the gay people in their lives– the likelihood of them voting, and voting to protect our lives, increases.

If TV commercials fail to sway anyone’s vote, that would be a useful thing to know. But we don’t know that. We only know that shame- and closet-based commercials, where the word “gay” isn’t mentioned, and dianne feinstein mumbles something about fairness, commercials that deny the reality of our lives don’t work.

I also think that gay people have to come out, not only as gay, but as supporters of The Big Gay Agenda. They have to be willing to talk to their friends, families, and colleagues. They have to approach the people in their cimmunity. And here was another one of the massive fails of the Prop. 8 campaign, one which I quite publicly railed against at the time, but unfortunately got nowhere with.

No speakers bureau. No community outreach. No outreach to gay people. nothing much to show for the millions they spent.

Spartann
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

to Rob Tisinai…

I’ll take a stab at your question…. But I honestly believe someone like, John Kerry, is far better suited at answering it…. Remembering if you will, his claim to fame will forever be, “voting for something before he voted against it.”

OK , back to your question now… I think you’re wrong to suggest you’re way of cavalierly talking about handguns, alcohol… and yes even same sex marriage… is better suited for gauging the country’s pulse. For God’s sake, it’s not like we’re looking for people to decide whether or not the soup was too hot or too cold.

When it comes to the serious business of life, I have a real problem with people taking an “I don’t care” kind of approach to things… Shrugging individual responsibility, is tantamount to a mobocracy.

If we are to survive as a nation, each of us needs to leave less room for interpretation, especially when what we really want is to make a difference.

Bruno
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

@Ben: Fair enough, we don’t know either way. But I suspect that the lack of positive gay imagery in those TV commercials hurt basically our community and our closest friends only. The idea that a TV commercial would sway any significant amount of people on the fence about marriage equality is, to my mind, nearly preposterous.

Throbert McGee
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

With that in mind, if opposing the legalization of sodomy does not mean supporting its recriminalization, then what does it mean?

Depending on the speaker, “opposing legalized sodomy” as something distinct from “supporting criminalization of sodomy” might potentially signify that someone has objections to:

(1) Getting rid of laws that treat homosexual public sex (e.g., “parking” sex in a public lot, or tearoom sex) as a more serious crime than heterosexual public sex. In other words, some people might believe that consensual adult sodomy in a private residence ought to be completely a matter of individual liberty, but that homosexual cruising is such a Huge Menace to Society that it must be discouraged with heavier penalties than equivalent heterosexual activity, rather than taking an impartial “sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” approach. (And of course, you can challenge the rationality of their claim that homosexual public sex is worse than the heterosexual kind, while still crediting them with being pro-liberty on the matter of private sodomy.)

(2) Teaching how to have “safe sex” sodomy in public schools — again, to some mindsets, this puts a government imprimatur on sodomy and in some way “facilitates” it.

(3) Formally validating and endorsing “sodomitical relationships” via Domestic Partnership laws available to homosexuals. Yes, there are folks who actually use terms like “sodomitical relationships”, but not ALL of these people want to totally reverse Lawrence v. Texas so that consenting adult “sodomites” would once again be subject to arrest in their own private bedrooms.

Throbert McGee
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Having offered those examples to Rob in my previous post, I would admit that if you surveyed the very Texas GOPers who voted in favor of having the anti-sodomy plank in their platform, you might have trouble getting consensus on what they actually think the phraseology means.

I suspect that some who “opposed legalization of sodomy” would bluntly say that they support actual re-criminalization; others might personally want to see it re-criminalized but would be reluctant to say so directly to a pollster for fear of sounding like an extremist; and still others hadn’t really given much thought at all to the practical implications of “opposing legalization” — they mainly wanted to register the opinion that “Ah’m agin’ it.”

Rob Tisinai
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Spartann, I don’t think we’re having the same conversation. My point is that NOM’s poll question takes it for granted that if “as far as you personally are concerned,” marriage should be between a man and a woman, then you automatically must think same sex marriage should be banned for everyone.

That conclusion, however, does not follow, and we should make that clear.

To be honest, I didn’t follow your last post very well, so I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Are you saying that you want to prevent people from doing anything you personally see as immoral? Because that’s the attitude I’m taking issue with.

Rob Tisinai
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

No, Throbert, you haven’t won me over yet.

1. “Consensual adult sodomy in a private residence” is still sodomy, which the Texas GOP doesn’t want to legalize.

2. You can take safe-sex sodomy education out of the schools (thus endangering both gay youth and straight kids who have taken “abstinence” pledges — but that’s a different issue), and still leave sodomy legal.

3. Opposing same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships does not require opposing the legalization of sodomy.

If this is what any of the platform writers meant, they completely missed the mark.

No, when people say they oppose the legalization of sodomy, I think the only reasonable interpretation is that they want sodomy to be illegal.

Throbert McGee
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Rob, I’m not trying to “win you over” in the sense that I want YOU to start personally making a distinction between “legalizing” and “not criminalizing.” I think it’s entirely justifiable to treat the two as synonymous, and to say that any distinction between them is a rather silly and artificial one.

However, since I appreciated the wisdom of your comment about refining our rhetorical arsenal, I did want to bring it to your attention that OTHER people may perceive “legalizing” and “not criminalizing” as conceptually distinct and not synonymous (although perhaps overlapping with each other).

And when you, as an LGBT advocate, encounter someone who claims to “oppose the legalization of homosexuality and/or sodomy,” in some cases you can avoid a lot of time-wasting and talking-past-each-other by taking a moment to clarify, “Wait, are you saying that the state should be able to arrest homosexuals in their own bedrooms, or are you talking about something different than that?” In other words, you should not always take for granted that you and your debate opponent are using “legalize” in precisely the same way.

Similarly, if you as a writer are engaged with (e.g.) an anti-gay Ugandan, you can potentially avoid a lot of wasted time by asking, very clearly, “Excuse me, when you use the word homosexuality, are you operating under the assumption that this includes same-sex pederasty? Because when I use the word homosexuality, I’m talking only about sexual acts between adults, and I totally reject pederasty whether it’s same-sex or opposite-sex.”

Of course, this won’t necessarily change the minds of homophobes, but in some cases it can help to prevent talking-past-each-other and make communication more effective.

Rob Tisinai
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Oh, Throbert, that’s so misguided. If we made an effort to understand what the other person is talking about, we might be able to make real progress on these issues, and then where would be? :)

Throbert McGee
February 20th, 2011 | LINK

Heh. One other point, Rob — taking the time to be pedantic and precise about our definitions can sometimes be an effective way of marginalizing the most radical anti-gays.

For example, someone like Maggie Gallagher may prefer that same-sex couples not have ANY legal protections, but she’s canny enough to hide herself among people who strongly oppose SSM but would potentially support CUs/DPs. When we’re extra-clear about the terminological distinctions, that can make it harder for Maggie to camouflage herself as a relatively moderate person.

Timothy Kincaid
February 21st, 2011 | LINK

So which is it? A careless mistake or a conscious manipulation of the question? I bet the answer depends on whose mind you’re looking into: that of Maggie Gallagher (a canny operator) or Brian Brown (a blundering bull).

It was the pollster’s language.

Push polls are crafted to elicit specific desired results. Pollsters have honed the skills required to disproportionately select the population, build a momentum for a position, and then ask the question most likely to skew the answer.

Remember, NOM doesn’t want information from their poll; they want a press release. This is just a repeat of their nonsensical Massachusetts “poll”.

Timothy Kincaid
February 21st, 2011 | LINK

Throbert,

We’ve been doing this a while :) so I think we are not nearly as uninformed and naive as you may suspect.

Yes, we are VERY familiar with the two-answer and the three-answer questions and how they differ. Some pollsters actually ask half their participants the two-answer question (marriage yes or no) and the other half have three options (marriage, civil unions, nothing). These produce different levels of support.

For example, if the results are 1/3 for marriage, 1/3 for civil unions, and 1/3 for nothing at all, the two party question may break down with 40% support for marriage, 50% opposed and the rest uncertain. So the translation of these polls has to be nuanced.

As for the Texas stuff, you have to know the goal. They are not even a tiny bit interested in incarcerating gay people; rather, they want “the people” to publicly condemn homosexuality and for the police/authorities/news/etc to use the laws to put down any measures of acceptance or tolerance. It’s not about legality so much as it is about social structure and disempowerment (think Jim Crow for the goals and mindset)

Spartann
February 21st, 2011 | LINK

to Rob Tisinai…

Your obviously misinterpreting my position. First of all, I’m in no way attacking anyone’s moral compass. Having said that, I also think it’s foolish for some people to expect what is not customary to suddenly become the mores of the day.

Now according to what you’ve posted above, “when someone believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, they’re wrong to also say same sex marriage should be banned for everyone”…. But Mr Tisinai, the alternative you’re offering is really no better… In fact it smacks of ambiguity. Sorry dude, but it serves no real purpose to keep reformulating a question till you finally get that singular response you need to validate your position.

OK.. now I’d like you to humor me for just a little while longer. You can start off by defining the word “wrong”.

Kinda hard to do isn’t it?

Maybe because you’ll never be able to define something that subjective to anyone’s satisfaction… and certainly not to the people you are suggesting are “wrong” because of the way they feel about marriage?

Personally, I think everyone should wanna try marriage out … In fact, take it for a test drive so to speak…. That way you have some kind of idea whether it’s really what you’re seeking, before you actually do get hitched….. Sharing the love sounds pretty darn good in theory ya know.

Rob Tisinai
February 21st, 2011 | LINK

@Spartann, I’m quite confident that I’m misinterpreting your point because I don’t understand it at all.

In this post I never said anything like, “when someone believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, they’re wrong to also say same sex marriage should be banned for everyone”

What I’m saying is quite different: “When someone says they believe sex marriage should be between a man and a woman, the listener should not automatically infer they believe same sex marriage should be banned for everyone.”

You wrote, “I also think it’s foolish for some people to expect what is not customary to suddenly become the mores of the day.”

I don’t know what that has to do with the post.

I also don’t know what you mean by, “But Mr Tisinai, the alternative you’re offering is really no better… In fact it smacks of ambiguity. Sorry dude, but it serves no real purpose to keep reformulating a question till you finally get that singular response you need to validate your position.”

I’m certainly not trying to reformulate the question so my position gets validated. I don’t know where you got that from. The point of the post is that the either/or question posed by NOM’s pollsters is not in fact an either/or situation.

And then there’s this: “the people you are suggesting are “wrong” because of the way they feel about marriage.”

I don’t know where that came from. In this post I do not call people “wrong” because how they feel about marriage.

We’re at an impasse, Spartann. You seem to be replying to a post that has nothing to do with what I wrote.

Rob Tisinai
February 21st, 2011 | LINK

Let me condense that, Spartann, because it was pretty long.

Nothing in this particular post says people are incorrect to think marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Nothing in this particular post says people are incorrect to think same-sex marriage should be banned.

Do you see that? If you don’t, then you’re not reading the post correctly.

The post is saying that (contrary to the wording of the poll question) people can think that marriage should be between a man a woman, while not wanting to make it into a law banning same-sex marriage for everyone.

Spartann
February 21st, 2011 | LINK

to Rob Tisinai…

When you say in your thread, “so much for live and let live”, you’re obviously inferring some people are wrong to believe as they do about same sex marriage. Period.

Mr Tisinai… believe me when I say, “I hope you do get married.” But that doesn’t mean I’m agreeing with the way you’ve crafted the debate here. To tell you the truth, I would disagree with any proponent of same sex marriage who suggests, anything less than full capitulation to their demands is an affront to liberty.

Remember it’s one man one vote here. The mob doesn’t rule. Call me old fashioned, but ya know, I’ve always believed attraction works a helluva lot better than persuasion. What say you?

Rob Tisinai
February 21st, 2011 | LINK

No, Spartann, “So much for Live and let live” refers to people who think that personal disapproval of something is enough reason to ban it for all people — in other words, the attitude of, “If I don’t like it, we should ban it for everyone.”

That attitude is what this post is about. The second two paragraphs of your last comment don’t address anthing in it, so I suspect you’re still trying to make me say things in this post that I didn’t say (not in this entry anyway).

If we haven’t cleared this up by now, I doubt we ever will. Not much point in continuing.

Priya Lynn
February 21st, 2011 | LINK

Spartann said “OK.. now I’d like you to humor me for just a little while longer. You can start off by defining the word “wrong”.”.

Wrong -1) to be incorrect as in “It is wrong to say 2+2=5

2) to be immoral as in “it is wrong to hurt others” as in “It is wrong to prevent same sex couples from marrying”.

Spartann
February 22nd, 2011 | LINK

to Rob Tisinai…

Im sorry my friend, but you’re the one who’s in error here. Scroll up to your initial post, you’ll find in your commentary the following, “So much for any conception of liberty.” I think after reading that, it’s fair to say, I’m the one staying on point.

But ya know, as for what’s been said during our lil tit for tat, it’s your very last comment I find the most ripe for criticism. If you’ll go back to the very bottom of your last post, to where you say, “If we haven’t cleared this up by now, I doubt we ever will. Not much point in continuing.”

Well Rob, if you were trying to deter me by making a comment like that, you’ve failed.

Ya know, I’m imagining right now you’re a lil steamed; so let’s both chill for a minute here. I mean it’s not like it’s been a total loss. You did manage to clarify one thing. That being, when trying to advocate a partisan position, yours unfortunately, like much of the discourse coming from the Left, is “not up to scratch”.

=============================

to Priya Lynn….

First of all, we’re not talking about adding numbers here…. I suggest if it was that easy, I think we can both agree the situation would have been rectified a long time ago.

Secondly, who’s hurting who? Nope, your proposition doesn’t hold water. I’m afraid you’ll have to come up with a better way to sell what you’re peddling.

Priya Lynn
February 22nd, 2011 | LINK

Spartann, as a general principle my proposition is flawless. Your question has been answered thoroughly and completely. As to who is hurting who it depends entirely on the situation and given that there are an infinite number of those I won’t be drawn into your childish and neverending “But then what?” games.

Spartann
February 23rd, 2011 | LINK

to Priya Lynn…

Flawless? You must be joking.

Priya Lynn
February 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Spartann, I know you’re upset that you asked a simple question and got the obvious simple answer, but that’s no excuse to stand in the way of equality, justice, fairness, and harm reduction (the foundation of the best society a culture can build).

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