“Buzz Words”

Rob Tisinai

August 22nd, 2011

Public opinion keeps shifting toward allowing same-sex couples to legally marry. That make the work of the National Organization “for” Marriage a lot more strenuous. Every time a new poll comes out, NOM is reduced to spinning the results while bent over backwards, dancing on the head of a pin, keeping a straight face on the head they’ve got buried in the sand.

It’s quite a work out.

Get a load of their latest effort. In this post, NOM is trying to dismiss a Marist poll showing most New Yorkers favor marriage equality.

Generally speaking, people are reluctant to change an existing law when they don’t think it adversely affects them directly. Using buzz words like “allow” and “legally” also drives up favorable responses, while asking if people want to “overturn” something drives up negative responses.

Ah, those damn buzz words.  Because when you’re trying to figure out whether voters think people should be legally allowed to do something, it’s dirty pool to ask them with words like “legally.” And “allowed.”

Then NOM brings up its own deeply embarrassing poll from last June.  You know, the one where NOM weighted 18-39-year-olds as 7% of the population, even though 32.9% of all 2008 voters fell in that group? Yeah, that poll. Let’s compare NOM’s survey question with the one Marist used.


Do you agree or disagree that marriage should only be between a man and a woman?


Do you support or oppose the law which allows same-sex couples to legally marry?

Of those two questions, which one asks respondents about their personal view of marriage, and which asks their opinion of what public policy should be?

Those are two different things. NOM pretends they aren’t. We shouldn’t let them get away that.

Here’s another thing we shouldn’t let them get away with. From the last paragraph of NOM’s post:

The fact that those in favor of redefining marriage refuse to join this cause of letting the people vote tells us volumes about where they think New Yorkers really stand on marriage.

But NOM doesn’t believe in that cause at all.  As I’ve written before, NOM wants a federal marriage amendment, an amendment that “the people” wouldn’t be able to vote on, and which would take away the ability the people ever to vote on same-sex marriage in their state.

I don’t have a problem with NOM pursuing a variety of strategies — the state legislature, popular referenda, a Constitutional amendment. I do have a problem with them positioning themselves as champions of letting the people vote and calling it “the most important civil right of all,” while working to make sure the people never can.

And I really have a problem with NOM duping people out of more than $4,000,000 using flat-out dishonest PR.*

Now that I think of it, I’ve got a buzz word for NOM. One-syllable, five letters long.


H/T to goodasyou for finding this sum.

John B.

August 22nd, 2011

I guess it’s getting harder and harder for NOM to just ignore the polls. But this line from their post really stood out:

“Of course, the only poll that matters is a free and fair vote of the people, an option that was taken off the table by those who pushed for the legislature to redefine marriage unilaterally.”

Riiiight… so remind me again why NOM supports the federal marriage amendment? Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are NOT by a vote of “the people” and in fact would take the option off the table permanently, away from the people and from the states, without any popular vote.

So much for NOM’s “let the people vote” sound bite; what they really want is “take the vote away from the people with a constitutional amendment.”


August 23rd, 2011

I’d really like Brown or Gallagher to point out the provision in the Constitution that allows popular votes on a minority’s civil rights. I’ve never been able to find it myself, and it seems to me that the very fact that the Constitution incorporates a “Bill of Rights” as guaranteed benefits of citizenship, with further guarantees that those rights belong to all citizens, would belie that assertion. There’s also the matter of a couple of Supreme Court decisions — Romer comes to mind — that would undercut the “people’s right to vote” on those issues.

But I suppose facts, as usual, don’t count because of their liberal bias.

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