Minnesota for Marriage Works Hard to Deceive

Rob Tisinai

April 20th, 2012

You’re not going to believe this:  Minnesota for Marriage, a group that believes in old-fashioned values and traditional marriage — a group that is trying to pass a state anti- marriage amendment — is lying!

They do it in this video, part of lengthy series they’ve made for their campaign. Let me sum it up. The narrator asks:

I have read there are a growing number LGBT couples in society and that Americans are supportive of gay marriage. Is this true?

And then answers:

The answer to both questions is no.

She offers this proof:

  • The 2010 Census estimated there are about 646,000 gay and lesbian couples in the US, compared to 594,000 in the 2000 Census, an 8.8% growth rate, smaller than 9.5% growth in total US households.
  • There were actually fewer same-sex couples in the 2010 Census than in the Census Bureau’s 2000 American Community Survey (ACS)!

The Census and the ACS are different reports, with different methodologies, so it’s wrong for M4M to treat them as directly comparable. Let’s come back to that. I was more intrigued by their first point, which does compare Census to Census. When I checked the numbers, these were the first I found:

  • 594,391 same-sex households in 2000
  • 901,997 same-sex households in 2010
  • 52% increase over the decade

At this point it’s tempting to shout, LIARS!, but I wanted to double check before I accused M4M. I’d hate to convey false information, even if it helped my case. And I’m glad I did, because it turns out the Census Bureau did revise their 2010 figure to 646,464:

…the form structure of the 2010 Census…may have caused sufficient data capture errors in the gender item that inflated the census counts, especially for the numbers of same-sex spousal households. (page 2)

So M4M was right after all. But then I thought…what about the 2000 figures? Were they revised, too? And a tiny voice said to me:

Oh, surely not. M4M wouldn’t compare revised-down 2010 figures with unrevised 2000 figures. That would be deliberately misleading! Traditional marriage advocates are champions of morality, would never lie to those who trust them and send them money!

But I checked anyway, feeling ever so slightly cynical. And…here are the revised figures for both Censuses:

  • 358,390 same-sex households in 2000
  • 646,464 same-sex households in 2010
  • 80% increase over the decade

My faith in our opponents’ goodness has been shaken.

Oh, and what about that 2010 ACS number they mentioned, the one indicating the number of same-sex couples has declined? According to the Census Bureau (page 10), the pre-2008 ACS figures were inflated, just like the 2000 Census figures.  M4M is again comparing good data to bad data.

Okay, that’s a lot of numbers. Here’s a handy chart summarizing the whole thing, with a sliding scale from, well, from good to evil.

Minnesota for Marriage took Census data showing the number of same-sex household has increased by 80%, and twisted it to say that it hadn’t increased at all. I must say, I am shocked — SHOCKED! — that an anti-gay group would lie to its supporters to advance its fundraising and its agenda (is that redundant?).

Of course, when I say shocked, I mean I’m shocked the way our puppy Chloe shocks me when she chews up an expensive shoe: She’s done it before, and she’ll do it again, but it’s still distressing to see.



David in Houston

April 20th, 2012

So the lying bigots are actually lying. Shocker. Every single one of their videos is full of lies. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that they would misrepresent statistics to try and make their case.

By the way, I had no idea that groups of people had to reach a certain percentage of the population before they’re granted civil rights such as marriage. Oh, that’s right, they don’t. The Jewish population only accounts for 2% of the populous. Oddly enough, they have all of their civil rights. I have no doubt that Kalley Yanta would have no issue banning Jewish marriages as well. Call it a hunch.

Timothy Kincaid

April 20th, 2012

Rob, should you find yourself with nothing to do…

Email that information to the head of Minnesota for Marriage, just to be sure they are informed of the mathematical error. They will ignore you. They already know that they “erred”.

Then mail it to a flaky in their office. This person will be a true believer who is entire unaware of the deliberate lie and who will, with great concern, try to find the real facts so as to set you straight.

Keep all the correspondence to send to a local reporter. The response, and lack thereof, is the smoking gun they will need.


April 20th, 2012

kudos for doing the research!


April 20th, 2012

Excellent work Rob!

Tony P

April 20th, 2012

It is always an enjoyable task to shoot down the bigots with verifiable data. Of course they try to spin it any way they can to look like they’re right.


April 21st, 2012

It reminds of a few years ago when Peter Sprigg of the FRC published his “Shocking Finding”. This “Shocking Finding” was over the Dept of Defense’s report on the sexual assaults within the military during 2009. This of course was used to suppress support for the repeal of DADT. He had stated, according to Sprigg’s findings, is that homosexuals were “5 times more likely to commit a sexual assault.” I was so incredulous as to his claims that I sat up till 4am reading the entire 70pg report.

You know what I found out…the so-called Baptist minister LIED! He had so grievously fudged his numbers so that his math would jibe. In fact, I sent you guys an email to the effect.

Every now and then when they place their self-righteous feet in their mouths, I email them and remind them of it. Of course, as such ‘convicted’ Christians who are SO PROUD, they cower and never respond. Just like when I have conversations with the most pious of all, Linda Harvey.

PS, Matt Barber of the Liberty Council, aka, Bam Bam, has blocked me on Twitter, cause I had challenged him on one of his lies. Pity! I guess he wasn’t so ‘convicted’ after all? My guess is that he is just a highly paid individual to promulgate prevarications and outright lies in order to instill deceptive concepts on his listening audience.


April 21st, 2012

This is so helpful I’m printing it out and keeping it handy. Great work, Rob.

A perfect illustration of “lies, damn lies, and statistics!”

The Census does not ask “What is your sexual orientation?” As noted, the Census Bureau acknowledges in making its adjustments that the questions it does ask may result in inflated counts for “same-sex spousal households.” The LGBT community should not be using this data as a reliable count of same-sex spousal households either.


April 21st, 2012

It’s all of a piece. I call it “faith-based science”: start with your conclusion and then select the data that supports it. It none supports it, alter the data that exists or make something up — a technique pioneered in “gay studies” by Paul Cameron, a/k/a “He Who Must Not Be Named,” even though they’re all using his “research” to bolster their talking points.

They’re counting on the hope that no one will check the facts.


April 21st, 2012

Bernie, Many thanks for staying up until 4am and reading that report. You and I and thousands of others are mere foot soldiers in this Culture War. No matter what the H8ters put out, one or another foot soldier will step up and read the whole damned report. Our bloggers need our help, they can’t read everything. Out of Many we are One Rainbow Tribe.


April 21st, 2012

Rob, YOU ROCK!!!
Nobody else did this analysis.
YOU did.
Props Rob, PROPS!!!
You know that gesture where you ball up your fist and tap it against your heart and then extend your arm towards another person?
Yeah I am doing that for YOU Rob.


Donny D.

April 21st, 2012

Rob, I concur with Straight Grandmother’s posts. More excellent work from Box Turtle Bulletin, the kind that no one else in the TBLG blogosphere seems to do consistently if at all.

Ste C.

April 21st, 2012

I noticed that the YouTube video has comments disabled, and I couldn’t find any on their channel page. As usual, they’re afraid of rebuttals and, of course, the opinions of the rational.


April 21st, 2012


Not everyone gets to boast both a beautiful body AND mind. I hope your other half apprciates how lucky he is.

In all seriousness though, thanks for cutting through the rhetoric of the less scrupulous. At every turn you demonstrate how the emperor has no clothes.


April 22nd, 2012

Surprisingly I was able to comment on the link they put on their facebook page and my comment hasn’t been removed yet. It doesn’t seem like they care though.


April 23rd, 2012

M4M? Spot-on. I’m still cracking up.

I wonder though if their research was just really sloppy or if they were just f’in it up on purpose. I have a feeling they started their research into census figures with a conclusion in mind & stopped it when the evidence pointed to the conclusion they wanted. Call it lying if you want (& it could be — there are some cynics in the anti-marriage movement), it’s, at least, really bad research.

The irony is that they probably thought they were on to something! Here’s how I imagine it went:

Anti-gay 1: That lying liberal media

Anti-gay 2: I bet they’re lying about how many evil homo-demons there are in our greatest country ever!

Anti-gay 3: They are!! Here’s the proof!!

Anti-gay 4: Great: let’s run with that. Anti-gay 3, you’re a trustworthy Christian so I don’t need to fact check your research at all because I’m sure it was inspired by God. Everyone, I’m so glad we’re here to expose the lies of the liberal media who are clearly out to destroy our Great Country. Way to fight to keep our country great M4M team!

Now the question is if anti-gay 3 or 4 is in it for the money or if he/she is just really bad at objective research.

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2012


Nah, Bam Bam believes what he says. He’s not exactly the brightest star in the anti-gay constellation.

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2012


I had to laugh at Anti-gay 4. That is exactly the attitude that keeps this stuff going.

They believe those who come bearing the name of Christ. And they see everyone else as suspect.

However, they are not stupid. Nor are they without cause. Quite often others truly are dishonest and disreputable.

That’s one reason I get so hot and bothered about things like the Don’t Say Ex-Gay bill. It is designed as a Culture War tactic and is punitive and restrictive.

The ONLY purpose of that bill is to express hostility to those who identify with conservative Christianity. We all know that, however we may otherwise pretend.

They know it too. And so the next time we come forward with a legitimate study, they will ignore us. They can’t trust us. And, in honesty, they shouldn’t.

Priya Lynn

April 26th, 2012

Timothy said “The ONLY purpose of that bill is to express hostility to those who identify with conservative Christianity. We all know that, however we may otherwise pretend.”.

You don’t speak for me as much as you want to pretend you can.

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