June 1st, 2012
I want to add another thought to Timothy’s comment here about the gap between polling and vote results on marriage amendments. He raises an excellent point that a good portion of the explanation for the gap — at least as far as how the gap was written about in this particular AP article — ignores the logical fallacy of comparing today’s opinion polls to votes taken four to ten years ago.
And yet we have seen mismatches between what the polls tell us leading up to election days and what finally happens in the voting booth. Let’s take Maine in 2009 as an example. By the end of October, polling showed that those supporting or leaning to support Question 1 was at about 42 percent, while those opposing or leaning to oppose Question 1 were at 52%. But what happened on election day? Question 1 passed 53% to 47%.
The paradox does exist, but I think a lot of people are looking at it wrong. Polls asked about whether people think gay people should be allowed to marry. Because that’s the question polls ask, people are generally inclined to agree that others peoples’ marriages are other peoples’ business.
But as I said before when I expressed my concern that Maine was going to loose despite what the polls said, by the time people go to the voting booth the question isn’t whether gay people should marry or not, but whether their children should be “taught homosexuality” in the schools. That’s a completely different question from what the poll asked. As I said just five days before Maine’s vote:
Frank Schubert, who is running the Stand for Marriage Maine campaign has recognized something that is very fundamental in all politics. Former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Niel famously said that all politics are local. Schubert recognized that politics aren’t just local, but personal. It hinges on the question, “How will this affect me?” Karen Ocamb’s brilliant analysis of the California campaign which Schubert ran, which should be mandatory reading for everyone, describes very carefully how Schubert came to this conclusion:
During the Prop 8 Case Study workshop, Schubert said he, Flint and their team spent hours “looking at where people were and what we needed to do to reach them.”
What they found was that most Californians were very tolerant of same sex relationships. Schubert said:
“They didn’t see how gay marriage effected them, per se. It wasn’t their issue. It wasn’t something they cared to think about. It wasn’t something they wanted to talk about. It was an uncomfortable subject generally for them event to get their arms around.”
If we really want to win these battles, we need to begin with an understanding of this important truth:
Nobody Cares About Same-Sex Marriage
When I said “nobody cares,” I wanted to make the point that the average voter doesn’t care personally about marriage. It is this insight that our opponents have seized on and used to win the day every time. Thirty-two times we have failed to grasp this important lesson, and thirty-two times we have lost because of it. And every time, it was because we failed to grasp the real question that was before voters. Again, as I wrote in 2009 just five days before the vote:
Stand For Marriage Maine’s “positive” feel-good approach didn’t last long. They have a new ad out: …Notice how it’s loaded with all the bad stuff that you care about – out-of-state militant activists corrupting your values, gay teachers pushing their agenda on your children, militant gay activists in your schools and even your daycare centers. “IT’S ALREADY HAPPENED HERE! DON’T BE FOOLED!”
Here’s Protect Maine Equality’s response: …In a nutshell: please help someone else.
What the Yes on 1 folks in Maine did was make it possible to support marriage equality but vote against Question 1 because the changed the question before the voters. A year later, Maine’s campaign manager Marc Mutty made a startling admission on camera that their campaign message was the equivalent of slamming people over the head with “a two-by-four with nails sticking out of it,” adding, ” it’s the only thing we’ve got — it’s the only way. That’s the way campaigns work.”
There’s a popular saying about defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. As a political movement, ours has to be about the most insane of all when it comes to this particular issue. We keep coming up with messages that resonate with us, but which do not connect with the average voter. Until we recognize that nobody deeply cares about same-sex marriage — but they do care about other things which more directly affect them — then we’re going to keep on losing for a very long time.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.