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legalize marriage?
December 18, 2003 9:41 AM   Subscribe

POLL: should gays be able to marry? The American Family Association wants to know what you think - should gays be able to marry? They plan to tell Congress about the results. Let them hear from you.
posted by subpixel (60 comments total)

 
haha, I trust this poll on the site of The American Family Association. Will they use Diebold to tally the results too?
posted by xmutex at 9:44 AM on December 18, 2003


Why the hell not? Does it really destroy the institution of marriage? If you want to take the moral high road on that you could say that straight people do a fine enough job with that already. At the very least they should have the ability to form "civil unions" with all the same rights that come along with marriage.
posted by jasenlee at 9:49 AM on December 18, 2003


Either they think Congress is incredibly stupid, or this is a clever ploy to gather email addresses which they can then innundate with "pro-family" spam.
posted by boltman at 9:49 AM on December 18, 2003


I've been watching the poll results for a few minutes now. The "opposed" percentage is dropping steadily, I suspect as word of the poll spreads around the net--I bet early voters were all AFA affiliated. Wanna bet they pull the poll if the results sway the "wrong" way?
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:55 AM on December 18, 2003


I'm simply looking forward to be innundated with "pro-family" spam...
posted by jalexei at 9:58 AM on December 18, 2003


The poll doesn't work for me. I submitted in favour of legal homosexual marriage and it errored out. Maybe the poll will be pulled early due to contrived technical difficulties (but while the poll was working we could obviously see that everybody was MORTIFIED by homosexual marriage!)
posted by substrate at 10:02 AM on December 18, 2003


Me, too, jalexei! Much as I look forward to the new Chick Tract announcements I get every so often.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:03 AM on December 18, 2003


Hmm, i just submitted in favor of homarriage and it told me i'm in the 33% category.
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:04 AM on December 18, 2003


Nothing like an internet poll to get an accurate reading of the pulse of the nation. I can't wait until we start making Consitutional amendments this way.
posted by badstone at 10:07 AM on December 18, 2003


I suspect they not only want the email addresses but will use the data correlating location (zip code) with response so they no where to increase efforts to save us from ourselves.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:20 AM on December 18, 2003


If congress gives any credence to internet polls, I'm moving to a new country with smarter politicians.
posted by mathowie at 10:22 AM on December 18, 2003


badstone, internet polls aren't accurate, but it will be presented as an accurate view if it gets the results that they desire. The poll, even without our intervention, wouldn't be accurate. It's being submitted to a biased group of individuals.

matthowie, you'd better move to a country with smarter politicians. Tell me when you find them, I'll join you. If the American Family Organization gets the results that they want it'll be only represented as a poll. The word 'internet' will be conveniently left out. Even non-internet polls can be very biased unless you guarantee that you have a truly random subset of the population. Picking 1000 names at random from a list of American Family Organization sponsors won't result in a poll any more accurate than this one.
posted by substrate at 10:29 AM on December 18, 2003


A friend emailed me this yesterday and I thought about making an FPP about it, but wasn't sure that MeFi would be an appropriate forum. I'm glad subpixel stepped in where I hesitated.

When I voted yesterday the results were at 95% against. I'm thrilled to see that we've been able to broaden the audience for this 'poll' - it's now at 60% against, 34% for gay marriage and 6% for civil unions.

No doubt the poll will be thrown out if it doesn't fit the AFA's agenda, and of course internet polls don't mean a thing. Still, it's quite amusing to imagine the AFA's outrage as the landslide 'victory' slips from their hands.
posted by widdershins at 10:34 AM on December 18, 2003


Why the hell do they need my address? I've got your pro-family propaganda...

It would seem that a more constructive form of mobilization would be to flummox Congress with letters directly, rather than present the shaky, unscientific results of an Internet poll to a Congress likely to ignore it.
posted by ed at 10:36 AM on December 18, 2003


The poll is unavailable now.......hmmmm.....
posted by briank at 10:44 AM on December 18, 2003


wtf subpixel
posted by reverendX at 10:44 AM on December 18, 2003


Yep, the link's dead for me as well. I'd have voted for gay marriage as I don't see why two people, regardless of their gender, shouldn't be allowed to join their lives. How can that threaten hetero marriage?

As for the validity of online polls, we know its not statistically valid but so what, it's fun to mess with them on their own site.
posted by fenriq at 10:49 AM on December 18, 2003


The link finally worked for me. And apparently I am in the immoral minority on this issue. . .
posted by Danf at 11:29 AM on December 18, 2003


How can that threaten hetero marriage?

fenriq, there is a prophesy, painfully translated by silent nuns from an old Sanskrit text, stating that all men and women on Earth are actually homosexuals and once gay marriage is legalized no one will ever want to marry a member of the opposite sex again. That is the real reason they oppose gay marriage...
posted by nkyad at 11:35 AM on December 18, 2003


I am so immoral not only did I vote for homarriage but gave them false email and location data! Bad Bill, very bad!!!
posted by billsaysthis at 11:37 AM on December 18, 2003


finally was able to take the poll. knowing that the overwhleming majority of thier viewers are completely against gay marriage makes it so much easier to offer my email address. not that this poll should have any significance, but sadly i think it will if the votes go their way.
posted by poopy at 11:42 AM on December 18, 2003


Screw polls. Most, if not all, polls are just a way to vent emotionally. Unless these anti-marriage types can give a coherent argument with proof and substance on why society should ban gay marriage because it is victimizing then they remain the lowliest of bigots.

>If congress gives any credence to internet polls,

They sure care about public opinion polls, which really are no more better than an unscientific poll considering the methodology and "data massaging" that is commonplace in the polling industry.

Why can't we make decisions with the facts and arguments anymore? I don't like the unchallanged assumption that the majority is always right.

Of course this poll will turn out the be for gay marriage and we can all pat ourselves on the back, but I wonder if Michael Newdow's attempt to remove "under god" from the pledge would enjoy such numbers even when the point he's making is just as reasonable.

The tyrany of the majority cuts both ways, I hope principled people who believe in the constitution and the Enlightenment begin to understand this.
posted by skallas at 11:47 AM on December 18, 2003


So two committed gay people getting married threatens what exactly? The same sacred union that can be obtained at a drive thru in Vegas at 4:15 in the morning?
posted by Hugh2d2 at 11:48 AM on December 18, 2003


Why can't we make decisions with the facts and arguments anymore? I don't like the unchallanged assumption that the majority is always right.

Because the majority of Americans - and the majority of humanity for that matter - put their spirtuality and faith first. Facts and deduction are always going to take the back seat until more of the world works its way up to the 19th century.
posted by badstone at 12:01 PM on December 18, 2003


I just took it and the numbers currently are:

57.59 against it
36.31 for it
6.10 for "civil union"

So, I don't think the poll is tilting quite the way they expected.
posted by dejah420 at 12:13 PM on December 18, 2003


David Brooks (a conservative) working for the NY Times gave his viewpoint on the issue of gay marriage. His viewpoint was that it would help preserve the institution of marriage and that conservatives more than anyone else should be pushing for the legalization of gay marriage. You can see the piece he wrote here...

And yeah it's surprising hearing a conservative being pro gay marriage but there you go.
posted by whirlwind29 at 12:20 PM on December 18, 2003


I've been watching this poll as it was said to be fixed. Big surprise. The site claims that someone used an automated script, and they had to erase a portion of pro gay marriage votes.

Lovely pro marriage article at NYtimes [mefi1/mefi1].

"Mr. Archilla and Mr. Lokkins did not marry for political reasons, financial reasons or legal reasons. Through their 58 years together, they mostly stood by as others fought for rights like civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Marriage meant more to them. It was something sacred, they said, an institution they cherished even as it shunned them."

Fifty-eight years is longer than a lot of the hetro-marriages I know.
posted by FunkyHelix at 12:21 PM on December 18, 2003


badstone:Because the majority of Americans - and the majority of humanity for that matter - put their spirituality and faith first.

I don't think that's true. Early America was very big on debate, writing, rational discourse, etc and they were religious at the same time. Perhaps you're right, we're going to have to work hard to get back to the 18/19th century. In the meantime its newstainment and televagelists calling the shots.

I have high hopes for the internet, but if all we're going to do is polls and petitions and consider it a social or political act we're just fooling ourselves. On the plus side we have stuff like Howard Dean's early web campaign and the resurgence of the importance of the written word and search engines to weed out disinformation.
posted by skallas at 12:36 PM on December 18, 2003


wants to know what you think
More like back their thoughts.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:39 PM on December 18, 2003


And yeah it's surprising hearing a conservative being pro gay marriage but there you go.

Not really. Besides the religious right, I think conservatives generally place greater value in individual freedom and the government getting out of people's lives. It's just a shame that the religious right holds so much power in the Republican party that any national Republican needs their support to win.
posted by gyc at 12:42 PM on December 18, 2003


It's amazing how much American socity focuses on popularity and public opinion. We don't pay attention to lists of best movies and books; it's the 'bestseller' and highest grossing lists that get promoted.

Likewise, the constant focus on, for instance, a president's popularity rating.

Or take all the outraged people in Alabama recently who thought that they should get to keep the 10 commandments statue and its beloved defender because "that's what the majority of Alabama residents" want.

Sorry, nothing constructive to add. Just venting frustrations
posted by tippiedog at 12:45 PM on December 18, 2003


whirlwind29:

Anybody who has several sexual partners in a year is committing spiritual suicide. He or she is ripping the veil from all that is private and delicate in oneself, and pulverizing it in an assembly line of selfish sensations.

WTF kind of blathering nonsense is this?
posted by xmutex at 12:52 PM on December 18, 2003


WTF kind of blathering nonsense is this?
all that is private and delicate in oneself: myob.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:04 PM on December 18, 2003


skallas:
I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, re: polls. If there is a scientific approach to democracy, it is in proper polling. However, to make the tyranny of the majority an effect form of rule, the majority need to be well educated. So remember - every time a Republican votes to cut school funding, it's because they hate Democracy! ;)
posted by badstone at 1:14 PM on December 18, 2003


Early America was very big on debate, writing, rational discourse, etc and they were religious at the same time.

skallas, i haven't seen any credible evidence that the general public of Early America was any more well-read/educated than we are today. However, i HAVE seen evidence of the overall uselessness of polls, even scientific ones. This one is a shining example of the ever-present internet polling specifically designed to support one's biased beliefs while trying to deliver it as suppossed fact.
posted by poopy at 1:39 PM on December 18, 2003


In case anyone's wondering, the AFA is affiliated with the anti-porn crusader Rev. Donald Wildmon, and the group used to have a video called "It's Not Gay" available online attacking gays as diseased freaks.
posted by inksyndicate at 1:53 PM on December 18, 2003


54.72
38.86
6.42
posted by pejamo at 1:55 PM on December 18, 2003


I think most people are probably aware of what the AFA is really about, inksyndicate ;). The thing that's always concerned me is how these organizations give themselves names like American Family Association, when in fact I suspect the vast majority of American Families wouldn't meet their strict criteria of being pleasing to god. I doubt this poll will last long - no matter how many tricks they try to pull in order to delete pro-gay-marriage votes. I don't think they'll be able to keep up with the tide of support now that this poll is off their target mailing lists and out over the wider net.
posted by Jimbob at 2:17 PM on December 18, 2003


54.10
39.41
6.50

pro is gaining. slowly.
posted by th3ph17 at 2:18 PM on December 18, 2003


53.86 | 39.61 | 6.52

Sure, I had to vote under a pseudonym, but I'm sure there's somebody in Mountain View, CA, who won't hear about this and who would've voted my way if they had.

I can't wait until we start making Consitutional amendments this way.

Yes yes, and the White House will soon be renamed to the CowboyNeal Ranch.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 2:29 PM on December 18, 2003


I'm Christian and consider myself fairly religious, and I tell ya, I'm dying to see my two longtime gay friends married - it's been one of the richest relationships I've seen yet.
posted by alumshubby at 3:22 PM on December 18, 2003


It's now 50.94 / 42.15 / 6.91.

I hate polls.
posted by nath at 4:30 PM on December 18, 2003


if y'all are having trouble deciding where you stand on the issue, just remember that this is 2003 and that people in america are free.
posted by mcsweetie at 4:31 PM on December 18, 2003


An effort to googlebomb AFA and get the response in this poll changed has been going around my LiveJournal friends list since yesterday.

Today, the Law of Unintended Consequences was invoked.
posted by obfusciatrist at 4:57 PM on December 18, 2003


It's always interesting to me to see that what would seem like the smoothest solution -- the civil union -- is often despised by both sides. Not too surprising to me to see some portion of conservatives go this way, but it is surprising to me to see gay acquaintances (and non-acquaintances) reject this, which bothers me immensely. Is it just about equal rights under the law, or is the right right when they're saying the agenda is to totally change the culture? It's somewhat disingenous to reject the cultural institutions that brough/support marriage, and then turn around and try to claim it, and it often looks to me like the gay community has written off the conservatives and their concerns even more fully than the other way around.
posted by namespan at 5:35 PM on December 18, 2003


Against it: 49.83%
For it: 43.13%
For it by any other name would still smell as sweet: 7.04%

Thanks, AFA!
posted by stonerose at 5:39 PM on December 18, 2003


ag'in' it: 49.32%
fer it: 43.57%
fer it with figleaf: 7.10%

The hoped-for result is continuing to lose ground. Waiting for the next wave of right-wing media attention to come to its rescue, but if it keeps giving bad news in its results for too long, they may just ignore it.
posted by wendell at 6:14 PM on December 18, 2003


This isn't actually a "poll" in any meaningful sense of the word.
A diversion, maybe.
posted by signal at 6:55 PM on December 18, 2003


namespan: Speaking as a gay guy who's not totally comfortable with the idea of the "civil union," I would compare it to this: Would you like it if your government told you that you could vote, pay taxes, establish residence in the US, enjoy all your constitutional protections, etc., but then insisted that you were not an American citizen? It's basically just a nomenclature issue, but it's a powerfully loaded name. Why should gay people have to settle for something different from what straight people get? It might work the same way, but calling it something else just emphasizes that it's not the same thing, and implies that we're not entitled to the same thing when there's no just reason why we wouldn't be.

If I had a choice between voting in favor of civil unions and voting it down, obviously I'd vote in favor: Every little bit helps. But it's not right asking someone to settle for an abridged version of a right that they are entitled to by law, common sense, and the fundamental decency of man.

Getting a little off-topic and turning into another "gay marriage" thread, when the topic should be about the poll itself, but the question was asked.
posted by logovisual at 8:26 PM on December 18, 2003


Addendum to previous comment: I can see why you (namespan) would be irritated by the idea that gays reject traditional religious values, and then insist on a somewhat religious right, but my argument against that would be (a.) not all gays "reject the cultural institutions that support marriage" -- my boyfriend's a fairly devout Catholic, and they're the most militant of the anti-gay Christian faiths, and (b.) it's highly, highly debatable that marriage is a "religious" institution in the first place. In a perfect world, yeah, I would like to change the culture and completely separate the legal and spiritual definitions of marriage: one would be binding and legislated by the government, the other would be largely performative but be designed to reinforce the ideals of a faith. I don't expect the Catholic church to turn around and marry us tomorrow, nor do I think they should ever be asked to, since that's just not what they do (It's a completely separate issue to discuss whether or not what they do is very nice). But my government had better damn well give me what I'm entitled to as a citizen or yeah, I'm gonna be a little angry.
posted by logovisual at 8:32 PM on December 18, 2003


Thank you logovisual! Your eloquence on the topic of marriage v. civil unions is appreciated and wholeheartedly agreed with.
posted by sillygit at 8:47 PM on December 18, 2003


it often looks to me like the gay community has written off the conservatives and their concerns even more fully than the other way around.

That's because social conservatives' "concerns" are--in this instance, not generally--not valid, whereas those of gay people are. There is no legal or documentary impetus that empowers groups to deny rights to others, whereas our entire freaking country is based on the principle of equal rights for all.

Basically, what people are saying with the civil union thing is "Hey, let's compromise. You guys can have 3/5 of a marriage."
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:59 PM on December 18, 2003


The tide has turned:


Against: 46.05%
For: 46.49%
Civil Unions: 7.47%


Take that, think tank! [THUNK!]
posted by moonbird at 1:59 AM on December 19, 2003


Did you see that you can use their handy Action Alert forms to send the "opposite" message to the businesses they're trying to strong-arm?

I just sent one to the president of 7-Eleven, telling him:

Dear President Keyes,

I am glad to hear that 7-Eleven has chosen to ignore groups like the American Family Association and sell Playboy Magazine again!

If they don't like it, they don't have to buy it.


Other "actions" you can take:

F-word used again! This time by FOX

File a formal FCC complaint against Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Defend your right buy nudie mags at convenience store, to hear FUCK on tv, and to see hot girls in their underwear! This is supposed to be the Land of the Free, god damn it!
posted by elvissinatra at 4:56 AM on December 19, 2003


Should they? No. Ick.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:59 AM on December 19, 2003


Logovisual is absolutely right. Here's a succint version of why I don't think civil unions are a good solution: civil unions = separate but equal.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:07 AM on December 19, 2003


Just let the definition of marriage be determined by individuals and non-government groups, and who cares if they define it differently.

If two guys say they're married, good for them, but the Catholic Church doesn't have to agree.

The government should just stop defining anything as marriage and convert everybody to civil unions. And make it open to any combination of people willing to take on certain obilgations and responsibilities with other people. Straights, gays, groups, incestuous adults, whatever you can think of.
posted by obfusciatrist at 8:40 AM on December 19, 2003


The government should just stop defining anything as marriage and convert everybody to civil unions. And make it open to any combination of people willing to take on certain obilgations and responsibilities with other people. Straights, gays, groups, incestuous adults, whatever you can think of.

The nice thing about this solution is that a civil union would not even necessarily have to imply a sexual relationship. People in platonic relationships (e.g., an adult who has taken in his elderly mother who is no longer able to live on her own) might well desire the legal benefits of a civil union. And I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, it seems the logical result of taking the "government out of our bedrooms" principle to its full conclusion.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:09 PM on December 19, 2003


"Not too surprising to me to see some portion of conservatives go this way, but it is surprising to me to see gay acquaintances (and non-acquaintances) reject this, which bothers me immensely. Is it just about equal rights under the law, or is the right right when they're saying the agenda is to totally change the culture?"

As a gay man, I submit: "separate but equal" is not equal.
posted by CrayDrygu at 7:10 PM on December 19, 2003


Opposed: 39.64
Supporting: 52.02
Civ. Union: 8.33

Holy Smokes Batman, let's get married!
posted by moonbird at 5:33 AM on December 20, 2003


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