Torture AFA


The American Family Association is running a meaningless online poll on attitudes about gay marriage which, they say, they'll be sending to Congress. Presumably, they thought selection bias (who goes to the AFA website, after all?) would yield a huge margin against gay marriage. Except, so far, it's not quite working out. I'm dying to see them forced to send a "petition" to Congress showing upwards of 60 percent support for gay marriage, with another 8 to 10 favoring at least civil unions. That, or watching them try to weasel out of doing so. Have fun. (Hat tip: Amy Phillips.)

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  1. I put my vote in happily, in favor of legalizing gay marriage.

  2. Note that if you give them your email address as required to submit a vote, you’ll be put on their mailing list, and yet “YOU WILLNOT BE SPAMMED.” I provided them with an address which is in fact mine, but only accepts “whitelisted” mail.

  3. Yes, a mailing group that I’m a member of has happily been trying to skew their results and I also sent the poll to my sister, who is gay, although she already knew about it. I, myself, simply voted for civil unions since I’m not really sure where I sit on the issue. To be honest, I have a problem with marriage, in general, and would probably more in favour of simply having the government approve civil unions for all and leave the religious undertones out of it.

  4. Thank you Julian, that was, indeed, fun. My experience of the Internet is that a lot of libertarians are “out here” and also, that online political debates tend to make converts. While I cannot prove it, I have a hunch that “we” could greatly,influence nearly any online poll.

  5. that is so goddamn funny
    wish all the freaking moralists would just stop their ure battle cries

  6. Are people in civil unions more polite than married people?

  7. I went with emailing them instead: “Your petition had no option for ‘government has no business being involved in marriage in any way,’ therefore I cannot in good conscience sign it. Involving the State in the sacred bonds between people degrades them more than any amount of homosexual activity.”

  8. Note that the Disclaimer at the bottom of the poll page informs you that you will begin receiving ‘periodic updates’ from AFA via email until you Unsubscribe (not possible til you receive the first one, which I presume at this moment will read ATTENTION FAGGOT LOVERS)



  9. It’s rejecting my email address, so it may be that they are clamping down the poll after seeing all us internet weirdos.

  10. If they don’t want me to tell them what they can do in their bedroom [or bathhouse] they should stop telling me what to do in my mind.

  11. Thanks Larry.
    Haven’t all of us screwed a jar lid backward a half turn to get it to engage so it can be screwed on tight?
    Society doesn’t work that way.
    But imagine if family were sovereign instead of government.
    Any kind of intrafamily arrangement would be hunky dory for hurdling lifes’ obstacles, mainly because government wouldn’t be an obstacle.

  12. I’m more of a civil union person myself too. i think that people should be allowed to make which ever sort of legal contract between themselves, but I really don’t think the gunman has any bussiness sancifying peoples sex lives.
    If your church backs straight marriages, gay marriages, or poly let it do so within itself.

  13. For all you “Civil Union” folks out there, do you really think it’s a tenable position? What I mean is that regardless of what the state calls it, most everyone will call it a marriage. Gay people won’t say they’re civil unioned, they’ll say they’re married. The anti-gay marriage idea will lose the language war if same-sex civil unions are allowed.

  14. Did I miss a meeting? Are members of Congress now assuming that internet polls have anything to do with polling? A couple of low-grade script kiddies could push this poll either way.

  15. I’ve never had confidence in the Wall of Separation between church and state, but isn’t “marriage” church and “civil union” state.

  16. “Gay people won’t say they’re civil unioned, they’ll say they’re married.”

    They can say that now if they feel like it. It won’t be strictly speaking true in either case, but there’s nothing to prevent two people from publicly claiming to be “married”.

  17. Will someone remind me of the rights and privileges pertaining to civil unions?
    Should we be agitating for civil unions or agitating against government selectively handing out rights and privileges?

  18. Will someone remind me of the rights and privileges pertaining to civil unions?

    Short list:

    * It’s a lot easier to make joint contracts, as in purchasing a house.

    * If one of you is in the hospital, the other is automatically a “relative” for visiting purposes.

    * Next of kin status when making decisions.

    * Next of kin status if one is disabled.

    * Next of kin status in inheritance.

    * You can file joint tax returns.

    * Spouses have a better status than partners in a joint business.

    * If you’re married and have a child, both of you are automatically parents, not just the birth parent.

    Yes, two single people can overcome many of these restrictions. But it takes a lot of jumping through hoops that aren’t there for married folks.

    And of course there’s the irony that one of the main anti-gay lifestyle complaints concerns the promiscuity that is presumed. So the cure is to block the commitment of marriage?

    P.S. We gun nuts used to do the same thing when gun control organizations would post a poll. Recently it seems like they’ve pretty much given up on the idea.

  19. Government should only be concerned with civil unions for tax and accounting purposes. “Marriage” belongs to the Church and society at large, not the State.

  20. The site is now down for “routine maintenance.”

  21. The site is back up…

    I gotta agree with the civil union thing. Marriage and other moral arrangements should not be the domain of government.

    To add to the problems inherent in the present approaches to family unions by giving a marriage “right” to homosexuals is a step backward. As long as we’re making big changes, it would be better to re-think the whole thing.

  22. Random Numbers,
    You put the whole discussion in a nut shell. The word “mariage” should no longer be used for the condition of two humans being legally united. Let the word “marriage” just be confined to the religious endorsement of it. The “civil union” should be the term for a legal bond. If we talk about gay “marriages” we talk about the endorsement by a religious group of such union. And who cares about their endorsement anyway.

  23. Look, I’m sympathetic to the “government should not be involved in marriage” sentiment, but as a response to the pressing issue of gay marriage/civil unions, it’s a cop out. It’s not going to happen in the near future, and during the brief interlude before the libertarian revolution, it is important to remain true to the idea that there must not be second class citizens. And it’s not as though granting marriage rights to gay people is going to influence the coming tide of principled libertarianism, one way or the other. So, if it’s not too far beneath your big, giant libertoid brains, you really should have a position on this.

  24. So what will be required to get hitched? Suppose that 10 people want to collect some benny at work? Can they marry? So what if you are requied to be gay? Can a person change their mind? Would they be married? What state wants to have it’s courts full of the expected divorce actions?

    Please, it seems they all want some right out of this. Social Security, Health Plans, estates, on an on. What will the rest of get?

  25. Joe,

    It just goes to show that when you put your mind to it, you can argue semi-cogently. Since your communist metaphor probably doesn’t resonate with many posters here, let me take a stab at it:

    Opposing gay marriage in the hope of abolishing state involvement in marriage = opposing simplification of the tax code in the hope of abolishing all taxes.

    However, I’m not convinced that marriage as a particular type of legal contract shouldn’t exist. Why shouldn’t there exist a special type of contract as long as it is available to all citizens?

  26. Ralph, the advantage of really solving the problems (instead of perpetuating the present, flawed arrangement) would be that people could decide for themselves. And Joe, since when is it a “cop out” to stand up for one’s ideals, to not compromise what one thinks is right? (Note liberalesque tone of injured righteousness.)

    Under a contractual arrangement, things like estates, hospital visits — and nearly all other legals benefits to marriage — could be arranged as the participants want. If you want to have ten people in a free love commune, that’s your business. If you want a typical marriage, that’s your business. And a blessing from your church is between you and your church.

    The only difficulties would be accounting benefits like taxes and social security. But these could easily be dealt with by a right-thinking politician.

  27. The problem with supporting civil unions while advocating for the state to get out of the marriage business is that it’s entirely unrealistic.

    Take a look at how high public opposition is right now to allowing families headed by homosexual couples to get married. The opposition to the libertarian marriage solution (i.e. getting the gov’t out of the marriage business) is going to be even higher and more fierce. Maybe with a concerted effort, hundreds of millions of dollars and 50 years something might happen in one state, but what about all of the homosexual couples and their children who are being harmed by the lack of equal marriage rights in the meantime?

    Sometimes, I think, it makes more sense to be utilitarian. Get equal marriage rights now, work on getting the government out of marriage later.

    Of course, if the federal marriage amendment passes, then forget about all of this. Not only will it ban homosexual families from getting protection, but it will ensure that the government stays in the marriage business until long after our children’s children have passed away.

  28. The AFA poll is a fraud and a scam. Of course they want those who favor homosexual marriage to participate because all they want is your name and address (doesn’t even matter if you give fictitious info). Once they have it, you’ll wind up in the petition’s huge list as being on AFA’s side in opposition no matter how you vote, and you’ll have no way of knowing they did this. Now don’t be fooled thinking their an honest organization. It’s clearly a trap that seems many have already fallen into.

  29. Note that any e-mail addresses that they deem “invalid” will be purged from the poll. Nuff said, IMHO.

  30. “And Joe, since when is it a “cop out” to stand up for one’s ideals, to not compromise what one thinks is right?”

    When there are people being hurt, there is a solution to their problem, and your unwillingness to accept half a loaf allows the problem to continue.

    President Kennedy cut the top income tax rate from 90% to 70%. Still way too high for libertarians. Would you have refused to push for the tax cut’s passage?

  31. Joe, you are arguing for a reinforcement and expansion of the problem. I prefer to argue for a solution. You certainly mean well, but — like other moralists — your compromises will only cause more trouble in the long run.

    In the realm of opinion, where I have total freedom even after the PATRIOT Act, I will hold out every time for idealism and a real solution.

  32. Frenk, try this…

    Gay people = union members

    Libertarians = communist union organizers

    Liberals = legitimate union organizers

    Gay marriage = higher wages, safety guards on machines, 9 hour work days

    Abolition of marriage = overthrow of the government, institution of workers paradise

    Opposing gay marriage in the hopes of abolishing marriage = opposing any deal offered by management in the hopes of starting a nation-wide general strike that ends in proletarian revolution

  33. There’s a bit of a selection bias in these online polls.

  34. I love the fact that this is backfiring in their face. I am sure that these extremist crackpots will wiesel out of their promise to present this to congress. I have my wedding tuxedo ready!

  35. “gay people can already get married, it is just that they must get married to a person of the opposite sex.”

    Russians could vote under Stalin, it’s just that they had to vote for Stalin.

  36. anyone who give out an email address should consider using

    gay marriage is a reality

    “gay people can already get married, it is just that they must get married to a person of the opposite sex.”

  37. Joe — I am not arguing for the abolition of marriage. I am arguing for the reform of laws about marriage.

    Marriage is fundamentally a moral arrangement. As such, the government should step back: offer contracts (“unions”) to any and all who want them. Leave religion to church.

    And contrary to what Zip Cooper says, this is exactly the opposite of realistic. Many countries have completed separated legal and religious marriage; the two have nothing to do with each other. (E.g., Mexico, Germany… not exactly bastions of wild freedom, either.)

    All we have to do is recognize that contracts can cover any kind of relationship — like incorporating a company for the purpose of life.

    What the present rush to a poorly-considered, “utilitarian” non-solution will bring is a reinforcement of everything bad about marriage laws, and a likely political backlash from a fundamentally conservative American electorate.

    A bit of idealism about family law is surely no more unrealistic than opposition to war or optimism about dealing with terrorism.

  38. We also have politicians like Tom Daschle citing the results of online polls to make a point during debate on the Senate floor. For more, see my South Dakota Politics blog.

  39. I first spotted news of the AFA poll in a Yahoo Gay Group post urging us to participate, which I did.
    I sense the description of the poll as ‘meaningless’ is based on the acknowledged effort of those in favor of marriage or civil unions to participate.
    I also sense the description is based on the assumption that those participating in the ‘skewer conspiracy’ are gays and lesbians in a perfect example of cyber-radical homosexual agenda pushing.
    I have no doubt that the AFA contacted it’s rabid members and mailing list, encouraging them to participate.
    In hindsight, is it not now hilarious and ironic that they promised to send the results to Congress?
    Would you agree that making this declaration was based on the AFA’s assumption of the poll’s results?
    Therefore, before even one vote was cast, could the poll be described as, say….’meaningless’?
    I got an email from the newly ex-gay, Homosexual Issues Editor, thanking me for voting. You can find my response to the email here:

  40. If you make comments in a Yahoo Group, and you happent to be the owner/Moderator. Yahoo will remove your Yahoo ID. I got up New Years morning only to find out that my 5 male groups, and my ID had been removed. I had posted a snarling piece to the Groups about the AFA, being jesus freaks, on Dec 27th. Yahoo will not answer my emails or comment on this.
    Yahoo Id: bare_ass2
    Guess who is running Yahoo!

  41. “If they don’t want me to tell them what they can do in their bedroom [or bathhouse] they should stop telling me what to do in my mind.”

    What the hell are you talking about? We want equal rights under the you law you bigotted moron. You have the right to think what ever perverted, homophobic trash you want all day every day, you do *not* have the right to take away a persons fundamental civil rights under the law just because they make you feel uncomfortable. By the way, on the subject of gays supposedly being promiscuous – divorce rates are highest in the bible belt states.

  42. EMAIL:
    DATE: 05/21/2004 05:44:19
    The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost.

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