Saturday, January 10, 2004

MA Gay Marriage Poll Manipulated 

Now we all know that statistics can be worked to show anything you want. That's why it's so important to reveal all your data, so others can take a look at how you drew your conclusions and whether those conclusions are reasonable. (courtesy of The Gay New England Daily Blog) has published this article titled "Conservative Group Admits Twisting Gay Marriage Poll."

At a rally at the MA state house this week, the Massachusetts Family Institute revealed some statistics that seemed to support their cause of amending the MA constitution to ban gay marriage. The polling company, Zogby, has since released the full data and stated that this is standard practice for advocacy groups. When presented with the full results, the MFI's stated conclusions are rather shaky.

To top it off, MFI is standing by their decision to present the selected results while not making the rest available at all, and is apparently pondering legal action against Zogby for the disclosure.

I have a deep conviction that all groups have a right to their positions, and a right to discuss those positions respectfully in a public forum. Such discussions cannot take place if relevant information is deliberately withheld or quashed. If the MFI wasn't happy with the full results of their poll, they could have highlighted what they did like and quietly make the full data available for those willing to dig it up and analyze it, or not released any of it. Either make it all available or keep it out of the discussion entirely.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:47 AM