have you stopped beating your spouse yet?

The NH House has recently passed a gay marriage bill.  If the governor doesn’t veto it, or if he refuses to sign it, NH will become the fourth state in the United States where same-sex couples can legally marry.

Here’s something that bothers me.  The opponents of gay marriage often cite the public opposition to such bills whenever they pop up in the various states.  Well, we just had a survey call to ask about our opinion on the matter, and it was pretty clear that they were assembling data in a misleading and dishonest manner.

The question was:

“Do you agree that marriage between just one man and one woman should be legal in New Hampshire?”

That’s what we call a loaded question.  It’s a 30-second phone survey, designed to elicit a quick yes/no reply, and it’s tailored to create an artificially inflated tally that will undoubtedly be used to petition the governor, citing “overwhelming public opposition to the bill.”  The problem is that strictly speaking, anyone in favor of straight marriage would have to answer “yes” to that question, even if they’re also in favor of gay marriage being legal in New Hampshire.  It’s deliberately misleading wording to generate lots of “yes” votes, because it precludes the surveyed party from voicing support for the other side of the argument.

Transparent dishonesty and deception ruffle my feathers, because the party committing it against me assumes that I am too dense to look through it.  (There’s also the part about it being, well, dishonest and deceptive, and once you stoop to that level, you’ve pretty much conceded the argument.)

I think I’ll send the Governor a nice, hand-written letter in favor of the bill, asking him to refrain from using his veto power.  I’ll do that not because I’m ticked (which I am), but because it’s the right thing to do, and because I should have done it the day that bill passed the House.


13 thoughts on “have you stopped beating your spouse yet?

  1. MarkHB says:

    Someone once said something about Danegeld. I’m not even remotely surprised, anymore, that people forgot that when they let the Gubment into the bedroom.

  2. rephrased poll question:

    “do you believe that the financial benefits inherent in governmentally sanctioned unions should be extended to all?”

    yes? wonderful. i will put you down as a listed supporter of the polygamists/incestists/animalists for equality.

    it’s not about your sensibilities or your libertarian sense of noninterference, mw…

    “it’s about the money”…mer

    new poll question: “are you for the elimination of .gov involvement in matters of personal rights and choice, wherever those rights and choices do not incur costs and infringe on the rights of others?”

    put me down for a big “hell, yeah” to that one.


  3. MarkHB says:

    Too little. Too late.

  4. tam says:

    “Do you agree that marriage between just one man and one woman should be legal in New Hampshire?”

    Not if it’s the only kind of marriage that is.

  5. Anthony L. says:

    “Do you agree that marriage between just one man and one woman should be legal in New Hampshire?”

    How about, “It already is legal.”

  6. MarkHB says:

    The more I think about this, the more angry I get. That’s not just a loaded question, it’s a verbal deadfall trap. Who the hell was conducting this survey, and would a steaming letter to your local paper be any good?

  7. Jason says:

    The big unasked question here.. which pen is Marko going to use to write the letter?

    • Marko says:

      Parker “51” with black Parker Quink. Somber, professional, serious, respectable.

  8. Bob says:

    Its called a push pole. Its designed to support one side of an argument. Why knowing the questions and the word choices in them is so important when looking at pole information.

  9. Well, it’s actually a “push poll,” but, yeah. Such “polls” don’t even necessarily exist to count answers to bad questions, but more to shape the opinions of the recipients.

  10. Kristopher says:


    How did you learn about Helga?

    Pray tell us.

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