You’re not going to believe this: Minnesota for Marriage, a group that believes in old-fashioned values and traditional marriage — a group that is trying to pass a state anti- marriage amendment — is lying!
They do it in this video, part of lengthy series they’ve made for their campaign. Let me sum it up. The narrator asks:
I have read there are a growing number LGBT couples in society and that Americans are supportive of gay marriage. Is this true?
And then answers:
The answer to both questions is no.
She offers this proof:
- The 2010 Census estimated there are about 646,000 gay and lesbian couples in the US, compared to 594,000 in the 2000 Census, an 8.8% growth rate, smaller than 9.5% growth in total US households.
- There were actually fewer same-sex couples in the 2010 Census than in the Census Bureau’s 2000 American Community Survey (ACS)!
The Census and the ACS are different reports, with different methodologies, so it’s wrong for M4M to treat them as directly comparable. Let’s come back to that. I was more intrigued by their first point, which does compare Census to Census. When I checked the numbers, these were the first I found:
- 594,391 same-sex households in 2000
- 901,997 same-sex households in 2010
- 52% increase over the decade
At this point it’s tempting to shout, LIARS!, but I wanted to double check before I accused M4M. I’d hate to convey false information, even if it helped my case. And I’m glad I did, because it turns out the Census Bureau did revise their 2010 figure to 646,464:
…the form structure of the 2010 Census…may have caused sufficient data capture errors in the gender item that inflated the census counts, especially for the numbers of same-sex spousal households. (page 2)
So M4M was right after all. But then I thought…what about the 2000 figures? Were they revised, too? And a tiny voice said to me:
Oh, surely not. M4M wouldn’t compare revised-down 2010 figures with unrevised 2000 figures. That would be deliberately misleading! Traditional marriage advocates are champions of morality, would never lie to those who trust them and send them money!
But I checked anyway, feeling ever so slightly cynical. And…here are the revised figures for both Censuses:
- 358,390 same-sex households in 2000
- 646,464 same-sex households in 2010
- 80% increase over the decade
My faith in our opponents’ goodness has been shaken.
Oh, and what about that 2010 ACS number they mentioned, the one indicating the number of same-sex couples has declined? According to the Census Bureau (page 10), the pre-2008 ACS figures were inflated, just like the 2000 Census figures. M4M is again comparing good data to bad data.
Okay, that’s a lot of numbers. Here’s a handy chart summarizing the whole thing, with a sliding scale from, well, from good to evil.
Minnesota for Marriage took Census data showing the number of same-sex household has increased by 80%, and twisted it to say that it hadn’t increased at all. I must say, I am shocked — SHOCKED! — that an anti-gay group would lie to its supporters to advance its fundraising and its agenda (is that redundant?).
Of course, when I say shocked, I mean I’m shocked the way our puppy Chloe shocks me when she chews up an expensive shoe: She’s done it before, and she’ll do it again, but it’s still distressing to see.