Dishonest statistics

Reading the latest Harpers Index I came across these 2 little gems:

  • Year in which the Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage : 2009
  • Portion of Iowans who say the decision has had either no impact or a positive impact on their lives : 3/4

The intention being, of course, that the reader will conclude that a high proportion of the Iowan population agree with changing the definition of marriage, and if so, why has Iowa held out for so long? Well it must be all those conservative lobby groups (the inbred cousins of the British swivel-eyed loons) holding back progress!

To say that somebody’s indifference to something puts them in the same group as those in favour is simply dishonest. If anything, those respondents should be counted in the same group as those in favour of not changing legislation i.e. maintaining the status-quo, doing nothing!

The reality is that the number of people who feel strongly that marriage should be redefined in law is a tiny proportion of society. A statistic that I suspect you’ll never see published in a list like the Harpers Index.