This is an article in the series A Look Into Islam.

If you haven’t considered it already, it is well worth looking at how Islam promotes the treatment of women. There is a theme of modesty that runs through Islam, and you can see it in the way Muslim women dress. There is nothing wrong with the concept of modesty, and I’m a believer in modesty for both men and women, but there is a darker aspect of female modesty as it is practiced in Islam that is not often explained. Here is something recently spoken by Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali in Australia:

But in the event of adultery, the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time with women. Why? Because the woman possesses the weapon of seduction. She is the one who takes her clothes off, cuts them short, acts flirtatious, puts on make-up and powder, and goes on the streets dallying. She is the one wearing a short dress, lifting it up, lowering it down, then a look, then a smile, then a word, then a greeting, then a chat, then a date, then a meeting, then a crime, then Long Bay Jail, then comes a merciless judge who gives you 65 years.

But the whole disaster, who started it? The Al-Rafihi scholar says in one of his literary works, he says: If I come across a crime of rape – kidnap and violation of honour – I would discipline the man and teach him a lesson in morals, and I would order the woman be arrested and jailed for life.

Why, Rafihi? He says, because if she hadn’t left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn’t have snatched it. If you take a kilo of meat, and you don’t put it in the fridge, or in the pot, or in the kitchen, but you put in on a plate and placed it outside in the yard. Then you have a fight with the neighbour because his cats ate the meat. Then (inaudible). Right or not?

If one puts uncovered meat out in the street, or on the footpath, or in the garden, or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, then the cats come and eat it, is it the fault of the cat or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem! If it was covered the cat wouldn’t have. It would have circled around it and circled around it, then given up and gone.

If she was in her room, in her house, wearing her hijab, being chaste, the disasters wouldn’t have happened. The woman possesses the weapon of seduction and temptation. That’s why Satan says about the woman, “You are half a soldier. You are my messenger to achieve my needs. You are the last weapon I would use to smash the head of the finest of men. There are a few men that I use a lot of things with, but they never heed me. But you? Oh, you are my best weapon.”

I’ve heard of the dating scene referred as “the meat market,” but I’ve never before heard anyone seriously compare women to meat. This attitude about women as expressed by Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali is offensive to women because it demeans them as so much meat and as Satan’s servants just because they have female bodies, and it is offensive to men because it assumes that we are impulse-driven animals with no control.

I am of the opinion that a woman’s dress or undress does not grant permission to the cats men around to rape her, no more than leaving your keys in your car gives people permission to steal it. Both acts may put ideas into people’s heads, but rape and theft are wrong. Period. I don’t accept the excuse of “she asked for it by the way she was dressed.” That only applies if people have no self-control. If men are merely cats or other dumb animals, then we can expect mindless instinct, and we put animals like that on leashes or in cages. But I am not a mindless beast with undisciplined appetites, and I resent that anyone would view me that way.

What happens when the “uncovered meat” is pounced on by the “cats” in Islam? Why, it’s time to punish the meat. (Hat tip, Captain Ed) After all, as al-Hilali said, she’s 90% responsible:

A Saudi court has sentenced a gang rape victim to 90 lashes of the whip because she was alone in a car with a man to whom she was not married.

The sentence was passed at the end of a trial in which the al- Qateef high criminal court convicted four Saudis convicted of the rape, sentencing them to prison terms and a total of 2,230 lashes.

The four, all married, were sentenced respectively to five years and 1,000 lashes, four years and 800 lashes, four years and 350 lashes, and one year and 80 lashes.

Notice that one of the rapists only gets 80 lashes for his act, while she gets 90 for the crime of being alone in a car with someone to whom she’s not married. Oh, and that guy gets 90 lashes for the crime of sitting in the car with her. There is nothing she could do that would have justified the gang rape by the others, even if they saw her give a naked lap lambada to the other guy in the car.

The end of the article talks about the woman’s husband and family appealing the punishments. I fear for her life because of the common practice of “honor killings” in Islam. Honor killing typically is when a male relative kills a woman or girl for bringing shame to the family. This can happen if the female is raped, dates someone the family doesn’t like, or marries outside of the faith. Here are a few reported instances of honor killing as posted on Little Green Footballs: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7].

Rape is difficult to prove in Sharia law since it requires multiple witnesses, and a woman’s testimony is worth only half of a man’s testimony. And the idea that a woman is not equal to a man carries over in inheritance laws as well. If a man dies childless, his sister inherits only half of his estate. But if she dies childless, then the brother inherits all of her estate. And in the case of siblings, a son’s share is equal to that of two daughters’. [Qur'an, 4:11]

I guess it sucks to be a Muslim woman. Legally, you are half a man. Financially, you inherit less than a man. And morally, you are a tool of Satan, and rape is 90% your fault just for being female. But at least you can expect to find love in marriage.

Well, maybe.

A Muslim man may be married to four wives at the same time. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The Ornithophobe catalogued some other acceptable forms of marriage in Islam. I quote from her article:

Nikah Misyar, the Traveller’s Marriage, is an option practiced under Sharia law in Muslim countries. In this arrangement, a man and woman are legally ‘married’ but the man has no responsibilities to this wife. He may visit her, in her parents’ home, at any time he wishes. But he owes her no financial responsibility, no home of her own. He may contract such a marriage irrespective of other, traditional marriages he has made. The first, second, third, and fourth wives do not have to approve of the Misyar bride; they do not even have to be informed that the misyar marriage has occurred.

My search of the web has turned up numerous people looking to contract such ‘marriages’ all over the globe. It has also turned up something more interesting: the opinions of Muslims the world over. It seems that ‘no respectable woman would consent to such a marriage.’ Most often, Misyar marriages are a last, desperate hope for widows, spinsters, and girls living in abject poverty. Often they are hoping the misyar marriage will somehow become a real one.

But wait! It gets better!

Nikah Mut’ah is a temporary marriage! In this arrangement, a couple agrees to marry, but with a fixed termination point. The husband has no obligations to provide for the wife, or live with her. A maximum of four temporary wives can be taken, in addition to the maximum four true wives under Islamic law.

The apparent purpose of both these forms of “marriage” is to allow men to copulate with women, without responsibility (beyond the financial support of offspring, that is) and without the sin of Zina, fornication.

All in all, why would women remain in Islam when they are treated as they are? Oh, that’s right — leaving Islam is punishable by death.

It sucks to be treated like a slab of meat, uncovered or not.

The controversy over same-sex marriage is over! And the solution has come from an unexpected source: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Brad Pitt, ever the social activist, says he won’t be marrying Angelina Jolie until the restrictions on who can marry whom are dropped.

“Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able,” the 42-year-old actor reveals in Esquire magazine’s October issue, on newsstands Sept. 19.

With this statement, Pitt and Jolie have shown that they are not just shacking up — they are doing something noble. How could they be involved in something as restrictive and discriminatory as marriage until everyone “who wants to be married is legally able”?

If you have ever wondered whether Pitt and Jolie are in favor of polygamy, you now know that they are. If you have ever wondered if they are in favor of removing restrictions like close blood ties and age as impediments to marriage, you now know. And if you have ever wondered whether they are in favor of clearing marriage limitations related to being alive or a different species, now you know. Oh, and I guess they are against laws prohibiting same-sex marriages, too.

In related news, a couple of USC researchers say, “Celebrities have more narcissistic personality traits than the general population, and people with narcissistic tendencies seem to be attracted to the entertainment industry rather than the industry creating narcissists.” I guess you could say that narcissistic people are the types who crave attention and make grandstanding gestures. Normal people would either get married or shack up without needing to make a public statement about it, but I guess it takes the unbridled narcissism of a “celebrity” to turn shacking up into a matter of principle.

The Senate is debating this week a proposed Constitutional amendment that would define the nature of marriage as being a union between one man and one woman. It is unlikely to pass, but if you have any desire to put in your two cents, you should write to your Senators via their online email form at Senate.gov. I wrote to my two Senators and told them to vote in favor of the amendment. Whether they themselves agree or disagree with the terms of the amendment, I told them that it was important to let the people have a voice in this issue. If the amendment were passed by Congress and signed by President Bush, it would still need three-fourths of the individual states to ratify it before it would take effect. Back in 2004, President Bush introduced the amendment this way:

Eight years ago, Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.

The Act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 342 to 67, and the Senate by a vote of 85 to 14. Those congressional votes and the passage of similar defensive marriage laws in 38 states express an overwhelming consensus in our country for protecting the institution of marriage.

With numbers like that, you’d think an amendment would be a slam dunk, but other than Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, all Senate Democrats have declared that they will vote against the amendment. I wrote about the 2004 vote on the same amendment, and how it showed deep disdain for the common citizen. And with the Democrat Senators again posed to vote against the amendment, they will again show with their actions that they do not trust the citizens to make the right decision.

Here is part of a news story from KATV in Arkansas.

… a homosexual pastor here in Arkansas says the government should not be able to decide who gets married.

(Randy Mccain, Homosexual Pastor) “I married my best friend.”

The person Pastor Randy Mccain calls his best friend and spouse is another man — a man by the name of Gary Eddy-McCain. The two have shared their lives more than a decade.

(McCain) “The state of Arkansas gives me the right to marry heterosexual couples, and yet my 14-year loving, committed relationship is not recognized by the state of Arkansas.”

The first sentence is interesting. Pastor McCain states that government shouldn’t be able to have a say about who gets married, but what he wants is for the government to state that he can get married. It’s pretty clear that he’s not that much of a clear thinker with comments like “I married my best friend,” followed up by an acknowledgement that his “marriage” is “not recognized by the state of Arkansas.”

I’ve written about the importance of heterosexual marriage before, and pointed out its benefits:

Marriage is far from meaningless. J. D. Unwin’s 1934 book Sex and Culture outlines 86 different cultures and their historical decline. None of these cultures lasted more than three generations after marriage fell out of favor with the people. Unwin wasn’t the only person to come up with this idea. Giambattista Vico concluded the same thing in 1725. He saw that marriage between a man and a woman was critical for the growth of civilization. It is the “seedbed” of society, and marriage between a man and a woman is the best environment for raising children. Anything that departs from this damages men, women, and most of all children.

I would like the champions of gay marriage to show where and how such unions have been successful over multiple generations. If this cannot be shown, then why should we change a working system for something that has never panned out in the long run?

UPDATE (6/7/2006 11:29:56 AM): The amendment failed to get the two-thirds vote of the Senate to pass. Since 38 states have passed legislation very similar to this amendment, it shows that there is sufficient popular support for this amendment. But the Senate is saying that they know more that the people.

On April 23, 2006, Cpl. Shawn T. Lasswell died serving in Iraq. His mother, Cathy Zehren of Las Vegas, started to make plans for his cremation and for a memorial where he grew up, but all this came to a halt when she heard unexpected news.

Zehren learned only days ago that her son had married without telling her or the Army shortly before his deployment to Iraq. She learned this, she said, from her son’s wife, who told Zehren they had wed nine days after meeting.

And the military gives his wife – not his mother – the ultimate say over his personal property, his medals, the flag from his coffin and where he is finally laid to rest.

“This woman – somebody that had known him not even three weeks – can take away the power of somebody that has known him 21 years,” Zehren said Monday in a telephone interview. “The war already took him, and now I have him taken away again by somebody I don’t even know.”

When I heard this on the radio for the first time, I instantly remarked that the person who makes these decisions is the wife, and that should be so whether they were married for three minutes, three weeks, or three decades. When people marry, their primary allegiance and concern should shift from their parents to their spouse. This isn’t a new idea; it’s as old as Adam and Eve — “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

When I was scoping out the babes looking for good wifely material, I also looked at their families because I knew that when I married, I would be both marrying my wife and joining her family. And I am very fortunate to have married into a wonderful family.

In addition to the tragedy of losing her son, I would say that Zehren has also lost a daughter-in-law.

If we claim that Cpl. Lasswell’s mother has the ultimate say over her son’s body and property because she knew him for 21 years, do we simply ignore that he was married, or the justified claims that his new wife had upon him? And at what point would his wife’s rights trump those of his mother? I can understand very well that Ms. Zehren is distraught over the loss of her son, but she lost any say over him when he said, “I do.”

The Republican National Convention is going on right now, but surprisingly, I’m not going to write much about political stuff today. While I have been too busy with life to follow either this or the Democratic convention live, I have been able to read the various addresses people have given. Mainly, though, I have been watching the crazed antics of people protesting the Republican convention. Ryan Sager, a member of The New York Post editorial board, has captured some of the demonstrations on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I’m sure there will be more on his site as the days progress.

While observing these demonstrators, I was struck by the large number of young people present. Why are they there protesting? How much do they really know about the issues? All of this made me think about the life-changing events that most, but not all, of us go through in our lives. Let’s focus on an archetypal John and Jane Doe and some of the Life-Changing Events (or LCEs) they are likely encounter. While these events have the potential to change lives, not everyone will be affected in the same way or to the same degree. With that in mind, let’s look at a few LCEs.

Becoming an adult — John and Jane Doe can reach the legal age of maturity, can demand that people treat them as adults, but it does not necessarily follow that they will be universally recognized as such. Generally speaking, when one demands to be treated as an adult, it is a sign that one has not yet demonstrated adult levels of responsibility. Being an adult means recognizing that one is responsible for one’s own life, and acting accordingly. When does someone become an adult? Well, there isn’t a firm age at which this happens, since assumption of adult responsibilities occurs at different times for different people. For instance, it is possible for a teenager to sue for the right to be an emancipated minor, taking on adult responsibilities before he or she turns 18. If the suit is successful, the teen stops being a ward of his or her parents and is now the primary person responsible for his or her own welfare. I’ve put this LCE first as it is, chronologically, often the first such event in John and Jane’s life, but it is difficult to quantify when adulthood begins. Unfortunately, there are many grown individuals who never become adults in the defined sense, because they never become fully responsible for themselves. But enough of this vague stuff; let’s look at more concrete LCEs.

Living on your own — This LCE could happen to John and Jane Doe before reaching adulthood, but more often it is tied to the experience. Whether John decides to strike out on his own, or Jane’s parents kick her out of the nest, leaving home is a major step in the process toward maturity. Leaving home is a huge LCE. No longer is Mom there to wake John up for his classes, or to tell Jane to clean her room. John and Jane can stay up as late as they want, eat and drink what they want, and come and go as they want. But this new freedom also unleashes other freedoms: to fail their classes, to live in the filth they create, and to cheese off their roommates as they come stumbling in during the wee hours of the morning. One of the life lessons that comes from living away from home is learning to shoulder responsibility, including the need to pay one’s share of the food, rent and maintenance. For many Johns and Janes, the shock of having to do their own laundry and wash their own dishes is a cold splash of reality that can shock them into becoming more responsible. The parents who dealt with years of finicky John and Jane turning up their noses at the meal set before them can look forward to a time when their newly-independent children lament how their overcooked ramen noodles or mac ‘n’ cheese just don’t taste as good as the Sunday roast Mom used to make.

Getting a job — The first time John and Jane get a job, it will likely be drudgery at low wages. But life is often not fun, and yet it must still be lived. A job teaches a willing learner to show up on time, work until the task is complete, work even when it isn’t enjoyable, and deal with bosses and co-workers whom he or she may not like at all. And the first time John and Jane notice the difference between their take-home pay and their gross pay, the whole concept of income tax will hit them like a ton of 1040 EZ forms. There are so many good life lessons that can come from a job. Ideally, John and Jane Doe should get a job while still in their teen years. How much better off they will be if they have mastered early the skills a job can teach, rather than waiting until after they’ve finished school!

Getting an education — This education can be in the form of a community college, a university, a trade school, or a craft apprenticeship. Since life is a continuing education in one form or other, learning how to study and master new ideas and skills is vital. Depending on John and Jane’s experiences, going to college may be the first time they leave home and venture out on their own. Since our culture conveys most information through text, two key educational skills are learning to read and learning to love reading. These skills will carry over into nearly every other area of John and Jane’s adult life.

Getting married — Until John and Jane Doe get married (and I hope they marry other people, since they are siblings — eww), their main focus is inward: my education, my job, my money, my dreams, my wants, my needs. But a marriage is not just one person; it is a blending of two lives. At this point, the focus becomes shared: our education, our job, our money, our dreams, our wants, our needs. To make their marriages work, John and Jane had better spend time focusing on their spouses. A truly loving marriage is demonstrated by how much each spouse focuses on the other, rather than on the self.

Having kids — If getting married turns the focus away from yourself and puts it on another, then the act of having and raising kids will continue to amplify this process. While John and Jane may love their spouses (if the plural of mouse is mice, why isn’t the plural of spouse properly spice?), an adult will not need anywhere near the constant care and attention that a newborn baby demands. How many times do we hear of a parent who sacrifices time, money, labor, and life to care for his or her child? Becoming a parent is almost always a Life-Changing Event. In the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a father and son have a heated exchange where the father talks about the sacrifices he made for his son, working as a mailman so his son could go to college; he claims that his son owes him for those sacrifices. The son’s response may seem at first insensitive, but is actually very wise: “I owe you nothing, Dad. If you carried that mailbag a million miles, you did what you were supposed to do. You owed me everything you could ever do for me, just as I will owe my kids.” The son understands what the father did not: that sacrifice for one’s children is a necessary and inextricable part of parenting.

So many of the protesters I see in New York appear to be young, and I can’t help but think that most have had very few LCEs in their lives. I don’t worry about that too much; given time, that will change. I feel truly sorry for the older people who have presumably had many experiences in life, but who have failed to experience a life-changing event.

For several years now the tiny minority of homosexuals in this country has been clamoring for marriage. They line up outside of state capitals and shout that their right to marry whom they choose has been denied. So far, 38 states and the Federal government have passed Defense of Marriage acts (DOMA) that prohibit gay marriage and refuse to recognize it if other states or countries pass homosexual marriage laws. This issue has been clouded by harsh words on both sides, and it is often misunderstood. Senator John Edwards spouted the following in one of his debates: “But as I understand the Defense of Marriage Act, it would take away the power of some states to choose whether they would recognize or not recognize gay marriages. That’s my understanding of it.” Too bad his understanding is incorrect. The Defense of Marriage Act, as signed into law by President Clinton and passed by 76% of the states, says that the individual states are free to recognize or refuse to recognize gay marriage as they see fit. It is interesting to note that if the DOMA had been proposed as a Constitutional amendment, it would be ratified based on the number of states that have passed such laws. This would make heterosexual marriage the law of the land, and unless the Supreme Court proceeded to pull another ruling out of its collective behinds, homosexual marriage would not be allowed.

It is clear that the vast majority of this nation is against gay marriage, but this does not stop a tiny yet very vocal minority from trying to sway the rest of the nation despite its resistance. This is like the tail wagging the dog, and makes as much sense. Even though proponents of gay marriage are in the minority, they use very effective language to defend their views. For example, gays claim that marriage is their “right.” But since when did our government grant rights to the people? Rights are already vested in the people, and their free exercise is protected by government. Yet the institution of marriage is recognized and affirmed by government. Marriage is different from a right, because it requires someone with authority to ratify it. Can you think of any other right that requires some power or organization to authorize it?

One of the other problems with this issue is the name. Calling it “gay marriage” is to cast it as a concept that makes logical sense, but it does not. Since marriage is, by definition, the union of a man and a woman, “gay marriage” makes no sense. It is an oxymoron like “jumbo shrimp” or “airline food.” Some people argue that the legalization of gay marriage is equivalent to the abolishment of miscegenation laws. But this argument is disingenuous. Race has no bearing on the issue of marriage–it is irrelevant to the very nature of marriage. But both the sex and sexuality of the participants certainly has bearing on marriage. For centuries marriage has provided the societally-acceptable outlet for sex between two people. This is why marriage has been called a sexual union.

“But this is only your definition! You are so narrow-minded!” When confronted with the accusation that they want to change the definition of marriage, many gay marriage spokesmen claim they do not. They want to “broaden” or “expand” the definition, not change it. But as I see it, the goal is to destroy the very meaning of marriage and make it apply to anything they choose. Once they have changed the definition of “marriage” so it no longer refers only to the union between one man and one woman, what is there to stop other groups from further tinkering with the definition? It is a very valid question, one that is often dodged by defenders of gay marriage. On the Sean Hannity radio show, one spokeswoman dismissed this question outright. She refused to answer it, saying that she was only there to talk about gay marriage and nothing more.

But this is a valid concern. If the fundamental definition of a word has been altered once, who or what will stop it from being changed again–say, from the union of two people to the union of three or more? This would open the way for polygamists hiding out in Utah, Colorado, and other states to proclaim their marriages openly to multiple wives. And what would stop a woman from marrying multiple husbands? The North American Man/Boy Love Association is already championing the cause of breaking down the societal barriers to male-on-male pedophilia; surely some men would petition to “marry” underage boys. And if age, sex, and number no longer have a bearing on the definition of marriage, how long before a human being tries to effect a union with another species?

Marriage is far from meaningless. J. D. Unwin’s 1934 book Sex and Culture outlines 86 different cultures and their historical decline. None of these cultures lasted more than three generations after marriage fell out of favor with the people. Unwin wasn’t the only person to come up with this idea. Giambattista Vico concluded the same thing in 1725. He saw that marriage between a man and a woman was critical for the growth of civilization. It is the “seedbed” of society, and marriage between a man and a woman is the best environment for raising children. Anything that departs from this damages men, women, and most of all children.

Finally, I am against gay marriage because God has stated it is not acceptable to Him. Homosexuality, along with all other acts of sex outside the bonds of marriage, is forbidden in the Bible. In addition to ancient scriptures, modern prophets and men of God have affirmed the sanctity of marriage in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”:

“We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

I do not hate homosexuals, nor do I wish them ill. But I recognize that the current push for gay marriage is only a means to an end. The ultimate goal is not just tolerance of homosexuality as a valid alternative lifestyle, but full acceptance and societal support of it. And this I cannot accept.

Addendum: My sister-in-law got a free subscription to YM magazine shortly after she applied to university. Most of this magazine is girly fluff-stuff, but in the June issue there’s a four-page propaganda piece titled “my parents are gay.” While the article is mostly politically low-key, things really get blatant on the last page. Here, under the title of “help stop the hate,” the liberal political agenda rears its ugly head.

“Being gay isn’t a choice — being homophobic is.” This trite and untrue stinger appears right under the main title. The problem? Being actively gay is a choice because it involves choosing how to act. While a person may not be able to help having same-sex attraction, acting on that attraction is a choice. Now to be really nit-picky, if being gay means having feelings for the same sex, and being homophobic means having feelings about people who are gay, why is one set of feelings controllable while the other is not? After all, a phobia is an irrational fear of something. A phobic person doesn’t rationally choose to be afraid, so how can he or she choose to stop feeling a particular way? Our society values being able to keep one’s feelings under control — unless, of course, one happens to be gay.

This section has a picture of two lesbians kissing while holding up a sign saying, “We all deserve the freedom to marry.” The sign is disingenuous since these two people already have the freedom to marry. All they need do is find a willing man and propose. What they really want is marriage redefined on their own terms. But I have already written about why this isn’t a good idea.

One paragraph starts “President Bush is pushing for a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. It would be the first time the Constitution has been amended in order to restrict civil rights rather than expand them.” I guess the writer forgot the 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol, or the 22nd Amendment limiting the number of times an individual can be elected President. Both amendments restrict civil rights, rather than expanding them. But I’m not all that surprised that the writer of this article was unfamiliar with the U.S. Constitution.

Finally comes the inevitable poll. The summarized question is: “Do you think gay couples should be allowed to marry?” The numbers break down as follows:

  • 44% say “Yes, I do.”
  • 27% say “No, I don’t.”
  • 21% say “No, I don’t, but civil unions are OK.”
  • 8% have no interest in the subject.

At first glance, you’d probably assume the largest percentage of respondents support same-sex marriage. But the second and third responses are both against gay marriage. When combined, they total 48% — a larger percentage of respondents against gay marriage than those in favor of it. But the raw data doesn’t fit the agenda, so the pollsters split up the negative responses to minimize their impact. All this is targeted to shape the future political responses of a specific market — teenage girls who are too unsophisticated to notice the way the data is being spun, and whose obsession with conformity is currently at its peak.

Once again proving there are lies, damned lies, and push polls.