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Archives – June, 2011

NOM’s hatched a plan to overturn marriage equality in New York

By Adam Bink

And by hatched I mean doodled on a napkin.

Via Towleroad:

We’re putting together a 4-year campaign strategy that will reverse same-sex marriage in New York. We’ll have many more details, and ways for you to get involved, in the days ahead but the overall plan will have three phases:

Elect pro-marriage majorities next November that will approve a marriage amendment in both the Assembly and Senate during the 2013 legislative session.

Protect pro-marriage candidates in the 2014 elections, so that the amendment can receive final legislative approval in the 2015 legislative session.

Successfully pass the ballot measure when it goes before voters in November 2015.

There are so many holes in this it’s like Swiss cheese. One part of this could be just because their handful of zillion-dollar checkwriters demanded a “plan” regarding what NOM was going to do about this. An equal part could just be crazy.
Update: David Henderson makes an awesome South Park reference in the comments:


74 Comments June 29, 2011

P8TT housekeeping update

By Adam Bink

Some updates — we’ve made significant progress courtesy of our wonderful tech team.

1. Comment anchor links — noted that when you try and send a link to a specific comment, it takes you to the whole page and not the comment. This one is not feasible to fix now, because of the way IntenseDebate loads, unfortunately, and until IntenseDebate changes that, there’s no way around it, unfortunately. To get technical, the anchor link can only work after ID loads. All of the comments need to load in order to pull up the comment section and for the anchor to be able to pull up the correct comment. The load time increases as you have more comments on on the post, and will also increase if the comment that you’re linking to is a reply in a large thread. It’s possible that action to load the anchored comment is timing out during onload. Fortunately, IntenseDebate says it’s something they will work on as they continue to improve their code.

2. Commenting from mobile devices such as iPhones and having them show up on the site as people view it on desktops or laptops has been resolved, as noted previously.

3. It’s been asked whether threading can be turned on and off. It can; you simply have to click the little arrow to turn it off. Last week there was one thread with a person who opposed equality that went on for some 89 comments; at some point, for many people, it became too much to read and scroll through. Simply click the little arrow button.

4. Comment moderation, which was the biggest issue, is about resolved, as less about half a dozen comments per week are being held in moderation that should not, which is much closer to the normal rate we should have, and much better than before considering we get hundreds and hundreds of comments per week. The system will never be perfect because, well, it’s never perfect, but we’ll always keep an eye on those held in moderation and check to see if they’re spam or should be approved. But less than 1% of all comments are being accidentally moderated, which is where we should be.

5. Subscribing to comments initially is working much better now. However, We’re aware of issues subscribing to comments and receiving e-mail notifications, then halfway through a debate in the comments, the notifications start coming. Working on that now.

6. Numbered comments e.g. 1-2-3 are not possible with IntenseDebate at this time.

7. We’re aware of issues with a few people where the reply button doesn’t load for some reason. It’s only happened to a handful of people, but we’re looking into that.

So, progress on many fronts, and we’re still plugging away on others.

One more thing to add which is important. If you have a bug to report, e-mail it to prop8trial AT couragecampaign DOT org. With the hundreds of comments coming in and one full-time site admin (me) who also does full-time organizing around DOMA repeal and other campaigns, it is impossible to check and reply on every single bug. E-mail is much better because it will go to several members of our team and because that’s more regularly in front of me. Feel free to leave comments as well — especially if they are questions your fellow community members can solve — but to be 100% sure we see it, e-mail to prop8trial AT couragecampaign DOT org.

Thanks as always for your patience, and onward!

20 Comments June 29, 2011

3 days left

By Adam Bink

To vote for us to get $50,000 from Pepsi, no strings attached, to fight LGBT bullying (not to mention, do less fundraising for projects from folks like you!). We’re in #3 and if we are still in the top 10 at the end of the day on June 30th, we’re in the money.

Please vote.

And vote again (using a different account if you like).

And text our voting code (106897) to the number 73774 on your mobile phone.

You might even share it on Facebook and Twitter when you’re done, if you really could take a second and go the extra mile.

You all rock!

17 Comments June 28, 2011

Back to the ballot in Maine?

By Adam Bink

I received this e-mail yesterday from Equality Maine:

Dear Adam,

By now, you’ve heard the inspiring news — our friends in New York have won the freedom to marry!

Congratulations to the coalition in New York that worked to secure this victory.  EqualityMaine was proud to support this effort by mobilizing our volunteers to contact New Yorkers and urge them to call their legislators in support of the marriage bill.

This important victory in New York generates wind in the sails of the national movement to win marriage, and more specifically, of our efforts here in Maine.

Let the celebration of what New York achieved serve as a reminder that our movement is strong — and that state-by-state, we will win the freedom to marry for all Americans.

To that end, stay tuned later this week for an important announcement about winning marriage in Maine.

Word has it that advocates are expected to announce signature-gathering efforts (they need 57,000) to go back to the ballot in Maine to overturn the 2009 decision, which invalidated the law legalizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. The signature-gathering is not likely to be the toughest part, but rather the financial effort and actually winning at the ballot.

76 Comments June 28, 2011

The retirement of California Supreme Court Justice Moreno and the Prop 8 case

By Adam Bink

Over at KQED, Scott Shafer wonders what the effect of New York legalizing same-sex marriage will be on California. I noticed this excerpt on the California Supreme Court:

Here in California, Prop. 8 is mired in legal battle. While supporters of same sex marriage have won important legal victories, including the recent rejection of a motion to strike down Vaughn Walker’s Prop. 8 decision, the issue is in some ways on the slow track.

The appeal of Walker’s decision is stalled at the 9th Circuit, which awaits legal advice from the California Supreme Court on whether Prop. 8 backers have legal standing to appeal Judge Walker’s decision. A date for oral arguments has not been set. It was thought to happen in September, but until a 7th justice is appointed by Governor Brown to replace retired justice Carlos Moreno my guess is the court will be reluctant to schedule it. Otherwise there’s a risk that a random Appeals Court judge will sit in as the 7th justice and take part in the decision — not a good scenario for the new Chief Justice.


That said, at least two other states — Minnesota and N. Carolina — are said to be considering ballot measures banning gay marriage. So — this issue is far from done.

One clarification, which is that Minnesota has already put this issue to voters at the ballot. The second is that regarding the California Supreme Court, Chris Stoll and Shannon Minter over at NCLR commented to me over e-mail that the court, since Moreno retired, has been picking an appeals court justice alphabetically at random to fill the seat on different cases, and is expected to do so here as well. They also commented that they believe it is unlikely the court will delay the case until Gov. Brown fills the seat.

We’ll have to wait and see how the timeline plays out. Hardship has already come to couples who are forced to sit in limbo since the 9th Circuit certified the question to the California Supreme Court. Hopefully, a great deal more waiting does not come, as well.

9 Comments June 28, 2011

Another biased WBEN poll on the NY marriage vote

By Adam Bink

Okay, one poll is one thing, but two polls is an agenda.

Last week, I wrote about the News 930 WBEN poll (WBEN is a popular radio station back home in Western New York) providing four choices opposing the marriage bill and one supporting it:


Despite this, by the time everyone here and everywhere else was done voting, the one choice supporting equality was beating the other four combined with over 70% of the vote.

Today, WBEN has this new poll up:

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 10.49.45 AM

This is really ridiculous. Again, I realize these things aren’t scientific, but they aren’t fair either. “What bothers you most” sets the tone from the start, implying that Grisanti acted incorrectly in some way, instead of something like “How would you rate Mark Grisanti’s handling of the same-sex marriage issue?” Any approval poll should have neutral language such as “How would you rate President Obama’s handling of x issue?”

Second, we again have two choices against one instead of a neutral scale. And third, since when did Mark Grisanti refuse to “discuss the issue prior to the vote?”

Here’s a piece from the Buffalo News quoting Grisanti on June 14th discussing his wrestling with the issue and his religious beliefs. Here’s another piece from June 19th where he mentions he will wait to see what changes are made in the bill with respect to religious exemptions. Here’s Sen. Grisanti’s chief of staff discussing his boss’ views. Here’s a piece even documenting how Grisanti sat down with gay and lesbian community leaders in March to discuss the issue. Perhaps WBEN is confusing “refused to state his position” with “refusing to discuss”, but the voting choice is just misleading at best, factually inaccurate at worst.

The reason this matters is because poll results like these get reported on-air, mentioned by word-of-mouth, and noted by other news sources, which influences opinion. As of this post, “they way he voted” is winning with 56% of the vote. The impression here is that Grisanti did something wrong. Let’s correct the record.

The poll can be found here, and you can once again drop station manager Tim Wenger a line. You might tell him to stop running (and fix) poorly worded, biased polls. You can also tweet @NewsRadio930.

Update: Comment of the day, IMHO, from Greg:

Prop8TrialTracker should add its own poll:

What bothers you most about WBEN’s slanted polls? (Please choose one)

1. Their loaded questions
2. Their innuendo and anti-equality bias
3. The set of answers stacked in favor of an anti-gay mindset

22 Comments June 28, 2011

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