Snaps & Slaps

SNAP: America Forever

Just when you thought Utah’s favorite spell-check and gay-hating group had gotten tired of throwing tantrums now that the legislative session is over, America Forever proves that it is more resilient than yarrow. A few weeks before Vermont’s legislature voted to strike down Gov. Jim Douglas’ gay marriage veto, America Forever fired up its fax machine and spammed several Vermont businesses with anti-gay fliers, presumably so they would urge their legislators to uphold the veto.  We’ve got to hand it to AF founders Sandra Rodrigues and Jonas Filho: few anti-gay leaders have their talent for annoying people into supporting the opposition. We can’t help but wonder how their unsolicited faxes would play in California, or any other state where the battle for gay marriage is raging. But we’ll gladly mock the results should they try.

SLAP: FiveThirtyEight.com

OK, we like FiveThirtyEight.com. We think founder Nate Silver is a good statistician. And we’d honestly be thrilled if his prediction that the majority of Utahns will support gay marriage in 2013 came true. But we’ve got to rap Silver’s knuckles for making one crucial oversight in his prognostications: Mormonism. In the April 3 post to the site, Silver said he based his predictions on three factors: the year in which the state voted on a constitutional amendment regarding marriage; the percentage of adults who identified religion as an important part of their lives; and the percentage of white evangelical Christians in the state. As any Utahn can tell you, the number of white evangelicals in our state is small when compared to the number of Mormons—whose church is just as opposed to gay marriage. It’s an important detail, and its exclusion has probably skewed Silver’s predictions not just for Utah, but for much of the West.

SNAP: Utahns for Sanctioning Buttars

Speaking of numbers and figures, a recent poll by KSL-TV/The Deseret News concluded that 63 percent of Utahns favor sanctioning Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, for anti-gay remarks he made to a documentary filmmaker during this year’s legislative session. We’ve got to ask, though: Does the other 37 percent live in Senate District 10?   

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