Thursday, September 11, 2008

One News Now, allies manipulate numbers on referendum count

Apparently the recent decision to stop a referendum against a Montgomery County law that would protect the transgender community have members of the anti-gay industry a bit loopy.

Check out this headline. It's insulting and funny at the same time:

Sexual Deviants Given Green Light in Maryland

Court decides 900,000 petition signers can't challenge the controversial "gender identity" law allowing any man to use the women's shower by just claiming he felt like a woman at the time.

900,000 petition signers?

The blog in question claims to have received the story from the Washington Post. However, if you look at the Post article (feel free to do so by this link) you will see that there is no mention of any number of petition signers.

So where did the blog get the 900,000 number? Why from my favorite phony news page - One News Now:

Baltimore residents have lost their battle against an ordinance protecting transgendered people.

Under the controversial "gender identity" law, a man would be allowed to walk into a women's restroom or shower room claiming he believes himself to be a woman, essentially opening the door for rape or sexual molestation. In July a lower Montgomery County court agreed more than 900,000 petition signers had the right to see it on the ballot to choose whether to overturn it -- but it was appealed.

So much for truth.

Now the reasoning behind the decision has not been published as of yet, but to get a good idea of the situation, I looked at, a web page created by those fighting the referendum.
This is what was said before the decision was rendered. As you can say, the number of petition signers are far below 900,000:

The Citizens for a Responsible Whatever were told by the county Board of Elections that they needed 25,001 signatures to get a referendum on the November ballot to relegalize discrimination on the basis of gender identity in Montgomery County. They got that many and a few extra, submitted them on time, and did their victory dance. Opponents of the referendum went through the signatures, found a lot of problems, and sued the Board for not correctly verifying petition signatures. In the process of arguing back and forth in court, it came out that the Board of Elections had given the CRW the wrong number, and now they didn't have enough. The Board had counted only active voters, ignoring the considerable number of voters who are registered but have not voted in a general election recently. Today, even the Board's attorney, Kevin Karpinski, said, "The sponsors didn't get enough signatures." But -- the Circuit Court judge said that the complaint had been filed too late, and so it didn't matter that there weren't enough signatures.

So the court might need to require the Board to enforce the law, if they rule that because the CRW failed to produce 27,615 valid signatures -- the actual target number based on all registered voters -- the referendum should not be on the ballot.

This fudging of the numbers by One News Now doesn't surprise me. Since when has this phony news site ever let accuracy get in the way of a good "those evil people are out to hurt us decent Christians" spin.