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Misusing statistics?

I prefer to be non-political (certainly in public, anyway, and almost so privately) and I also prefer to be able to call myself politically inactive, but I also believe that I can stay neutral when coming across some weird uses of statistics.

A site against same sex relationships and civil unions, civil-unions.org, appears to be misusing statistics. If you follow the reasoning, the site appears to be saying that because less than 4% of people in same sex relationships (according to their reading of census results), they don't deserve the rights the current Bills under consideration provide. Moving along, they also claim significant support for their position because only 4.5% of submissions were in favour of the Bills. What they don't realise is that it's easy to stack those sorts of statistics with submission writing campaigns (it's not new). But the best one doesn't involve statistics at all. It says: Think of the bad effects this Bill, if allowed to pass, will have on future generations and younger children. They don't even use statistics at all.

Thanks to DPF, who appears to be in favour, for the link.

I'm not mentioning my position here at all. I just find it interesting when sides in an argument are seemingly so selective in their facts, even if I agree, overall. (Incidentally, I would look at the 'other side' of the debate, but I can't easily find statistics on civilunions.org.nz right now with the time I have left online tonight.)


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