You may not have noticed it amid the crashing space probes, terrorism scares, global warming fears and other minor worldwide issues, but two of the things that really worries the Americans at the moment are homosexuality and marriage. They worry about them individually, and they really worry about them in combination. Y'see, the centrepiece of the American Way is the Family, and the lynchpin of the Family is Marriage -- you'll have seen this in action on Jerry Springer -- and everyone must get married. Unless you're a homosexualist, then you must not get married in case you, er, well, at this point I rather lose the plot. It's something to do with religion and sex, and you know where that leads.
However, the general trend in developed countries is to let gays marry if they like: why should us breeders have to fund divorce lawyers all by ourselves? The American establishment has spotted this trend, and is busy deciding whether to be against it, very against it, or so against it that it changes the Constitution to prevent it ever happening. Blame the Founding Fathers who might have put the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence, but plum darn forgot to add the codicil "unless you're a goddamn pervert". Busy, I guess.
To that end, the American Family Association -- that's wholesome heterosexual families -- set up a poll on its Web site to find out just how against gay marriage the great American public was. Somehow -- and this caught the AFA by surprise -- quite a lot of people found out about the poll and decided to take part. The AFA suspect it's got something to do with the Internet. Nonetheless, the facts are in: the poll scored nearly a million votes and turned out in favour of gay marriage by almost two to one.
And now, of course, the grand plan -- to present the poll to Congress -- has had to be abandoned. It must have been the wrong sort of public, says the AFA, with gay activitists "doing their number" on the site. It's come to a sorry state of affairs if activists feel they can influence politics, and a God-fearing nation can't take an opinion poll without knowing in advance what the results will be.