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Selective Data Use

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has recently released a map (pdf) of the U. S. that highlights the connection between conferences held by the ex-gay movement and anti-gay ballot measures in each state. Initially the co-relation looks clear: each state that has had or will be having what it calls an anti-gay ballot has also had “ex-gay” conferences helds by organizations such as Focus on the Family or Exodus International. The map appears somewhat clunky and graceless but the real issue with it is a little disclaimer at the bottom of the map that reads: “There have also been ex-gay conferences in other states without anti-gay ballot measures since 2003. These are not depicted here.” In other words, the correlation that is displayed is not as strong as the Task Force might hope for. Well, at least they’ve let us know of this shortcoming. How many other maps on the web do not?

Read the Task Force’s accompanying news release or a newspaper story from the Bay Area Reporter.

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