A New Hampshire state lawmaker had to be told by a colleague that his concerns over marriage equality had been inflamed by at least two satirical posts online, Miscellany Blue reported on Monday.
"When we were discussing same-sex marriage people said talking about multiple partners, animal interactions made those who define marriage as a relationship between man and woman as silly and foolish," state Rep. Jordan Ulery (R) wrote in an email to fellow lawmaker Rep. Jan Schmidt (D). "Today, however, in several states multiple partners and even bestiality have been proposed or floated as extensions."
Ulery then forwarded links to a post on the satirical website The Daily Currant that said authorities in New Zealand were trying to fend off an increase in instances of bestiality following the country's legalization of same-sex couplings, as well as a satirical post from the commentary site Smash Mouth Politics titled, "Vermont Legislature considering a bill that would legalize beastiality, polygamy etc."
Another state Democrat, state Rep. Tim Smith, later informed Ulery of the nature of the sites.
"It says a lot that you can’t tell the difference," Smith wrote to Ulery. "Poe's Law is hard at work."
According to Urban Dictionary.com, "Poe's Law," frequently applied to online content, states that without explicitly saying content is satirical, it is impossible to parody a political position without someone mistaking it for a genuine argument on its behalf.
Later in the thread, state Rep. Gary Hopper (R) included a picture of a scantily-clad woman opposite gun fatality statistics, prompting a rebuke from two female Democratic colleagues, Reps. Virginia Irwin and Wendy Piper.
"Please help me understand why you would send around this photo?" Irwin wrote. "If a Democrat had sent it, it would have been front page news. What does this photo have to do with the previous albeit ridiculous discussion on gun bans?"
[h/t The Huffington Post]