Saturday, January 27, 2007

Telecoms behind gay marriage--and UAT can help stop them

These recordings are from 2005, but comic Eugene Mirman received calls from a nonprofit that was recommending United American Technologies as a long distance provider because AT&T, MCI, and Sprint promote gay marriage. United American Technologies, by contrast, was billed as a "Christian-based telephone company," with a "Faith, Family, and Freedom" campaign. Apparently the nonprofit was using prerecorded calls, which asked you to press one if you oppose gay marriage.

Mirman really gets them going--they accuse MCI of running a child pornography website, and say that they aim to destroy the ACLU, for example.

These calls were all illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, even though they were initiated by a nonprofit, since these calls were clearly intended to advertise UAT. Prerecorded calls to a residence are illegal.

United American Technologies is based in Oklahoma. The calls came from "Faith, Family, and Freedom," a 527 organization created by Oklahoma Rep. Lance Cargill, who is now Oklahoma's Speaker of the House. There are more details about these calls in Wikipedia's entry on United American Technologies.

(Hat tip: The Two Percent Company.)


AlisonM said...

Funny, though, that your calls would still be carried by physical facilities already owned by AT&T and MCI, all you're doing is adding another layer of billing. Then this company pays a portion of its revenue to the aforementioned companies - how does it then prevent that money from being used to support gay marriage? Hmmm. . .

Lippard said...


That's not necessarily correct. UAT may have its own network, or it may operate as a reseller for another long distance carrier--they are most likely not reselling long distance for the carriers they are criticizing.

Now that AT&T includes SBC and BellSouth, the local portion of the connection for SBC and BellSouth territories is under AT&T and they would continue to get some revenue in those regions, but not the bulk of the long distance charges. (Likewise for Verizon and MCI.)

But even if UAT was directly reselling long distance for one of these providers, it would still reduce the dollars going to them, since UAT would charge retail prices to the consumer but only pay wholesale carrier rates to their carriers.