November 09, 2007
More on that HRC poll…
Posted by: Chris
The Human Rights Campaign, rather than answer questions from a variety of media outlets and bloggers about its poll showing 70% GLBT support for the compromise gay-only ENDA, has used its chosen media outlet -- the Advocate -- to release some additional information.
The Advocate posted a non-bylined story today, though curiously it never explains its reason for being. Regardless, the story indicates that the poll was "a random survey of 514 LGBT Americans conducted by Knowledge Networks, Inc., of Menlo Park, Ca., asked participants two questions concerning [the compromise] ENDA.":
The first asked which of the following three statements was closest to reflecting their views:
A. National gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organizations should oppose this proposal because it excludes transgender people.
B. National gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organizations should support this proposal because it helps gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers and is a step toward transgender employment rights.
C. National gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organizations should adopt a neutral stance for this proposal because while it helps gay, lesbians, and bisexual workers, it also excludes transgender people.
The numbers were 67.7% for backing the compromise bill, 15.8% for opposing it, and 12.8% for staying neutral. As poll questions go, this one looks pretty straightforward with no attempt to bias the result. So far, so good.
The second question asked people the following: "This proposal would make it illegal to fire gay, lesbian, or bisexual workers because of their sexual orientation. This proposal does NOT include people who are transgender. Would you favor or oppose this proposal?"
The numbers were about the same: 59.1% favored the compromise and felt strongly about it, 15.4% favored it but did not feel strongly, 15.1% opposed it and felt strongly about it, and 8.8% opposed it but not strongly.
That's an even stronger indication that three-quarters of LGBT Americans back Barney Frank's compromise ENDA, which is a remarkable contrast to the almost unanimous 350 GLBT groups who joined United ENDA's "trans-or-bust" strategy. (Only HRC, Log Cabin, GLAAD, and a few other groups didn't sign on.) Will Matt Foreman be issuing an apology for lying to Congress about how "the community" really feels? Don't hold your breath.
The Advocate story included standard margin of error info and broke down the demographics: roughly 50-50 male and female with 1% transgender. If anything, that's weighted female-heavy. Every demographic study I've seen of LGBT America shows we're 60-70% male, and trans numbers run about 1%, though you wouldn't know that from the commitment of resources from so many lgbT groups.
Still, a few big questions are left unanswered by the Advocate story, and should be dealt with directly by HRC. First of all, the new Advocate story says the poll was conducted Oct. 2-5. The Advocate originally reported just two days ago that the poll was conducted Oct. 26. That's a big difference, and means HRC has known for weeks before it re-revised its position on ENDA how strongly GLBT Americans felt about the question.
Also, one of the questions pressed by the Bay Area Reporter and others is how exactly these 500 LGBT Americans were identified and whether they were a representative sample. HRC has said the 500 were not culled from its membership list or from the Advocate's subscription list, but the new Advocate story still doesn't clarify where they did come from.
Finally, there is the curious way in which HRC released the information. HRC prez Joe Solmonese has done a good job on at least one aspect of the ENDA controversy -- he's been accessible to the gay press for interviews. So why play favorites with the release of this polling data and string out over several days the details behind its demographics? Just answer the questions already.
Does HRC really need more questions raised about its transparency and credibility?
TrackBack URL for this entry:
The comments to this entry are closed.