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  • « ENDA by the numbers | Main | More voices in 'T' dissent »

    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?



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    1. Geena The Transgirl on Nov 9, 2007 7:29:32 PM:

      Every Hispanic including all of the Republican Cuban-Americans in South Florida voted for ENDA.
      ( Nydia Velazquez, was a no, she was an gender-ENDA cosponsor ) Give us Hispanics credit for being a religious and tolerant people.

    1. donald on Nov 9, 2007 8:31:19 PM:

      I have no animosity towards Ts. However, is it not a serious mental/psychological and medical condition that deserves real professional attention? And it's my understanding Ts for the most part of NOT gay.

      Being a well
      adjusted and out glb person is NOT a medical condition. Why did we allow the professional suits of our community to hi-jack our movement and load it down with the baggage of mental estrangement of the Ts?

    1. Lucrece on Nov 9, 2007 10:31:33 PM:

      Why should someone need to receive credit for being "religious," out of curiosity?

    1. Zoe Brain on Nov 10, 2007 12:13:38 PM:

      donald, so why are Transsexuals specifically excluded from coverage by the Americans with Disabilities Act?

      It's within living memory that Gays were classed as having mental/psychological problems too.

      I agree though that Transsexuality should be a medical issue, just as Intersex is. But Intersex is part of GLBITQ now, isn't it? Not that anyone ever asked any of the IS support groups whether they wanted inclusion or not.

      The point is, Transsexuals were excluded from the ADA because they were seen (quite falsely) as being the Gayest of the Gay.

    1. Double T on Nov 11, 2007 3:40:53 PM:

      Chris, I'll throw you a bone.

      I'm reluctant to criticize HRC. Because there’s no shortage of it on this blog.

      But the size of this survey doesn’t sound “right” to me. 514?

      And with 750,000 members, HRC could have done a better job with a grassroots campaign, than to just drop this on everyone’s lap and assume no one would notice.

    1. Nicole Schech on Aug 29, 2008 4:04:57 PM:

      donald You do realise Transsexuals are being taken out of the DSM. It is odd for me to hear someone in the GLB community call us sick ... and very sad too.

      Dream the Good Dream,


    1. jpru on Sep 1, 2008 5:38:08 PM:

      It is very sad that someone who is gay could infer that being gay is something you are born with and that transgender is a mental disorder.
      It's even sadder that people in this country especially the gay community feel that anybody in this country should not be entitled to the same rights as anyone else.
      It makes me ashamed to be an American.

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