New National Survey Shows Gays and Lesbians Outpace U.S. Average in Voting Participation
Respondents Say Homosexuality Will Still Be a Divisive Issue in Ten Years
reprinted from Community Marketing, Inc.
As the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates prepared for the first LGBT-focused debate of the 2008 campaign in Los Angeles on August 9, a new national survey reveals that gay and lesbian consumers are far more likely to have voted in the last presidential and midterm elections than the population in general. Significant numbers of both gay men and lesbians also donated to a political party in the past year. The survey also found that despite significant social and political progress over the past decade, majorities of both gays and lesbians believe homosexuality will remain a “divisive” issue in ten years.
The survey results are included in the Gay Consumer Index™ and Lesbian Consumer Index™, precedent-setting national surveys of more than 12,000 gay Americans and 10,000 lesbian Americans conducted by Community Marketing Inc. in spring 2007 and set to be released later this month.
“The results of the Gay Consumer Index and Lesbian Consumer Index studies demonstrate that the political parties would be smart to pay attention to the issues that mean the most to gay and lesbian voters,” declared Tom Roth, president of Community Marketing, Inc. “We have far more at stake than the average voter and we’re therefore far more engaged in the political process.”
More than 92% of gay male respondents (92.5%) reported that they voted in the 2004 presidential election with nearly 84% (83.8%) reporting that they voted in the mid-term election in 2006. Results for lesbians were similar with nearly 91% (90.7%) of lesbian respondents reporting that they voted in the 2004 presidential election and 78% reporting that they voted in the mid-term election in 2006. In comparison, media reports estimate that 64% of the general population voted in the 2004 presidential election and just 40% of the general population voted in the 2006 mid-term election.
Slightly more than 31 percent of lesbian respondents (31.1%) reported that they made a financial contribution to a political party in the past twelve months. Forty percent (40.1%) of gay male respondents reported that they made a financial contribution to a political party in the past twelve months.
And finally, large majorities of gay male and lesbian respondents agreed with the statement that “homosexuality will still be a divisive issue in the USA in 10 years.” Slightly more than 73% (73.4%) of gay male and nearly 73% (72.9%) of lesbian respondents agreed with that statement. In general, larger numbers of older respondents agreed with this view than younger respondents with more gay male and lesbian Baby Boomers agreeing with the statement than gay males or lesbians born after 1980.
The Gay Consumer Index and Lesbian Consumer Index are groundbreaking national studies of gay and lesbian consumer preferences and behaviors. The median age of lesbian respondents in the survey was 44, which matches the median age of the general female population. The median age of gay male respondents in the survey was 44, which is slightly lower than the median age of 47 among the general male population.
Survey participants were solicited through over 75 widely distributed internet and print publications. These media partners contributed their survey participants into Community Marketing’s own proprietary survey panel developed since 1994, which includes respondents from many other leading event and media companies such as Advocate Magazine, OUT Magazine, Instinct Magazine, Curve Magazine, Gay.com, PlanetOut.com, and GayWired.com.
Readers may subscribe to abstract summaries of the Gay Consumer Index™ and the Lesbian Consumer Index™ by visiting http://www.GayConsumerIndex.com and registering for email updates.
CMI, through its Gay Market Research + Development Lab® division, initiated the practice of collecting and analyzing data on gay and lesbian consumers through annual online surveys, field and customer satisfaction studies, advisory boards, and focus groups. In the past year alone, Community Marketing has produced and analyzed over 50,000 survey responses, and facilitated more than 75 focus groups and advisory boards on gay and lesbian issues. Industry leaders turn to CMI’s research to better understand gay and lesbian consumers, and to measure the effectiveness of their dedicated marketing efforts.
Community Marketing, Inc., founded in 1992, is the global leader in gay and lesbian market research, strategies and communications.
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