As the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates prepare 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 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."

As the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates prepare 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.”

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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