Saturday, January 31, 2009

Prop 8 Survey - Inforamtion to Move forward

From NGLTF "Creating Change", Denver
Friday - Part 3

We have to move forward to reverse prop 8 and we all have to do it together.

The Binder Survey provides very useful reflection on what went right and what didn't go as well and some demographic analysis for future campaigns. The most important action, however, that any individual can take is to have the conversation. Whether you are gay or straight, black or white, old or young, disabled or not... you need to have conversations at work, in your place of worship, we you gather with friends or where-ever you interact socially.

I have been promised a link to the powerpoint analysis of this survey and will make it avalable as soon as I can.

The report survey 800 people who voted on Prop 8. The margin of error is +/- 3.

Seventy-seven percent of the voters had decided how they would cast their ballot on the future of equal equal access to marriage a month before the vote. As one presenter said, "You don't plan for an earthquake or a hurrican when you are in it." Many laudible efforts were not effective because of this statistic.

The most powerful influence against prop 8 was the church, specifically the Mormon, Roman Catholic and evangeical traditions. A program to target Evangelical and more specifically predominantly Black churches, "Let California Ring," proved very effective. However when initial concieved, it was poorly funded and reached a limited audience. During the late stages of the campaign it was set up as test. Two counties were chosen and one was saturated with the campaign. It was the only county, Santa Barbara, in southern California to vote against prop 8. More on the program later.

Teasing out men and women with children and men and women without children, the results were both predictable and surprising. Both men and women without children fell very close to the posulation as a whole. The campaign for Prop 8 played the chidren up big time. "Your children will be taught about gay marriage." It was a lie, but it worked. The group that vote singificantly more in favor of prop 8 were men with children. Supposition is that they were not only afraid that there children might be "made gay" or "chose to be gay." Perhaps a powerful force here is that men might have to tallked to their kids about sex. The counter to that is, it's not about sex, it's about love... and perhaps women got that. Women with children were more likely to vote NO on 8. Here one might presume that motivation was more towrd creating a better society for children to live in. Unfortunately their move in our favor was not as strong as the men's move away from us.

Personal Experience:
These are the percentages of people who voted FOR Prop 8:
People who are LGBT: 5%
People who know people who are LGBT: 48%
People who don't know people who are LGBT: 60%

Anaylsis agumented with anaecdotal rsponse is that although knowing someone who is gay helps, it doesn't help enough. Knowing someone who is gay AND knowiing that marriage makes a difference to then does. Clearly, some LGBT people were in favor of 8. they may have issues with the institution of marriage and cannot see beyond their personal interests. But more people reported that their gay friends didn't care, so why should they. LGBT people can't just "be there," we need to have the conversation.

Despite exit polling showing 70% of black voters supported Prop 8, the figure was actually 58%. Presumably this due to a closer affiliation with the church than the general population.
(When I have the link to the survey I will examine stats on other People of Color)

Taught in School:
A large majority of people who reported voting "yes," even though they thought it was unfair said it was out of fear it would be taught in school.

Marriages on TV:
Seeing Ellen and Portia's marriage or same-sex marriage in a TV show or movie, proved to not have significantly affected anyone's vote.

Targeted Ads:
The survey reported on about 8 ads that were run by various groups to oppose prop 8. On a 2 dimensional grid, they were each place by visibility and impact. The most powerful ad was a man talking about his two daughters, one gay, one straight. His message was simply, "I love both of my daughters and both my daughters deserve the right to marry."

Suprisingly, Ellen's ad was visible, but not effective. Part of the issue is timing. The ad above was aired a month before the vote. Ellen's ad was aired in the final week. As stated, 77% of the voters had decided how they would vote a month before the ballot.

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