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Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996
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Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996 - File 006. 1996-05-31. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/515/show/491.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1996-05-31). Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996 - File 006. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/515/show/491

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996 - File 006, 1996-05-31, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/515/show/491.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996
Contributor
  • Bell, Deborah Moncrief
Publisher Window Media
Date May 31, 1996
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 006
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE / MAY 31, 1996 5 Power at the Polls: new survey paints portrait of gay, lesbian, bisexual vote Washington. D.C. April 25. 1996 ... Now that the primary season is effectively over, the major political parties are planning election strategy. Which states and constituencies will bring victory? Which states and voters need attention? And which can be written off? But a new survey, released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), for the first time paints a portrait of a political constituency that Democrats and Republicans ignore at their own risk. "Power At the Polls: The Gay. Lesbian and Bisexual Vote" is based on exit polling data from the 1992 and 1994 elections. The data was originally collected by Voter News Service (VNS). a major national polling organization, and until now has remained largely untapped by the media. The report was produced by the NGLTF Policy Institute. NGLTF is a non-partisan organization. The gay vote survey is an analysis of gay. lesbian and bisexual voter demographics, political persuasions and voting patterns. It provides the first statistically reliable picture of self-identified gay. lesbian and bisexual voters. "We are releasing this report at this critical time because gay issues have exploded into the 1996 presidential campaign in an unprecedented way." said John D'Emilio, NGLTF Policy Institute director and author of the report. "After a generation of coming out of the closet, gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans are flocking to the polling booths." The VNS 1992 exit polling data is based on a nationally representative sample of 15,488 voters. The poll allowed gays, lesbians and bisexuals to identify themselves for the first lime in a presidential election. Some of the major findings include: —Gay. lesbian and bisexual self-identified voters constituted 3.2 percent of the total voting population in the 1992 elec- lions. That is roughly the size of (he national Latino vote in the same year, more than double the size of the Asian vote, and slightly less than the Jewish vote. It's also as large as the old staple of American politics, the family farm vote "Because we know that fear still keeps the majority of gay people in the closet, this figure of 3.2 percent must be considered a floor rather than a ceiling, and a basement floor at that," said D'Emilio. "In other words, the total number of these voters is certain to be higher than three percent and is likely to be considerably higher." —The gay, lesbian and bisexual vote can be decisive in urbanized states. The self-identified gay vote is not evenly distributed throughout the population, but instead is heavily concentrated in cities. In towns with a population between 5000 and 10,000 people, the self-identified vote is slightly more than one percent. But in cities with populations between 250,000 and -500.000. the figure rises to more than eight percent, "As time goes on and more smalltown residents come out. this figure will grow. But the urban concentration means the gay. lesbian and bisexual vote can be the margin of victory in key states," said D'Emilio. "It can also make the critical difference in many Congressional races and in state and local elections as well." D'Emilio points out that eleven states with urban areas and well-organized and visible gay. lesbian and bisexual communities—such as California. New York, Illinois. Michigan and others—together provide 49 percent of the total electoral vote. Add any two other states, and a candidate wins the presidency. The self-identified gay. lesbian and bisexual vote is also a younger vote, and will inevitably grown in "Because of the changes provoked in American life by the gay wild lesbian movement, younger votes are significantly more likely to self-identify than are older voters." said D'Emilio. In comparison to the overall voting popu- lation. ihe self-identified vote is under- represented in the older—than-60 group, is concentrated in the under-40 group, and is represented especially heavily among voters younger than 30. "Gay voters already constitute five percent of the under-30 voters," said D'Emilio. "As our issues continue to have high visibility in national and state politics, there is every reason to believe the proportion of self- identified voters will get larger over time." The gay, lesbian and bisexual voter displays a clear political profile. The polling data shows the gay voter leans heavily toward liberal positions on key issues. The gay voter is more likely to favor more government services and higher taxes to pay for them; downplay the importance of deficit reduction: support greater access to health care; blame government neglect rather than a decline in moral values for social problems; believe that government should encourage tolerance of diverse value systems; and support continued legalization of abortion. "In other words, this is the profile of a politically progressive constituency," said D'Emilio. The survey also details who gay voters vote for. In 1992.Clinton received 43 percent of the total popular vote, but 72 percent of the gay. lesbian and bisexual vote. Only Jewish voters and African—American voters provided Clinton with larger margins. The gay vote for Clinton surpassed the percentage of votes he received among union households and Latinos. But. cautions D'Emilio. the gay vote is not guaranteed to any candidate. "If the only two options in 1996 were to vote Democratic or Republican, the story would seem to be over. Bul gay. lesbian and bisexual voters have a third (option: they can stay home." said D'Emilio. Evidence from the 1994 elections supports this assertion In the midterm elections, when gay issues received less attention than in 1992. and when disappointment was still fresh from ihe Clinton Adminis tration's support of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, the self-identified gay, lesbian and bisexual vote shrunk by more than a third. "It still remained a heavily Democratic vote, but there were a lot fewer votes cast." said D'Emilio. Whether voters stay home in 1996 or rush to the polls depends on several factors, said D'Emilio. Will the Democratic party actively court the gay vote, or simply take it for granted? Will the Republican Party castigate the gay community like it did in 1992, or try to avoid polarizing social issues? Will the extremist Christian Right make gays the target of their rhetoric, and thereby galvanize gays, lesbians and bisexual to come out and vote? Will gay organizations succeed in their plans to coordinate massive voter registration drives, and will they be able to mobilize those voters? "In other words, the Republican Party can antagonize the gayvote, or try to neutralize it." said D'Emilio. "The Democratic Party can effectively mobilize it, or watch it slip away in inaction. To a degree, the survey confirms what we have known only intuitively—but never had statistically viable data to prove." said D'Emilio. "There is a gay. lesbian and bisexual vote. It is growing, it is concentrated, and it is still untapped." The survey was released today at a Washington D.C. press conference, which also featured a report by Carmen Vasquez. director of public policy. Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center. New York City, on the "Promote the Vote" gay. lesbian, bisexual and transgender national voter registration drive; and Tony Valen- zuela and Brenda Schumacher, co-chairs of Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual and Transgender VOICES '96. an ad hoc coalition planning actions at the GOP Convention in San Diego this year. For a copy of the gay vole reporr. coniact NGLTF at (202)332-6483. ext 3303. or visit the NGLTF Web site at http:// SUMMER MALE STRIP CONTESTS SUNuAV and WEDNESDAY $150 IN CASH PRIZES JUDGING Bit AUDIENCE RESPONSE \SATURbA\/ JUNE 8 WELCOME COLT t>5's 20th ANNWERSAR]! RUN FOOD AMD COCKTAIL PARTIES BEGIN AT 2pm THEN JOIN US FROM 8pm 10 11pm FOR QENTRfS SIXTH ANNIVERSARY PARiy WITH 50C WELL 75C DOMESTICS Boy roys DANCE SEVEN NIGHTS A WEEK □entry B M O U S T D IM^y 2303 Richmond - 520-1861
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