LGBT Voters to Romney: Support our rights and we'd consider voting for you

Posted by Justin Snow
August 23, 2012 5:15 PM |

Perhaps not surprisingly, gay voters are just as concerned about the economy as the rest of America.

A new poll released by Logo TV found that LGBT voters consider economic issues and unemployment to be the biggest factors influencing their vote this November. Gay rights ranked fourth in importance with 9 percent of respondents describing it as the number one issue influencing their vote. Marriage equality ranked seventh with 6 percent describing it as the most important issue.

Romney.jpgThe most interesting numbers relate to LGBT voting patterns. The survey, which was conducted last week and interviewed more than 1,300 likely voters, found that a substantial number of LGBT voters would be more inclined to vote Republican if the party supported gay rights.

According to the poll, 22 percent of LGBT voters would consider voting for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney if he held the same views as President Barack Obama on gay rights.

Moreover, 26 percent of LGBT voters would consider supporting a Republican if the party more closely mirrored the stances of the Democratic Party on gay issues.

Both Obama and the Democratic Party's national platform support marriage equality.

The numbers demonstrate what gay conservatives have argued for years: sexuality does not dictate political views. As support for issues like gay marriage continue to shift, which has seen a uptick in support among the general population from 31 percent in 2007 to 52 percent today, gay voters may be more inclined to vote Republican if the party becomes more inclusive.

However, it seems unlikely that inclusiveness will come anytime soon.

Both Romney and Paul Ryan hold hardline conservative positions on gay issues and support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Earlier this week the committee responsible for drafting the language of the Republican Party's national platform adopted strong language opposing marriage equality and supporting the Defense of Marriage Act.

Nevertheless, the wedge appears to have lost its edge when it comes to the divisiveness of gay rights.

According to Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor at Hunter College, the survey documents a "political transformation of epic proportions."

"LGBT rights are no longer a wedge issue in American politics. Instead, support for LGBT rights is now a mainstream position and candidates stand to benefit from their support for LGBT rights," Sherrill said in a statement. "The data also demonstrate that LGBT voters are active, savvy, and discerning voters who support candidates who support their interests, but that they also are by no means blindly loyal to any politician or party."

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