Study: 3.5% in U.S. identify as LGBT

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One in 10 adults in Washington, D.C., identify as LGBT — the highest percentage in the U.S., according to the largest population-based survey ever to ask the question.

North Dakota recorded the lowest percentage of LGBT people, at 1.7 percent, according to the study by the Williams Institute at UCLA and Gallup.

Most states were within 2 percentage points of the nationwide average of 3.5 percent, based on the survey of more than 206,000 adult Americans.

Texas, at 3.3 percent, was sandwiched between North Carolina and Louisiana at No. 32 on the list, based on surveys of 13,314 people in the Lone Star State. From the press release:

—  John Wright

SMU kicks off GALLUP

Pam Buchmeyer

New LGBT alumni group helps dedicate GLFD reception room in Simmons Education building

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

After several failed attempts, a new LGBT alumni group formally launched at Southern Methodist University this week with a reception at the Simmons School of Education on Monday, June 27.

To go with the school’s Mustang theme, organizer and SMU Law School alum Pam Buchmeyer dubbed the group GALLUP — Gay And Lesbian League of University Persons.

“I’m not sure why it took so long to do it,” said GALLUP member Jim LeCroy.

Organizer Shellie Crandall suggested that it just took a little persistence and a call to the alumni association from the dean of the Simmons School, David Chard, who is openly gay.

The group’s goal is to be inclusive. Although under the alumni association banner, faculty and staff, current students and those who’ve attended but not graduated are welcome to join.

Affinity groups are formed within alumni associations to encourage donations, and Buchmeyer said that she made a donation to the school for the first time through a project of the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Dallas.

GLFD set a goal of raising $25,000 for the dean’s reception area in the new Simmons School of Education building. That building opened in September of 2010.

Two plaques were placed in the reception area: One honors the donation on behalf of the GLFD, and the other lists names of individuals or couples who donated $1,000 or more to the school.

Chard said that anyone waiting to see him will see the plaques.

Buchmeyer said that in its first week, GALLUP had about 30 people sign up. More than 40 attended the reception.

“We also hope to be a bridge to the community for SMU students,” Buchmeyer said.

Chard addressed the group at the plaque’s unveiling.

“You don’t come to work everyday to be the gay dean,” he said.

But he said he has been out since he was first interviewed for the position and unquestionably been accepted.

Since he came to SMU, Chard said, the Simmons School of Education has partnered with the LGBT community in several ways. Its donation to Black Tie Dinner is the largest donation made to any outside organization by any of SMU’s schools.

Simmons also partners with Resource Center Dallas to provide a counseling program.

Chard noted that when the program was first proposed, he was told that no one would want to go work there. Instead, the program has a waiting list of students who want to do their internships at the community center.

He said that when RCD expands into its new building, he expects to expand the counseling program.

Buchmeyer said that GALLUP plans to hold two events each year including something at homecoming in October.

—  John Wright

Shocker: Texas only 20th-most conservative state

Texas is becoming more liberal — or at least less rabidly conservative — according to rankings released Monday by Gallup. The rankings, based on polls conducted from January through June, list Texas as the 20th-most conservative state in the U.S. in 2010. Last year, Texas was the 11th-most conservative state.

This year, 43 percent of Texans identified as conservative, while 35 percent identified as moderate and 18 percent identified as liberal, giving the state a conservative advantage of 25 points. The average across the country is a 20-point conservative advantage (only in the District of Columbia and Rhode Island do liberals outnumber conservatives). At No. 20, Texas is sandwiched between West Virginia and Alaska.

—  John Wright

Gallup poll: Majority of Americans support 'morality' of same-sex relationships

The Gallup Organization’s annual poll of “morals and values,” released this week, has some encouraging news about us gay folks: For the first time ever, more than half  of respondents (52 percent) said they find same-sex relationships “morally acceptable” and the number saying they were “morally wrong” dropped to 43 percent. And just in time for my birthday! Thank you, randomly selected 1,000 Americans contacted by telephone representing a cross-section of the U.S., for affirming the ethics of my sexual orientation! You made all shouts of “faggot” (some, ironically, from the trans community) worth it. … (Seriously, though, this news is huge … and makes the idea that Secretary Gates wanted to “poll” the troops to see if gay people could serve openly seem like old-man prejudice rather than real-world fact).

—  Arnold Wayne Jones