‘Traditional values’ take a hit in the polls

HIGH AND LOW | Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, right, had the highest favorability ratings of possible Republican presidential candidates in a recent CNN poll. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, left, had the highest ‘unfavorability’ rating.

Percentage of people saying government should ‘promote traditional values’ drops below 50 percent for the 1st time

LISA KEEN | Keen News Service
lisakeen@mac.com

“Traditional values” didn’t do too well in the latest CNN poll of American adults.

For the first time in the 18 years since the question was first asked, the percentage of adults thinking that the government should “promote traditional values” has dropped below 50 percent.

Of the 1,015 adults surveyed between June 3 and 7, 46 percent said the government should promote traditional values, but 50 percent said government should “not favor any set of values.” Four percent had no opinion.

The survey results, which were released Sunday, June 12, had a margin of error of plus or minus three points.

Just last year, 53 percent of respondents said government should promote “traditional values” and, according to CNN, past polls have shown support as high as 59 percent (in October 2001 and January 1996).

But since the question was first asked, in 1993, responses have fluctuated dramatically.

In 2001, for instance, the question was asked in September and again in October. In September 2001, 53 percent said government should promote “traditional values”; in October, 59 percent said so.

The previous low point for traditional values came in September 2005, when only 50 percent of adults said government should promote them.

CNN did not explain what it meant by “traditional values,” but in political discourse, the phrase has emerged as code for “anti-gay.”

The right-wing Traditional Values Coalition defines traditional values as including the view that homosexuality is an abomination, but also includes views that are anti-abortion, pro-death penalty and pro-religion.

Some polls have asked questions concerning “traditional marriages,” usually seeking respondents’ views on allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Two years ago, Fox News asked, “Do you think straight people in your community who have traditional religious values are tolerant of gays and lesbians and their beliefs?”

Sixty-seven percent said they think straight people in their communities are “very tolerant” or “somewhat tolerant.”

CNN’s question was asked this year along with questions concerning Republican candidates for president, in a preview of CNN’s debate Monday night with seven GOP contenders.

CNN asked survey participants to express their opinions on 10 potential candidates. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has suggested he might run, had the highest favorability ranking.

Fifty-five percent of adults surveyed said they had a favorable opinion of Giuliani. He was followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 39 percent, and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas with 34 percent.

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin earned the highest “unfavorability” rating: 52 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion of the former Alaska governor.

Palin was followed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, of whom 44 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion.

Interestingly, the respondents also identified Palin as the Republican who represents values of Republicans.

The Democratic Party fared better than the Republican Party in the poll. While 55 percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable view of the Democratic Party; only 49 percent had a favorable view of the GOP.

© 2011 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

—  John Wright

Maryland panel advances marriage bill

Sam Arora

After three days of drama, a Maryland House committee has finally advanced a marriage equality bill, voting 12-10 to send it to the floor.

Democratic Del. Tiffany T. Alston, once a co-sponsor of the bill, voted against it after attempting to amend it to establish civil unions instead of same-sex marriage. However, Democratic Del. Sam Arora, who’s also wavered in his support for the bill in recent days, voted for it and issued a statement saying he will also do so again on the House floor.

“I have heard from constituents, friends, and advocates from across the spectrum of views and have thought about the issue of same-sex marriage extensively,” Arora said in a statement before the committee vote. “I understand their concern—this is a very serious issue, and one that many people feel passionately about. As the vote drew nearer, I wrestled with this issue in a way I never had before, which led me to realize that I had some concerns about the bill. While I personally believe that Maryland should extend civil rights to same-sex couples through civil unions, I have come to the conclusion that this issue has such impact on the people of Maryland that they should have a direct say. I will vote to send the bill to the floor because it deserves an up-or-down vote. On the floor, I will vote to send the bill to the governor so that Marylanders can ultimately decide this issue at the polls. I think that is appropriate.”

—  John Wright

Another polls show DADT repeal is not controversial for the American people

Repeal of DADT has gone way past the point of debate. An overwhelming majority of Americans support allowing gays and lesbian to serve openly. It’s only controversial for the fringe right-wing hate groups, like the Family Research Council, General Amos and most GOP Senators. Via Ed O’Keefe:

Nearly eight in 10 Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The results signal continued widespread public support for ending the military’s 17-year ban on gays in the military and come as Congress prepares to vote again on legislation ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” law.

Overall, 77 percent of Americans say gays and lesbians who publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be able to serve in the military. That’s little changed from polls over the two years, but represents the highest level of support in a Post-ABC poll. The support also cuts across partisan and ideological lines, with majorities of Democrats, Republicans, independents, liberals, conservatives and white evangelical Protestants in favor of homosexuals’ serving openly.

NOTE to all White House staffers (including the President), Hill Staffers, Senators and traditional media types: DADT repeal is NOT controversial. Got that? It’s NOT controversial. As Dan Savage said so perfectly back in August when a similar poll came out:

If This Fruit Were Hanging Any Lower…it would be a f-ing potato.

That our leaders can’t get something with such strong support passed says a lot about our leaders.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Sen. Mark Udall (D) Polls The Joint Chiefs: All Agree They Can Implement Repeal

Over at the Wonk Room, Igor Volsky reports on a tactic taken today by Sen. Mark Udall. Several of the top military brass testifying today indicated that they were hesitant to institute the repeal in a time of war.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) — a strong proponent of repeal — said that the amendment included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) offered the perfect compromise: the certification process provides the military with the flexibility not to implement repeal right away, while undermining the possibility that the courts would force the Armed Forces to act quickly. Every Service Chief agreed that they were comfortable that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would take their concerns into consideration before certifying repeal and admitted that they could effectively implement the policy change.

Critics were quick to point out that such a compromise could stall the implementation of the repeal until the end of the Afghanistan war. (And longer, should other conflicts arise before then.)

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Exit Polls Suggest 12% Decline In Gay Support For House Democrats

AmericaBlog Gay has all the links.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

After voting today, see Of Montreal at the Granada Theater

You actually can rock the vote today

Take time to vote today and make your voice be heard. The polls are open today from 7 a.m.–7 p.m. That should give you enough time to get in, punch your ballot and get on out. Just remember, unlike early voting, you have to do it in your home precinct. And don’t forget your voter’s registration card.

DEETS: Visit DalCoElections.org/nov22010/EVLocations.htm for your precinct location.

Then, once all that’s done and your civic duty fulfilled, get down with likely, one of the more exciting concerts in town. Alt-popsters Of Montreal are back in town touring in support of their latest album, False Priest. The album features Solange Knowles and opener act Janelle Monae.

Now, Of Montreal is something to behold, but Monae could kill this one live. Her album this year The ArchAndroid is one of the best of 2010. Not only are her songs brilliant, but she’s a frenetic ball of energy. She should rule the stage on her own. When they are together, we figure it will all just be mindblowing (kinda like the video below from their NYC show). The two are a match made in heaven.

DEETS: Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 9 p.m. $26. GranadaTheater.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Getting PA to the Polls for Joe Sestak

The following post comes from Regional Field Director Sultan Shakir. Sultan is just one of 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:

Last week,  Joe Sestak and Pat Toomey squared off in a debate in a race which is being called the battle of the extremes.  One on side is Congressman Joe Sestak who is a strong supporter of equality for all Americans;  on the other side is Pat Toomey, who even Rick Santorum has referred to as “too conservative for Pennsylvania.”

A few blocks down from where the debate was raging on, volunteers were calling HRC members to make sure they:

1) knew the importance of this election
2) knew who the pro-equality candidate was
3) knew their polling location
4) signed-up to volunteer

With just under 2 weeks left, we’re seeing more and more attention turn to this top tier race as voters get closer and closer to decision day.  Some of our member have already voted by absentee.  For information on when, where or how to vote in PA, visit www.votespa.com

Paid for by the Human Rights Campaign PAC and authorized by Sestak for Senate


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

HRC still calling on Target to ‘Make it right’

Target Retail StoreA reader wrote to me last week and said that he and his boyfriend are continuing to boycott Target, and he requested an update.

I contacted Paul Guequierre, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, who said the organization is still calling on Target to “Make it right.”

At issue was Target’s $150,000 donation to MN Forward, a political action committee supporting the candidacy of anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

Guequierre said HRC has staff in Minnesota working for the Mark Dayton campaign. Dayton is the Democrat opposing Emmer, a Republican.

“Minnesota could be the next state to have marriage equality,” Guequierre said.

But he said that will only happen with Dayton as governor. Currently, Dayton is ahead in the polls.

Target’s parent company was originally called Dayton-Hudson and candidate Dayton, whom Target opposes, comes from the store’s founding family.

Guequierre said if Dayton wins, “Target will have to ask themselves if it was worth it. Their reputation within the community has changed.”

Personally, since being asked to leave a local Target for asking questions while trying to cover this story, I’ve stayed away and am unlikely to go back. I don’t shop where the LGBT community is not welcome, but I really avoid stores where I’ve been thrown out. (The offensive question: Has the LGBT boycott of Target affected your store at all?)

Target once received a perfect score of 100 percent in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. This year, the company had 15 points deducted because of the political contribution and its refusal to make it right.

Best Buy also made a large donation to MN Forward and has not made it right either.

But Guequierre said HRC has never called for a boycott.

“Both companies treat their LGBT employees right,” he said.

So there is no HRC-sanctioned boycott, but many members of the LGBT community have decided to find other places to shop.

—  David Taffet

Polls Show Increasing Support for Marriage

National support for gay rights has risen to a record high, as more than
52% of Americans agreeing that gays and lesbians should have the
constitutional right to marry.
Daily News

—  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