Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –
A comprehensive survey of Gay America was released today, with important implications to California.
The researchers at Hunter College, Rutgers and New York University confirmed that gay Americans are considerably more involved in public life than heterosexual Americans, by volunteering more, writing more letters to newspapers and political officials, attending more protests and rallies, and being roughly twice as likely to vote.
Older generation homosexuals prioritized laws against bias crimes and workplace discrimination, and emphasized “freedom from discrimination,” while younger homosexuals placed access to marriage and adoption rights as their highest priorities, and valued “the freedom to live their lives” in similar fashion to heterosexual Americans.
Only about three percent of Americans older than 18 identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual, but the community is concentrated in states that provide them with rights and protections: one in three lives in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont or Washington.
One conclusion that you could make, Governor, is that if the proposed initiative to ban same-sex couples passes this November, California will lose some of its most active citizens as we migrate to places that are welcoming.
Another is that a Republican party that insists on banning freedoms like adoption and marriage will have difficulty attracting younger participants.
Finally, you might realize 3% of the population is not going to destroy marriage, while building and maintaining two systems of laws that depend on gender for just 3% of the population is not only morally offensive, but also expensive and short-sighted.