Archive for September, 2011

However the authors below do not understand their own survey data and questions.  The questions and answers show that Americans think gays should be free to speak and work.  If you had some pro-regressive imposition of “civil rights” meaning affirmative action, quotas, regulations,  employment law suits, violations of freedom of association, freedom of speech, property and contract rights of people who do not want to hire or live with or go to church with gays, you would probably see more antipathy to gays.  This is one reason gays have become more “popular” than some of the other groups in this table who have used civil rights to violate freedom of association and smear people who oppose quotas and affirmative action.

Post image for Gay Rights: Support For LGBT Civil Rights At Highest Point In History
American support for the civil rights of gays is at the highest point in history, and in fact is increasing at a “dramatic” pace, even when compared to other groups perceived by some as “bad or dangerous,” according to a long-​term recurring study from the University of Chicago National Opinion Research Center (NORC).

82.6% of Americans feel comfortable with “homosexuals” speaking in public, teaching at colleges, or having a published book in the public library.
The study finds a clear “trend toward greater tolerance regarding homosexuality,” and 46% of Americans supporting same-​sex marriage, although this number is dramatically lower than the six other nationwide polls that have been introduced in the past year.
In fact, the NORC poll does exhibit some concerning technical issues, like the wording of its questions, which sound like something out of the 1970s, when some of the questions were first asked.
For instance, this segment within a group of questions:
And what about a man who admits that he is a homosexual.
  1. Suppose this admitted homosexual wanted to make a speech in your community. Should he be allowed to speak, or not?
  2. Should such a person be allowed to teach in a college or university, or not?
  3. If some people in your community suggested that a book he wrote in favor of homosexuality should be taken out of your public library, would you favor removing this book, or not?
Homosexuality is not something one “admits,” rather, it is something one “acknowledges,” at the very least.
But the good news is this, via a press release:
The rise in support for same-​sex marriage has been especially dramatic over the last two decades. It went from 11 percent approval in 1988 to 46 percent in 2010, compared to 40 percent who were opposed, producing a narrow plurality in favor for the first time. The report is based on findings of the latest General Social Survey, conducted in 2010 with a cross sample of more than 2,000 people.
There is a large generation gap on the issue of same-​sex marriage,” Smith said. While 64 percent of those under 30 back same-​sex marriage, only 27 percent of those 70 and older support it.
Acceptance of homosexuality in general also reflects the generational difference in opinion. In 2010, 26 percent of the people surveyed who were under 30 said they felt homosexual behavior is “always wrong,” while 63 percent of the people aged 70 and older held that opinion.
As a result of the generational division, public attitudes are sharply divided on the issue. Although 44 percent of the people surveyed felt that sexual relations between two adults of the same sex is always wrong, another 41 percent thought such relations were “not wrong at all.”
However, the poll notes there’s still work to do:
Just 11 percent were in the middle, saying it was either ‘almost always wrong’ or ‘wrong only sometimes,’” Smith said. “Public opinion is thus highly polarized on this issue, with few people sharing the middle ground.”

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Biblical Far Side

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And is it even competent to do so?

Census “Data” is used and abused for many purposes.  One of my favorites is its use in the target money loans which were a small part of the current housing crisis.  Around the country “non-profit” organizations generate income for their managers, directors, and employees by attempting to document patterns of discrimination in lending for residential real estate.  They then sue or shake down banks for money for themselves and also punitive amounts that are set aside and lent out to “targeted” groups that were allegedly discriminated against.  Except they are not loaned out to people based on race or sex etc, but because they choose to buy in a neighborhood that is economically and racially mixed, and have an income below a certain level and are buying a property below a certain price.  Census tracts are used to identify where an economically and racially mixed area is.  But they use a broad brush.  One of the people I know who got to use a target money loan was buying a condo (with parking, a luxury in DC) in upscale Cleveland Park (zip 20008), in the block between Connecticut Avenue and Rock Creek Park.  The buyer’s high 5 figure income was just below the level and his condo was just below the price limit.  The easternmost blocks of upper middle class Cleveland Park are east of the census tract border line (Connecticut Avenue NW where the National Zoo is found) and included with the zip codes (20010) and neighborhoods (Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights) east of the park.  One suspects that a lot of “target” money ends up in middle class (and very Euro) hands in fancy neighborhoods in the edge of the census tracts they share with poorer areas — that is who qualifies for loans, just as kids who went to upper middle class suburban schools are the ones who do well in college and qualify for government backed loans to go to law and medical schools.

Back to the gays:  the Census Department seems to have failed to count them accurately, according to the PEW Foundation:

Census Bureau: Flaws in Same-Sex Couple Data

The Census Bureau announced today that more than one-in-four same-sex couples counted in the 2010 Census was likely an opposite-sex couple, and identified a confusing questionnaire as a likely culprit. The bureau released a new set of “preferred” same-sex counts, including its first tally ever of same-sex spouses counted in the census.
The official count of same-sex couple households from the 2010 Census: 901,997. The new preferred count: 646,464, meaning that 28.3% of the same-sex couples counted was likely an opposite-sex couple. Of the households in the official count, 552,620 were unmarried couples and 349,377 described themselves as spouses. The new preferred count: 514,735 unmarried couples and 131,729 married couples.
Even this revised same-sex spouse count is likely high, the Census Bureau said, citing estimates that perhaps 80,000 same-sex couples in the U.S. are legally married (although another 85,000 could be in same-sex civil unions). As a previous postinghere explained, some same-sex couples in civil unions may believe that calling themselves married is a better description of their relationship than unmarried partner, according to previous census research.
The 2010 Census count was markedly more inflated for same-sex spouses than for unmarried couples, according to data released by the Census Bureau. The 2010 Census count of same-sex unmarried couples was 7% higher than the revised figure. The count of married couples was 62% higher.
Census Warns Data Users
As a result, the Census Bureau told users, the published data for same-sex unmarried partners “is a reasonable portrayal of the size and relative geographic distribution of this population.” But data for same-sex spouses “should be used only with great caution” because “they do not accurately represent” the number of same-sex married couples.
The new preferred numbers are close to estimates from the 2010 American Community Survey, which had a total of 593,324 same-sex households. One of the red flags alerting Census Bureau officials that their Census 2010 same-sex numbers were suspect was that they were so different from those in the ACS, which uses more highly trained interviewers and sophisticated follow-up techniques.
The bureau has identified a culprit in inflating the numbers of same-sex couples: the questionnaire used in door-to-door follow-up at households that did not mail back their 2010 Census forms. The so-called “matrix” form used in the Non-Response Follow-Up operation had a confusing layout that required census-takers to enter data for the same person on two different pages. As a result, bureau analysts said, thousands of people were assigned the wrong gender.
“Errors in the marking of the sex item on 2010 census forms created significant numbers of falsely reported same-sex couples,” said Martin O’Connell, chief of the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch.
This questionnaire problem was cited earlier this year by researchers at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, who estimated that perhaps 25% of same-sex couples counted in the 2010 Census could actually be opposite-sex couples.
Name-Matching Analysis
To double-check its hunch that the form was at fault, bureau analysts employed a statistical directory of names, which is a list of first names scored by how likely they are to be male names, and matched it against responses of households with same-sex couples counted in the 2010 Census to look for inconsistencies. They developed an index for each state—as O’Connell pointed out, “Jean” is likely to be a woman in Wyoming, but there is a good chance “Jean” is a man in Louisiana or states in northern New England with strong French heritages.
O’Connell said the bureau took a conservative approach—for example, not assuming there was an error if a “midrange” name like Kelly was one gender or the other. To create the revised census counts, the bureau removed same-sex couples from the count where analysis strongly suggested they were opposite-sex couples.
Its analysis found that about half the same-sex couples identified on follow-up questionnaires were likely erroneous, compared with 20% of those from mailed-back forms.
One effect of the questionnaire problems is that there seem to be higher error rates in states that required more use of the follow-up forms. The Census Bureau identified a group of states, running from the southern Gulf coast to the upper northwest, as having an unusually high proportion of same-sex couples identified with the follow-up forms. Many of these states have laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Follow-up Data Problems
The faulty form adds to the already well-known problem that data collected in the census follow-up operation tends to be less reliable than information from questionnaires people fill out about themselves and send back. The 2010 Census collects data about living circumstances as of April 1; by the time a census-taker comes to visit, weeks or even months have passed and people may not remember accurately or may have moved from the address in question. In addition, some people who do not mail back census forms may be reluctant to talk with census-takers. In many cases, the census-takers have to collect information from neighbors or landlords.
The problem with counting same-sex couples also illustrates how the impact of a small error is magnified when it is applied to a small population such as same-sex couples (the bureau posted a video on its blog about this topic). The error also would have affected opposite-sex couples, but its impact would be more muted because there are so many more opposite-sex couples.

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PHOTOS: Gay Jews And Pals Party Like It’s 5772 For Rosh Hashanah

Sep 28, 2011 by 
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts at sundown tonight. On Saturday, Jayson Littman ofHe’bro hosted the pre-Rosh Hashanah party Jew Year’s Eve at the Union Square Ballroom in New York, and was foolish kind enough to send us the photographic evidence.
L’shana tova!
Images via BP Photo
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

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Happy Hour Event with FIRE, Reason, and Students For Liberty

You are Attending · Share · Public Event

Wednesday, September 28 · 6:00pm – 8:00pm

The Front Page

1333 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia

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Join your favorite civil liberties organizations for a happy hour on Wednesday, September 28 at 6 p.m. at The Front Page. Enjoy appetizers and drink specials, including $2.00 well drinks, drafts, and wine. Your friends are welcome!

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A memo written by the Department of Justice addressed to individuals and companies who sell firearms states in no uncertain terms that according to the Department of Justice, it is illegal for people who are listed as medical marijuana patients to own a gun or ammo.

Thus, with a stroke of a pen, the Department of Justice has de-facto suspended the right to keep and bear arms for those who use medical cannabis. In fact, according to the Department of Justice, the right to bear arms is eliminated simply by being listed in the registry.  Whether or not a person has ever been in possession of marijuana or impaired by its use while around a gun is completely irrelevant.  If you are in a medical marijuana registry at all, you do not have the right to have a firearm for any reason, according to the US Department of Justice.

See the memo from the Department of Justice here.

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So when promotions, quotas, and lawsuits become more common in the workplace after ENDA is imposed, will people still be more comfortable with gay co-workers?

ENDA will create jobs — for gay lawyers and lobbyists.  It will also mean straight and gay businesses will be faced with fines and legal actions when anyone claims they were not hired or promoted because of their orientation.  It will slowly force de facto quotas on businesses.  This will be another reason not to hire anyone, but to replace them with less litigious machines, or use independent contractors who will have less job security and no benefits packages.
by Peter Cassels
EDGE Contributor
Tuesday Sep 27, 2011
New research supports the notion that people who don’t hide their sexual orientation are not only more pleasant to be around, but also perform more effectively in the workplace by improving teamwork.
University of California-Los Angeles’ Anderson School of Management released a study conducted among 
undergraduates to coincide with the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on Sept. 20. But the research has ramifications well beyond gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.
Activists say the research will serve as ammunition in aiding passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has languished in Congress since its initial introduction in 1994. The study helps put to rest a major argument against repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — that it would harm unit cohesion in the military.
That’s because policies that introduce uncertainty into social interactions, such as the ban on gay service members serving openly, may negatively affect rather than protect team performance. Those in the military could perform better if they don’t need to wonder about their teammates’ sexual orientation, according to the UCLA researchers.
During the six-month study, the first of its kind, a research team tested a group of 50 undergraduate men. Each was paired with a gay man who either disclosed or concealed his orientation.
Separate studies measured cognitive and sensory-motor skills in performing math problems and in playing a Nintendo Wii shooting game.
Results: 1/3 Better With Openly Gay Co-Worker
The results showed that the participants paired with openly gay partners performed on average 32 percent better on solving math problems and 20 percent better on the Nintendo game compared to participants paired with closeted gay partners.
Previous research showed that ambiguity in interactions may hurt performance, since people need to be able to predict behaviors and attitudes with team partners to facilitate social interaction, according to UCLA.

The researchers reported that disclosure of sexual orientation by a gay partner reduces ambiguity and makes the interaction less psychologically demanding.
Release of the research coincided with the report of an anonymous online survey conducted by OutServe, the association of LGBT military members. Most (67 percent) of the more than 500 active-duty respondents anticipated no problems with the end of the ban on serving openly.
“Lots of people at work know a friend of mine is gay and there have been no negative reactions toward him,” one reported. “As for another friend in a combat unit, the whole unit knew he was gay and no one cared.”
The UCLA study broke new ground, according to those who conducted it: Margaret Shih, associate professor of human resources and organizational behavior, and doctoral candidates Benjamin Everly and Geoffrey Ho.
While adding to research on personal interaction was the academic reason for the study, “the more practical motivation had to do with the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” Everly said in an interview.
“There actually hasn’t been any experimental work to show performance is affected when someone with whom you are working discloses their sexual orientation,” he added.
“The results of our studies are relevant for any organization in which individuals may not feel comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation because our results suggest that it is better off if members disclose their sexual orientation,” according to Everly. “The performance of their colleagues also might improve.”
He’s working on follow-up studies that “will attempt to figure out why the effect that we found exists.”

Everly mentioned that the study also supports passage of the national Employment Non-Discrimination Act because improved performance would encourage employers to come out of the closet by instituting LGBT-friendly policies.
ENDA has disappeared from the radar recently as activists, fresh from the victory over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, focus on repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which would be a landmark achievement in the fight for universal marriage equality.
In the nearly two decades since it was first introduced by Massachusetts Democrats Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress, the legislation has never made it out of committee.
ENDA has had such a low profile that when EDGE interviewed future GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain in 2006, he said he was not familiar with it. (He also reiterated his opposition to repeal of ending the ban on gays serving openly in the military, a position he maintained until its repeal by Congress last year.)

Everly mentioned that the study also supports passage of the national Employment Non-Discrimination Act because improved performance would encourage employers to come out of the closet by instituting LGBT-friendly policies.
ENDA has disappeared from the radar recently as activists, fresh from the victory over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, focus on repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which would be a landmark achievement in the fight for universal marriage equality.
In the nearly two decades since it was first introduced by Massachusetts Democrats Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress, the legislation has never made it out of committee.
ENDA has had such a low profile that when EDGE interviewed future GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain in 2006, he said he was not familiar with it. (He also reiterated his opposition to repeal of ending the ban on gays serving openly in the military, a position he maintained until its repeal by Congress last year.)
Chances that the legislation will be considered in the near future are nil because of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. That doesn’t mean activists have given up. Spokespersons for the most prominent national LGBT rights organizations told EDGE they continue to raise the subject with members of Congress and their staffs.
They also say that the UCLA study will provide ammunition.
“It’s definitely encouraging to know that prejudices and stereotypes are breaking down,” Michael Cole-Schwartz, Human Rights Campaign communications director, said.

“We’ve seen that in so many areas of society. This study seems to show that the same is true at work. There should be no reason why your sexual orientation should affect how you do your job but discrimination protections that should be are not in place. The study shows how you perform as a worker is more important than your sexual orientation or identity.”
Gender Identity Slows Bill
Earlier versions of the ENDA bill did not include gender identity, but after much discussion among sponsors and LGBT activists, that was corrected in the last couple of years.
“Unfortunately, we’re not likely to see advancement on ENDA in this Congress given the House leadership,” Cole-Schwartz acknowledged. “But that doesn’t mean that work isn’t continuing on educating members. We are talking constantly with them so when we do have a leadership that is interested in moving forward we hopefully will have garnered more support in Congress more broadly.”
The UCLA study is “significant research and can inform Congress that doing the right thing is also a good thing because it will increase productivity,” Laurie Young, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s director of public policy and government affairs, pointed out. The project “shows people perform better when they can be who they are, not only themselves but the people they work with,” she added.
The ramifications of not having ENDA are seriously affecting LGBTs, ranging from living with a hostile work environment to actually losing their jobs, Young stressed.
Other activists haven’t given up the fight, either. Pride at Work, affiliated with the AFL-CIO, is using its considerable union clout to work for what it hopes is ENDA’s eventual passage. Peggy Shorey, its executive director, was traveling and could not be interviewed for this report.
Peter Cassels is a recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s Excellence in Journalism award. His e-mail address is pcassels@edgepublications.com.

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