1995 ABORTION SURVEY RESULTS
It has long been declared that the gay community is a monolithic entity comprised of ideological robots who spout some standard "party line." Educated individuals have come to understand, however, that there is much greater diversity within groups than between groups. Members of PLAGAL chose to launch a study on the pro-choice and pro-life issue to test this assertion of diversity within the gay community by performing a nation-wide survey.
One major city was targeted with the most intense interview techniques. That city, Cleveland, was canvassed at a popular gay festival and meeting, as well as all organizations of record regardless of political, religious, or gender affiliation were asked to participate in the survey. A large portion of respondents from the East Coast portion of the survey were not included in the sample space because the actual survey forms were stolen on the day of collection.
The response to the survey, while rather low, was quite revealing. The data presented in the following table does indeed show a great deal of diversity in terms of demographics as well as opinion.
The survey spread throughout the country by word of mouth as well as by the intent of the individuals leading the study. The survey was included in several nationwide newsletters of gay and bisexual affiliated groups.
In the short space allotted here, it would be impossible to adequately discuss all of the interrelationships among the data. Therefore, it will suffice to say that the purpose of the study, to disprove the notion that the gay community's stance on abortion can be rattled off in one or two pat sentences, has been accomplished.
Of particular significance is the fact that a full forty percent of the respondents stated that abortion is wrong. Incredibly, the demographics of the respondents showed virtually all religion, political, racial , gender, sexual orientation, and age group were represented. Again, while the sample space was by no means randomly selected, it is complex in nature, demonstrating extreme diversity. The sample space was distorted to some degree by the fact that a number of surveys were stolen (received at a Boston Gay Pride Festival). It can be inferred, however, that these surveys would have only served to further support the initial premise of diversity within the gay community on the issue of abortion.
This study clearly demonstrates the need for further investigative work on the subject of gays and the topic of abortion. The relationships among the different demographic categories and their individual impact on the outcome of a study would prove to be fascinating.
Throughout the collection period, it was obvious that the topic of abortion in the gay community provokes every conceivable emotion known to humankind--even the emotions that would cause someone to steal surveys in order to negate the study. Such an act is obviously provoked by ignorance, perhaps the same ignorance that causes heterosexuals and other outsiders to view the gay community as a monolithic amoral entity devoid of individual opinion. Such ignorance can only be cured by education. It can only be hoped that the results of this study have in some way added a tiny grain of knowledge to the world that can be used to educate both gays and straights alike.
PROFILE: HOW PEOPLE DESCRIBED THEMSELVES: 311 surveys
CATEGORY ACTUAL # Gay 149 47% Lesbian 99 31% Bisexual 39 12% Male 132 42% Female 100 32% Straight 28 9% Transsexual 1 <1% Republican 41 13% Democrat 137 44% Other 45 14% Liberal 89 28% Conservative 34 10% Socialists 22 7% Libertarian 21 6% African-A 16 5% Asian-A 0 0% Native-A 14 4% Hispanic-A 6 1% White 57 18% Other 55 17% 0-18 10 3% 19-25 51 16% 26-40 156 50% 41-65 73 23% 66+ 5 1% HIV+ 6 1% Atheist 16 5% Agnostic 36 11% Catholic 71 22% Protestant 77 24% Jewish 14 4% Other 74 23%
In this category the following religions were mentioned - Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Buddhist, Christian, Christian Science, Deist, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Thilos, Episcopalian, Evangelical , Lutheran, Metaphysical , New Age, Non-Denominational, Pagan, Pentecostal , Spiritual Eclectic, Taoist, Universalist Unitarian, Wiccan, and Zoroastrian. They were not counted individually because each fell below 1%
PRO-LIFE SPECTRUM (QUESTIONS DERIVED FROM THE ROPER POLL)
Participants were asked to choose the statement that matches their own personal belief. Since we were only interested in the responses from the gay/lesbian/bi sexual/transgender community, those who responded as straight were not counted in the calculations below. Percentages are more than 100% due to the fact that some individuals checked more than one category.
ACTUAL # % CATEGORY 24 8% Abortion is wrong (i.e. should be unlawful) under any circumstances. 35 12% Abortion is wrong, except to save the life of the mother. 27 9% Abortion is wrong, except to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. 9 3% Abortion is wrong, except to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape, incest, and infant deformity, disease, or retardation. 23 8% Abortion is wrong, except to save the life of the mother, and in cases of rape, incest, and infant deformity, disease, or retardation, and where the child is unwanted and will not have a good quality of life. 42 15% Abortion is permissible for any reason until the fetus can survive outside the womb. 35 12% Abortion is permissible for any reason except to select the sex (or sexual orientation) of the child. 44 15% Abortion is permissible for any reason the woman chooses, at anytime during the pregnancy and no legal restrictions should be imposed, including parental notification and -- no delay for informed consent. 56 20% Abortion is permissible for any reason the woman chooses, at anytime during the pregnancy, and no legal restrictions should be imposed, and the government should pay for the procedure if a woman cannot afford the expense. 9 3% Undecided 11 4% Other - People in this category did not fit into any of the above selections. 9 3% Personally felt it was wrong but felt it should be legal. Since 3% of those polled wrote this in, we added this to the list and not under other.