Tag Archives: Studies & Reports & Polls & Surveys

Blue Phoenix Skyline

The Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI) offers a treasure trove of data on city and county policies, including policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and their allies. The report, issued annually, “examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people.”

The 2013 MEI, released late last month, rates 291 cities and counties from every state. Twenty-five municipalities received a perfect score of 100—though, as explained below, a perfect overall score does not necessarily mean the municipality scored perfectly on youth-related policies.
Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post and to see a table of over 170 cities.

LGBT Youth News Roundup: July 19, 2013

Posted by MK on Jul 19, 2013 @ 1:00 pm
Portrait of California Governor Jerry Brown

Welcome to the LGBT Youth News Roundup for July 19, 2013!

Here are some of the latest developments:

Law and policy:

•  The Washington Blade provides an update on the federal Student Non-Discrimination Act: “House lawmakers spoke out this week in favor of legislation aimed at prohibiting the bullying and harassment of LGBT students as Republican lawmakers refused a vote on such a measure as part of an education reform bill.”

• California Governor Jerry Brown (pictured above) has yet to sign (or veto) a bill that would clarify protections for transgender students.

•  Oregon school districts in Salem-Keizer and Lake Oswego have taken steps to conform their anti-bullying policies to the Oregon Safe Schools Act.

•  The Montana Board of Regents has voted to broaden the state university system’s anti-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

•  In a heated debate over a non-discrimination policy, an Orleans Parish School Board member claimed there is “no such thing” as the separation of church and state.

Marriage Equality Momentum in the U.S. and Abroad

Posted by MK on May 17, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

Chart symbolizing progress for same-sex marriage

[See the end of this post for May 20 updates.]

In light of some recent encouraging poll numbers on marriage equality, I’ve updated a March 27 post that summarizes data from a series of 2013 surveys on the issue. You can find that update here: 2013 Polls: At Least Two Thirds of Young Americans Support Marriage Equality.

Of course, the recent good news on marriage hasn’t come only from the polls. Just this month, three states—Delaware, Minnesota, and Rhode Island—have enacted marriage-equality laws. Twelve states in total, plus D.C., have now approved same-sex marriage.

Click here for the Human Rights Campaign’s updated Marriage Equality Map.

Too Young to Be Straight?

Posted by MK on May 15, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

"Too Young to be Straight?" written on chalkboardAs it becomes more common for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and their allies to form gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in middle schools, some adults have reacted with confusion, consternation, or outrage, insisting that middle school students are too young to know their sexual orientation or at least too young to disclose it.

As discussed in an April post, for example, a member of Florida’s Lake County School Board recently questioned the sexual orientation of an openly bisexual eighth grader in his district who wanted to form a GSA, saying he could “not rationalize how” a thirteen- or fourteen-year-old could know she is bisexual. A local blog implicitly criticized the same young woman last week (without mentioning her name), remarking that “most 14 year old children do not discuss their sexuality in public.

Are middle school students really too young to know or disclose their sexual orientation?

One way to approach the question is to consider the reactions adults have when children or young adolescents reveal romantic or even sexual interest in peers of a different sex. That’s the point of this post’s title.

A 2012 message from federal Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The Lake County School Board should listen.

A member of Florida’s Lake County School Board questioned the sexual orientation of a fourteen-year-old student in his district in an email sent last Friday.

The Board member’s disturbing comment came in a written exchange with musician, blogger and LGBT-youth advocate Katy Bourne, who had sent an open letter to two members of the Lake County School Board criticizing their efforts to restrict the right of middle school students to form gay-straight alliances (GSAs). I thank Ms. Bourne for bringing the comment to my attention.

As other posts on LGBT Youth Allies have discussed at length (see below), the Lake County School Board has thwarted eighth-grader Bayli Silberstein’s attempt to form a gay-straight alliance at a middle school in the district. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has been advocating on Bayli’s behalf.

Lake County on Map in Blue

Though Florida’s Lake County School Board has effectively blocked a proposed gay-straight alliance (GSA) at a local middle school, a member of the Board tells me that “[t]he board has not blocked the GSA.”

The denial is only one of several perplexing statements made by the Board member in a series of three emails sent to me late last week. (Though the Board member consented to the disclosure of his name and emails, I’m not revealing his identity in this post. I’ll refer to him instead as “S.B.M.” or “School Board Member.” See below to learn more about that.)

Boy Scout Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Boy Scout Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Breaking news: In a surprising (and strange) move, the Boy Scouts of America is reportedly considering a policy to allow gay youth but not gay adult leaders.

According to the Washington Post and other sources, a resolution proposed by the national organization—which still needs to receive approval at a May meeting of national council members before going into effect—provides that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” The new rules would still ban adult leaders “who are open or avowed homosexuals.”

The proposed change is both broader and narrower than the proposals that received public attention over the last several months. Read the full post

Comic Relief: Stephen Colbert

Posted by MK on Apr 5, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

I try to steer reasonably clear of political partisanship on this blog, but I can’t resist posting this Stephen Colbert video, which pokes fun at a certain political party’s recent youth survey. I’m confident that most readers will find at least parts of the video amusing, regardless of which political party they typically favor.


Arrows Moving UpSupport for marriage equality for same-sex couples continues to grow, and remains particularly high among the youngest voters.

On May 17, 2013, I updated the content (including the table data) of this March 27 post to reflect some of the latest polling information. The polls added in this update include the national Gallup and Washington Post – ABC polls, the Washington Post Virginia poll, the Rocky Mountain Arizona poll, the DHM Research Oregon poll, and the Quinnipiac Ohio poll.

I also adjusted the post’s title, which used to say that levels of support among young voters were “at or above 70%.” Some of the new polls come from states where the numbers haven’t quite reached that level yet, though they are close.


Youngest Age Group Polled

Support for Marriage Equality Among Youngest Group Polled

Support for Marriage Equality Among All Adults Polled

National or State Sample

Gallup 2013





Wash. Post – ABC 2013





CBS 2013





Pew 2013





CNN 2013





ABC 2013





Wash. Post 2013





Rocky Mountain 2013





DHM Research 2013





Quinnipiac 2013





Quinnipiac 2013




New Jersey

Saperstein 2013





Field Poll 2013





Brown 2013




Rhode Island

The polls varied in terms of sample size, wording, and other factors, so we need to be cautious about cross-poll comparisons and about reading too much into any particular number. Some sample sizes for sub-groups (like the younger age groups) were small.

But even with that in mind, the numbers taken as a whole suggest a bright future for marriage equality in the U.S., regardless of what the Supreme Court rules in the cases now before it.


*Numbers showing less than majority support for marriage equality should not be read to indicate majority opposition. The Pew poll showing 49% in support of same-sex marriage showed 45% in opposition. In Ohio, Quinnipiac found 48% favoring marriage equality and 44% opposed. In Oregon, 49% of voters support changing the state constitution to allow same-sex marriage, with 42% opposed.

LGBT Youth News Roundup: March 21, 2013

Posted by MK on Mar 21, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

Here’s some of the latest LGBT news related to and affecting youth:

Alabama Drawn on Black Board

Alabama’s anti-gay education law faces a repeal effort

• Two Alabama high school students are trying to get an anti-gay Alabama statute off the books. The statute requires teachers in sex education classes to teach that homosexual conduct is a crime and that homosexuality is “not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public.” The students’ petition is here.

• The California Department of Education has released a new list of recommended reading for K-12 students; the list includes works addressing LGBT issues. Read the full post

Thoughts on the Boy Scouts’ Survey on the Gay Ban

Posted by MK on Mar 13, 2013 @ 10:00 am

SurveyAs noted in yesterday’s LGBT Youth News Roundup, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has distributed a survey to gauge reactions to the proposed elimination of its national ban on gay members and leaders. (If the BSA goes forward with the change, local Scout chapters could still ban gays, and many likely would. Local chapters would be permitted to set their own guidelines on the issue.) News reports have provided conflicting information about who exactly has received an invitation to complete the new survey; the New York Times, for example, reports that the BSA sent the survey to 1.1 millions Scouts and their families, while The Advocate reports that the survey went to “troop leaders.” See the Survey and Read the Full Post

Recent LGBT News & Links: January 19, 2013

Posted by MK on Jan 19, 2013 @ 10:16 am

Blue Links Morning of 1/19/13 – Eleven-year-old transgender youth accepts award. South African school offering “cure” for homosexuality faces investigation. New study documents challenges faced by LGBT youth coming out of foster care.  Proposed Christian law school in Canada facing criticism over anti-gay rules.