EqualitySummit: Research Study from David Binder on Proposition 8 Campaign

January 24, 2009 in It is what it is - opinion column | Comments (0)


Here I sit, alongside two of my fellow EqualityCamp organizers (for the record, that would be Heather Gold and Adina Levin, sadly for various reasons Hillary Hartley and Tara Hunt were unable to hop the caravan.) at EqualitySummit in LA.
Today’s opening session is a collection of voices from the 2008 election cycle and the (now notorious) efforts executed (or not, as some say) for the No on 8 campaign.
But I’m a rather lousy live-blogger, so won’t attempt to encapsulate the session now, rather I wanted to proffer a tidbit from one of the press releases they gave me … It’s about a research report from David Binder Research. He’ll be speaking a bit later, and I’m hoping to snare a few minutes on video with him, but in advance of that here’s a tidbit:
The headline reads: “Prop 8 Study Reveals Conversations with Friends, Family, Co-workers, Most Influential in Driving ‘NO’ vote.”
Gosh there’s a shocker.
You mean actually meeting and getting to know real people and hearing real stories may have impact in winning hearts and minds? Sorry if I sound a bit bitter, but isn’t that precisely what any good effort towards social change endeavors to accomplish?
Okay, so how about this next tidbit that came in the sub-headline of the release:
“Study finds 73% of people who voted for Prop. 8 said nothing could’ve changed their vote.”
This, also, doesn’t really surprise me … what surprised me is that the release buried a point that I think matters more… On the second page of the release, in the second to last paragraph is this:
“Only about 15% of yes on 8 voters could name something tangible that could cause them to change their mind and support same sex marriage, including:
– Call marriage by another name
– Ensure marriage for same-sex couples will not be taught in schools
– Ensure churches will not be forced to perform same sex marriages
– Approval, or lack of formal opposition, from churches or religious leaders”
This says two things to me:
1) It reconfirms my belief that while focusing efforts on changing those minds is a waste of energy, that does not mean we should not endeavor to engage with that community … This is pretty much my take away after the ever-so-educational interaction with The Rev. Chauncey Killens at EqualityCamp.
2) There are points outlined above that may be worth at least considering, if for no other reason than at least understanding what kind of middle ground might be acceptable. I’m not suggesting we acquiesce, but I do believe that within our strength we need to avoid stridency and strive to find middle ground.


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