Gay rights groups dispute federal survey's low estimate of population
WASHINGTON — Gay rights activists are distressed over the results of the first large-scale federal survey measuring sexual orientation in the United States, which last month reported that less than 3 percent of the population identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
They contend it is a gross undercount and are particularly upset because they worked for years to get sexual orientation added to the 57-year-old National Health Interview Survey, the government's premiere measure of Americans' health status and behaviors.
“The truth is numbers matter, and political influence matters,” said Scout, director of the nonprofit CenterLink Network of LGBT Equity, who goes by only one name.
Scout and others believe the survey, which is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is flawed. They point to other surveys, including some scholarly papers and less prominent government studies, that peg the number at closer to 4 percent.
Socially conservative groups seized on the news. The survey “confirms what we already knew, that only 1 to 3 percent of the population identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual,” Jeff Johnston, issues analyst with Focus on the Family, a Christian nonprofit based in Colorado Springs that opposes gay rights, said in a statement.
“What's interesting is comparing that number with public perception,” he added. “The average person thinks the percentage is much higher, probably because of the high profile that entertainment, news media and other influential sources have given homosexuality in recent years.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Former teachers convicted in Atlanta test scandal
- LA museum acquires lost 18th-century masterpiece, in lawyer’s family for generations
- Homeland Security, Secret Service fight subpoenas from Rep. Chaffetz
- Religious freedom legislation needs tweaks, Arkansas governor Hutchinson says
- Western cities basked in March
- Advocate says Indiana woman’s sentence for feticide alarming
- Key New Jersey Senator Menendez, Florida eye doctor indicted for bribery
- Christie rails against high N.J. estate tax
- Obama targets cyber attackers with sanctions
- National park entry fees on rise as summer nears
- New York City police detective loses badge over Uber driver rage