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The Lavender Vote

Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals in American Electoral Politics

Mark Hertzog

Publication Year: 1996

In the quarter century since the Stonewall riots in New York City's Greenwich Village launched the national gay-rights movement in earnest, LGB voters have steadily expanded their political influence. The Lavender Vote is the first full- length examination of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals as a factor in American elections. Mark Hertzog here describes the differences in demographics, attitudes, and voting behavior between self-identified bisexuals and homosexuals and the rest of the voting population. He shows that lavender self- identifiers comprise a distinctive voting bloc equal in numbers to Latino voters, more liberal across the board on domestic social issues (though not necessarily on economic or national security issues) than non-gay voters, and extremely unified in high-salience elections. Further, lavender voters, contrary to popular belief, are up for grabs between the two major parties.

Offering a clear and thorough explanation of LGB voting tendencies, this volume will be must-reading for elected officials, candidates for office, and all those interested in learning about LGB voters.

Published by: NYU Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. ix-x

You never know just how grateful you are until time comes to thank everyone who ought to be thanked on a project like this and you have too little space to do it. So I'll stick to the big "thank-yous" here and hope everyone else in my . . .

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ONE Virgin Ground

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pp. 1-15

On election night 1992, as Bill Clinton savored his victory, a minority of Americans long chastised and, until recent times, usually invisible savored a great victory as well. For the first time in their history, the American . . .

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TWO From "Lavender" People to "Lavender" Voters

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pp. 16-50

The case of lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men bears particular interest in a number of ways for those of us interested in why, and for whom, Americans vote. Like African Americans and indigenous Americans, homosexual and . . .

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THREE The Sexuality Gap: The 1990 National Exit Polls

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pp. 51-95

This is the first of four chapters presenting the results of the study of LGB voting behavior. The first two of these chapters present data from the 1990 midterm general elections for members of Congress and for state governors. . . .

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FOUR A View from the States

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pp. 95-140

It was established in the preceding chapter that in November 1990 there was a distinctive "gay and lesbian vote" in America. Self-identified lesbians and gay men were significantly more liberal, particularly on domestic social . . .

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FIVE Can the Activists Turn Out the Vote? The Case of Deborah Glick

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pp. 141-174

In the exit polls discussed in the last two chapters, indeed in most political surveys, voters are asked about their demographic characteristics and certain of their political attitudes and affiliations. It is a rare survey, however, . . .

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SIX Into the Mainstream: The Lavender Vote Helps Elect a President

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pp. 175-208

There is no serious question but that the 1992 presidential election was the most important up to that time for the gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities in the United States. As discussed earlier in this work, for the first . . .

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SEVEN What It All Means and Why It Matters

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pp. 209-232

This study was undertaken to find out whether we have overlooked a significant factor in determining whether, and how, Americans cast their votes: the factor of sexual identity. It has long been speculated that a "lavender vote" . . .

Appendix: Methods

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pp. 233-243


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pp. 245-260


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pp. 261-273


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pp. 275-278

E-ISBN-13: 9780814773215
E-ISBN-10: 0814773214
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814735305
Print-ISBN-10: 0814735304

Page Count: 278
Publication Year: 1996