New survey asks what it's like to be LGBT in the Centennial State
One Colorado, a new statewide gay-rights organization that's actually an umbrella for a trio of organizations including an advocacy group, a non-profit education group and a political action committee, is attempting to use 53 questions, in the form of a survey, to answer one: What is it like to be LGBT in Colorado in 2010?
An image from One-Colorado.org
"There are plenty of people out there who would like to define our community for us. We have more than enough of them in this state," says Bobby Clark, chairman of One Colorado's board. "So we said, 'Let's define our community ourselves. Let's tell people what our lives are like.'"
The survey starts by asking basic demographic questions: age, sex, location, sexual orientation. But it quickly gets to meatier topics: whether takers have ever been denied housing or jobs because of their sexual orientation and whether they've been victims of verbal abuse, domestic violence or homophobia.
Other topics queried include takers' health insurance coverage -- and whether it extends to domestic partners. The survey also asks whether takers are "out" to their family and co-workers, and whether they regularly attend religious services.
"A lot of people might not realize how many LGBT people are people of faith who attend services every Sunday," Clark says.
The survey will be up until February 26, and Clark says the results will be compiled shortly thereafter. One Colorado, which was launched in December, doesn't have a specific agenda yet, he says, so he's not sure exactly how the survey results will be used -- except to say that he hopes they'll advance One Colorado's goal of evening the playing field for the LGBT community.
"Ultimately, we want full equality in all matters of law, period," Clark says. "But how we go about that -- we'll define that with our staff, with the broader community and with our allies."