Monday, November 12, 2007

Young Dems Inflate Membership?/Gays = $690B/
NYT on Gay Muslims

Nuggets of interest from around the web in the past week:
The Bay Area Reporter's Matthew Bajko interviewed the openly gay director of Young Democrats of America, David Hardt, this week and who claims his group consists of more than half a million people:

The 31-year-old Hardt, who is openly gay and lives in Dallas, said the vote does not sit well with the majority of his groups' 300,000 members. He said he had surveyed chapter leaders across the country and heard from several thousand members about ENDA.

More than 90 percent of the people he heard from opposed a gay-only ENDA, said Hardt. Four years ago the Young Dems became the first national Democratic group to support a trans-inclusive ENDA, said Hardt.

That 300,000 stat doesn't jibe with YDA's statement about their membership:
YDA has chartered chapters in 46 states and U.S. territories with over 1,500 local chapters. Our 150,000+ members – including middle school, high school and college students as well as young workers, young professionals and young families – reflects the broad diversity of our nation and the Democratic Party.
Who's right here on YDAs memberships figures, BAR or YDA, and can they be independently verified? Like another Democratic Party affiliated advocacy organization, the Human Rights Campaign, the YDA leaders may be very creative with determining membership and hoping no one looks too closely at the membership rolls and numbers.
The lesbian consumer is very overlooked by advertisers, according to a recent and extensively detailed story in BrandWeek magazine, which threw out some mighty big numbers about the size of the gay wallet and our supposed economic power:
For starters, lesbians represent a little less than half of the estimated $690 billion buying power of the homosexual population in America, a number that's expected to reach $835 billion by 2011, according to New York research firm Packaged Facts.
In addition, while marketers have long salivated over the high average incomes purportedly enjoyed by professional gay men, lesbians are hardly scraping for pocket change. A 2002 study published in Contemporary Economic Policy found that they earn 30% more than their heterosexual counterparts. [...]

In addition, despite prevailing stereotypes of exaggerated frugality, recent studies demonstrate that lesbian-fueled domestic consumption patterns are, in many cases, as vigorous—if not more so—than any other.
Damn, $690 billion is a large number to throw around in advertising circles, and I love that it grows to $835 billion in four years. Of course, as with membership stats from YDA and the BAR, the figures may be inflated by creative gay numbers crunchers.
Using San Francisco as the backdrop, the NY Times last week examined the problems faced by gays in America. While the article broke no new political ground, it was welcomed in some activists circles just for shedding light on gay Muslims.
As is almost-required for such news stories, an Islamic cleric is quoted saying something ignorant, like HIV existed a long time ago and killed people in very ancient times:

Hostility is rooted in the Koranic story of Lot, which parallels the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. At Al-Tawhid Mosque in San Francisco, the imam, Hassan al-Jalal, a Yemeni with a short beard, printed a sheaf of Koranic verses that he said condemned homosexuals.

“This is the main sin in Islam,” Mr. Jalal said, describing how the town housing Lot’s tribe was lifted high into the sky and then dropped, killing all in the town before they were buried under what is now the Dead Sea. “He sent the flood to clean the earth from AIDS. There were no doctors at that time, but God knew they had a virus.”

All sects mandate capital punishment, he argued, although others differ. “Sunni, Shiite, they all agree that they have to be killed. But who does it? Not me or you, only by law.”

Muslim clerics reject being gay as biologically coded and advise anyone with homosexual stirrings to avoid temptation. They see America as rife with it given practices like open gym showers.

From Sodom and Gomorrah to gym showers, to the Islamic world, gays exist. Get used to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Obama is coming to town Wed. Night (11/14) at 6:30pm at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Is anyone organizing a San Francisco welcome for him?