In a new unscientific survey of gay and bisexual men in America, economy trumps equality as the top issue in Tuesday’s presidential election.
Forty-six percent of gay and bisexual men who responded to the nationwide survey, conducted by hookup app Grindr, voted for the economy and job creation as the No. 1 priority in the race between the Democratic incumbent, President Obama, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The second-highest-ranked issue was equality (29 percent). In third place was health care (11 percent.)
The survey was conducted in late September among 8,200 users of Grindr; results were released Friday. Earlier this year, the hookup app launched the Grindr for Equality initiative, aimed at boosting awareness about equality issues and mobilizing gay men as a political bloc.
Among those surveyed, 76 percent said they planned to vote for Obama, while 18 percent said they were throwing their support behind Romney. Sixty percent of gay men who responded to the survey identified themselves as Democrats, 22 percent as independents, 14 percent as Republicans and 4 percent as Libertarians.
“I was honestly a little surprised to see that about 20 percent of the respondents said they’d vote for Mitt Romney,” Grindr founder and CEO Joel Simkhai wrote on his company’s blog.
On the blog, Simkhai made it clear how he feels about the GOP presidential candidate.
“A vote for Romney is a vote against your own economic interests – definitely not in favor of them,” Simkhai wrote. He added: “For all he cares, gay people are invisible in today’s economy.”
Romney’s economic strategy will financially harm the gay community, as the Republican doesn’t back marriage, tax or Social Security benefits for same-sex couples, Simkhai said. Meanwhile, he said, Obama is pro-equality; for instance, the president came out in support of same-sex marriage earlier this year.
“And if you’re worried about job creation, you’d better not live in a state where it’s still legal to fire someone simply for being gay, because you could lose your job any day,” Simkhai wrote. “Romney won’t come to your aid – he certainly hasn’t said anything about protecting gay people in the workplace.”
By contrast, Grindr pointed out, Obama has called on Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender status. Obama, according to the Grindr blog, “doesn’t think your boss should be able to fire you just because he doesn’t like your sexual orientation or gender identity.”