LGBT Show More Awareness of Political Involvement than Heteros
Among all American adults, just about half (49%) report that they are aware of the political involvement and financial contributions to causes and political campaigns made by businesses. However, among lesbians and gay men, two-thirds (67%) state they are somewhat to very aware of these activities, as well as 54% of all LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) adults taken together (compared to 48% of all heterosexuals).
Lesbians Have Highest Expectations of ‘Gay-Friendly’ Businesses
When asked how they would react upon discovering a presumably “gay-friendly” business had donated to a political candidate with anti-gay opinions, 65% of lesbians said they would stop shopping there. This was significantly higher than gay men (51%), bisexuals (31%), or LGBT (34%). Only 11% of heterosexuals would have this reaction.
In total, 48% of all consumers, including 51% of heterosexuals and 27% of LGBT, would not change their shopping habits. Only 5% or less of all respondent categories would be more likely to shop at a “gay-friendly” business which made this type of donation.
Homosexuals React More Strongly to Contributions
Gay men and lesbians again demonstrated the sharpest reactions when asked if they would change their shopping behavior based on a business making a political contribution to a candidate or cause they oppose, with more than one in four (28%) flatly saying they would “stop shopping there.”
An additional 34% of gay men and lesbians said they would avoid shopping there only if there were other comparable and accessible options. Just one in five (21%) among lesbians and gay men indicated that they would not change their shopping behavior at all.
Among heterosexual adults, the reactions are slightly more restrained. For example, 38% of heterosexuals said it would not change their shopping behavior if a business made a political contribution to a candidate or a cause they opposed. Twenty-eight percent (28%) said they would take their business elsewhere, if other comparable and accessible options existed, while just 17% of heterosexuals would stop shopping at the business.
Gays, Lesbians Active SocNet Users
One thing for businesses considering political donations should keep in mind is that gays and lesbians participate in online social networking at high rates, according to another recent Harris Poll. Three-quarters (73%) of gay and lesbian adults state they are members of Facebook, compared to 65% of heterosexual adults. Also, 32% of gay and lesbian respondents report being members of MySpace, compared to 22% of heterosexual respondents (albeit a shrinking number of both groups from past years).
About the Data: Harris Interactive conducted the study online within the United States between September 14 and 20, 2010, among 2,620 adults (ages 18 and over), of whom 357 self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender. We over-sampled gay men and lesbians in order to allow for more detailed analysis of these groups.