MayorSlay.com rolled out an interesting poll
a few days ago, a few weeks ago, a few hours ago, last week, heck I am not sure when it appeared. No, ShowMeNoHate didn't get a phone call, heads up, email, tweet, Facebook wall post, myspace message, snail mail letter, fax, smoke signal, Harry Potter Owl or shout from the sidewalk about it. Like everyone else, we just heard about it through the queer grape vine.
Here is an excerpt of what was written on the Mayor's website:
Mini Poll: Checking In Again On Prop 8
This month, a Federal district court judge in California struck down Proposition 8 -- a state ballot measure that banned gay and lesbian couples from marrying -- as unconstitutional. Although Judge Vaughn Walker's decision has been stayed, many advocates of same-sex marriage saw it as a victory and perhaps an indication that courtrooms, not legislatures or electorates, are going to be the fastest ways to bring about the equal recognition of legal relationships. The Prop 8 case is now most likely to be decided by the US Supreme Court.
MayorSlay.com knows that neither legislators nor judges operate in public opinion vacuums. So, we have occasionally asked your opinions on this subject. We do so this week, once again borrowing some questions from national surveys on these issues.
Here in Missouri, though demonstrably less so in the generally gay-friendly City of St. Louis, majority public opinion has remained reliably opposed to the recognition of same-sex marriages and the state is one of a handful in the country that has reinforced its statutory prohibitions with a constitutional one. Yet, there is some anecdotal evidence that even Missouri has moved slightly towards some acceptance of domestic partnerships and civil unions. Three-quarters of Americans now support some form of legal recognition for gay couples.
Have your opinions changed on these issues since the last time anybody asked? Let us know by voting on this poll. Feel free to send it to your friends.
Putting aside the idea of not getting a proper invite to participate: the poll has more LGBT holes than Lorraine Swiss cheese. (You'd swear for as much LGBT work Mayor Slay does he'd have at least a big ole queer network by now.)
So what are the LGBTers to do?
On the one hand, Mayor Slay is an ally and big supporter of Marriage Equality. He has been at several ShowMeNoHate sponsored events and who can forget this adorable snapshot in front of the Old Court House?
So I did what any advocate should do, I extended an olive branch to Mayor Slay. I wrote him the following letter in the hopes he can learn from his mistakes:
Dear Mayor Slay,
I was excited to have several of friends and family call me about your new "Checking in Again on Prop 8 Poll." I checked your website and when I saw the opening graphic of the two wedding rings, well let's just say, "you had me at the rainbow flag." Once again it felt great to call myself a Saint Louis City resident. As I began to read the survey, I realized why all those friends called me.
Where do I start?
First off, for the record I applaud you Mayor Slay for everything you have done and continue to do for the LGBT Community in Saint Louis. I personally continue to support you, your entire office and all the work you do everyday to make my city a better place to live in. I truly feel proud to say I live in Saint Louis City.
However, I am troubled by your "Mini Prop 8 Poll."
At first glance It seems clear to me that you didn't have a single lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person look at it.
How do I know this? Well for starters, your poll says:
"Proposition 8 -- a state ballot measure that banned gay and lesbian couples from marrying"
Mayor with all due respect, this is not what the California Proposition 8 did. What Prop 8 did was to allow California voters to change their state's constitution so, "that a marriage is only valid between one man and one woman." The wording is completely identical to what Missouri voters passed in 2004. (Only Kansas City and St. Louis City voters turned down the discriminatory Missouri constitutional marriage rewrite.)
I clarify your Prop 8 wording because it affected more than just lesbian and gay couples. It affects bisexuals who are in a committed relationship with a same-gendered partner and it also affects transgendered individuals in a committed relationship with a same-gendered partner.
So to suggest California's Prop 8 (or Missouri's 2004 twin) only affects gay and lesbian same-sex marriages lacks half the LGBT community in our struggle for the freedom to marry. Although I am sure not done intentionally, the current wording on your website's poll leaves my bisexual and transgendered brothers and sisters stranded at the altar.
There are plenty of more examples written throughout your poll where you continue to leave bisexuals and transgendered individuals completely off your survey, basically as if they do not exist. I am here to inform you Mayor Slay, they do exist and they are being denied the same marriage recognition as I am with my husband whom I married in Iowa over a year ago.
My goal is to bring this to your attention in the hopes to better educate your staff. As a Regional and National advocate on Marriage Equality and LGBT rights, I cannot forget my own home city where I live.
I invite you to add me as a resource to whatever Prop 8, Marriage Equality or LGBT poll you might create in the near future.
Again, thanks for reading my comment. Please know Mayor Slay I am very proud to say the Mayor of my city supports full equality for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community.
True this is not Armageddon, but we cannot divide our LGBT community during these near end-of-days-like-times especially when it becomes way too easy to leave someone off the bus in the name of equality. I am hopeful the Mayor will reach out and invite the bisexual and transgender community back on the Marriage Equality Bus -- lord knows there is plenty of room.
Tuesday August 24th 11:35AM
MayorSlay.com sent me a speedy response:
date Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 10:58 AM
hide details 10:58 AM (36 minutes ago)
Thanks for your note. You are absolutely right about the missing -BT. Another great reader pointed out the same issue. The next time we touch the topic, we will add some questions.
Your comment also points out something wider. Most of the questions on our poll this week were borrowed (um, copied verbatim) from recent surveys by national news-gathering organizations. We do that to be able to compare the opinions of our readers with those of the nation as a whole. (Yeah, we know it isn't scientific ...) The -BT issues are simply not being raised in the mainstream. We will try to do our part to change that.
Meanwhile, please stick with us.
The Poll Writers