proposition 8

proposition 8

When You Meet A Gay Person, Your Opinion On Gay Rights Changes (STUDY)

1d ago
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"Recently, a series of unusual field experiments in California have tested whether contact even with strangers can accelerate the process of changing individual opinions on controversial issues. The architect of this approach is a political activist named Dave Fleischer, who moved to California after the passage in 2008 of Proposition 8, a ballot measure that overturned same-sex marriage in the state. The initiative prevailed on what gay activists had considered friendly turf, winning a majority in heavily Democratic Los Angeles County. Fleischer and his team at Vote For Equality, a program run by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, identified precincts in the L.A. suburbs where Prop 8 had received support and sent volunteers to knock on doors to ask voters why they opposed same-sex marriage. “It took me over 40 years of canvassing before it occurred to me to do that,” Fleischer says. The first script he drafted for these visits, in January 2009, pivoted around two simple questions: “How do you feel about marriage for gay and lesbian couples?” Then: “Can I ask you why you feel that way?” At that point, a stage direction advised: “Optional: Insert Brief Personal Statement.” Many of the volunteers were gay. The instructions invited them to out themselves to someone they had just met. After more than 11,000 visits, it became clear that just talking to a gay person was softening opponents’ resistance to same-sex marriage. The conversations often lasted 20 minutes or more. “From the point of view of the voter, we’re having a very low-stakes conversation,” Fleischer says. “We’re talking with them privately, one-on-one, out of earshot of anyone else. And this person is listening and is not judging them. And is allowing them, and in fact encouraging them, to talk about things that really matter to them. Well, how often does that happen in life? Almost never.” Read more from Bloomberg Businessweek here: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-10-09/gay-marriage-activists-shift-public-opinion-by-going-door-to-door Cenk Uygur (http://www.twitter.com/cenkuygur) host of The Young Turks breaks down this amazing study. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.