A Philadelphia-Based LGBT Social Policy Survey is Leaving Readers Confused

Via Shutterstock

Via Shutterstock

It’s a Philadelphia-based poll that has three possible answers, and it’s causing quite a bit of interesting discussion online.

Philadelphia Business Journal‘s online “Business Pulse Poll” asks readers “Does a company’s LGBT social policy impact if you will do business with that company?” Readers are given three possible ways to answer: yes, no, and it depends. To be frank, the question here is ambiguous at best and the linguistics of the poll are quite up to interpretation, as many readers have noted in the comments portion of the survey:

“Who writes these questions? The possible answers are totally ambiguous. How about we make it clear: ‘(a) I won’t do business unless they support everyone’s rights including LGBTs, (b) I won’t do business with them if they support equal rights for LGBTs, (c) I don’t care one way or the other.’ That way we’d at least know where the respondents stand on the issue. Given the way it’s written, all I could answer is “It depends.” It depends on what their LGBT policy is. If they support rights for all, all other things being equal, they have my support and my business over a company that doesn’t. Do you think people are afraid to actually say that?”

“I said yes because I took it to mean both ways. If a company discriminates I would choose not to do business with them. Where’s the editor?”

“The question and answers were too ambiguous to select anything other than ‘It depends.’ How will this data be considered useful at all? Maybe it’s a trick and it’s really a poll to see how many people just blindly click Yes or No… ;)”

“I feel a little bullied at times by the LGBT advocates. It’s not a direct bulling but one that makes me feel that I don’t believe in equal rights if I don’t believe in that life style. I feel if someone wants to live that lifestyle that is their choice but I don’t want to feel forced to say that is OK. I own a business and would provide as good of service to or hire people who are LGBT while also treating them with respect.
It seems the LGTB advocates feel its OK to not do business with people who don’t believe the way they do but its not OK when people don’t want to do business with the LGTB crowd. If we believe in equal rights then we should have equal rights to believe differently while treating everyone with respect.”

“Would your answer be different if the question was regarding racial policies?”

I have to agree with the first comment listed above: Some clarity on the language used in the poll would have helped matters here, and might have changed the survey’s results. As of this publication, 40% of the participants responded “No,” 38% responded “Yes,” and 21% responded “It Depends.” That’s the concern from a LGBTQ perspective: Philadelphia Business Journal is a well-known, reputable publication, and the results of a survey administered by them, even in a blog-like setting, could get significant traction.

Take a moment to check out the poll yourself and let us know what you think.