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Poll: Gays skeptical of Bush's Iraq policy

Poll: Gays skeptical of Bush's Iraq policy

When asked in a recent survey how much confidence they have in President Bush and his administration to "make the right decisions" regarding the use or non-use of the U.S. military to attack Iraq, six out of 10 (60%) heterosexual adults nationwide stated that they are somewhat or very confident. In contrast, only 31% of self-identified gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered adults said they feel the same. These are highlights of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,271 adults, of whom about 6% self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. The survey was conducted online February 19-25, 2003, by Harris Interactive, with analysis of GLBT data provided by Witeck-Combs Communications, a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the gay market. "American leadership at home and abroad requires public trust, especially at tough times like these," said Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications. "These findings make clear, however, that this often-marginalized group of citizens, GLBT Americans, expresses deeper feelings of alienation with the Administration's decision-making and the prospects of a war in Iraq. Also, given that gays and lesbians would serve the nation bravely yet are not allowed to serve openly in the armed forces, their skepticism may run even deeper." Almost seven out of 10 (68%) GLBT adults feel that President Bush prefers a military attack on Iraq rather than trying to achieve his main goals without an attack, compared with 51% of heterosexual adults surveyed. In addition, when asked, "Would you favor or oppose military action in Iraq if President Bush believes Saddam Hussein is hiding weapons of mass destruction but U.N. weapons inspectors cannot find any and the United Nations does not vote in favor of an attack," over half (56%) of GLBT adults say they would oppose attacking Iraq, while just over one third (35%) of heterosexuals said they would oppose such an attack. The finding for all adults who were asked this question--gay and nongay--was 45% in favor of attacking Iraq, 36% in opposition, and 19% stating they don't know. Regarding Saddam Hussein and Iraq's alleged ties to al-Qaeda terrorists, however, there appears to be a closer resemblance between the opinions of gay and nongay adult Americans. Forty-five percent of GLBT respondents believe there is some link, and 49% of heterosexual adults agree.

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