By Keith Russell Mon, Mar 7, 2016

A recent, defect-ridden
University of North Florida study claims that LGBT people don’t consider Jacksonville to be a welcoming city.

But that’s at odds with a
2015 Gallup survey that found that LGBT people prefer Jacksonville to other Florida cities, and more than cities with special LGBT rights.

LGBT demographer
Gary Gates confirms: “There’s little or no evidence that same-sex couples consider LGBT laws in deciding where to move.”

Not surprisingly, the online poll — created by UNF and activists to revive a dying case for the additions to the Human Rights Ordinance — discovered “discrimination.”

Most “discrimination,” however, was found to be verbal affronts that would not be remedied by the proposed law.

The bias and flaws of the study are evident:

  • The work was undertaken by UNF researchers allied to the LGBT community, and undertaken with bias in mind: To establish the “necessity for an LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance” and to present the “results … to Jacksonville government.”   It lacked objectivity in personnel and purpose.
  • Survey participants were not representative of the overall LGBT population.  Most were recruited via LGBT-organization websites and newsletters, thus targeting those activist LGBT people most likely to back the proposed law.
  • Flawed survey methods abandoned scientific rigor and credibility.  A single individual could undertake the survey any number of times; the respondent could participate from any geographic location, and none of the discrimination claims could be verified.
  • The UNF report exaggerates discrimination percentages by counting affronts that are not addressed by the proposed law.
  • No scale was used to determine the severity of “offenses.”  So, the distinctions, if any, between such terms as “bullying,” “verbal abuse” and “teasing” are not known.

Finally, taxpayers should be concerned.  A public records request reveals that this “research” was conducted by a state agency using public funds to promote one side of a sensitive local social issue.

Also, no UNF project assisted the other side of the argument.

This is a biased, activist use of public treasure, hijacking UNF’s proper mission.

If any other state agency, for example the Department of Transportation, spent taxpayer dollars to champion one side of this contentious local issue, the governor would fire its chief administrator and end forever such state agency meddling in local matters.

Having failed to find evidence to support a new LGBT law, since its 2012 defeat, this was UNF’s Hail Mary pass — desperate and incomplete.

Keith Russell, Jacksonville

UNF's Hail Mary Pass - Desperate, Intercepted


2016Mar07: UNF poll on how Jacksonville treats its LGBT community was flawed, biased