Concerning UNF’s defective LGBT “discrimination” survey, there are three lead letters below, published by the Florida Times-Union:

  1. At the bottom is the initial critique of the UNF study;
  2. Above that is UNF’s defense, written by the study researcher, and
  3. At the top is a review of the misleading aspects of the researcher’s defense.


2016Mar24: Lead Letter: LGBT Study Was Flawed In Key Ways

By Jerry Steckloff Thu, Mar 24, 2016 @ 3:00 pm
http://jax-cdn.com/opinion/letters-readers/2016-03-24/story/lead-letter-reader-questions-unf-survey-lgbt-issues

In her recent letter in the Times-Union, UNF’s Lynne Carroll defends her flawed LGBT “discrimination” survey by misleading the public.

Carroll claims she
“pursued this research independently without compensation.”

“Independently” of what, UNF?  Her study was evaluated by the school’s Institutional Review Board, which does not examine “independent” non-UNF studies[1].  Nor does this board peer-review the scientific merit of research designs, as she implies.

Also a public records request reveals that she and a research assistant undertook this survey
“during the course of their normal academic pursuits.”[2]  So she was paid her public academic salary.  In addition, taxpayer-funded facilities, equipment and the UNF-leased Qualtrics survey system were used for this unsound poll.

Carroll claims to be
“as objective as humanly possible.”  Yet, LGBT activist groups authored half of the principal survey questions.[3]

Now, if a researcher is motivated to undertake a survey for free, as she claims, addressing an issue of prominence to her (she is an activist[4] who researches LGBT topics extensively[5]), might that free survey favor her side of the issue?

Consider key survey Question 11:
“Is the expansion of Jacksonville’s HRO to include LGBT rights needed?”  Immediately preceding this question is a 111-word endorsement detailing how the ordinance will benefit LGBTs without one word about how it will adversely affect others.  That is hardly “as objective as humanly possible.”

Carroll claims that 57.4 percent of respondents suffered “discrimination.”  However, without supervision, survey respondents were allowed to characterize any perceived affront as “discrimination.”  Of the 377 unwanted events cited, 330 (87.5 percent) would not be cured by the proposed ordinance.

Finally, Carroll claims proof that Jacksonville is
“unwelcoming.”  No question asks about “welcoming.”  So Ms Carroll, ignoring Gallup’s proof[6] that LGBT people favor Jacksonville, creatively compares several activist polls that may not be comparable — obscure polls[7] plagued by small unrepresentative samples, excessive margins of error and troubling “Don’t Knows”[8] that often exceed one-third of poll responses.

But rigorous scientific research was never UNF’s objective.  This was a last-ditch effort by a tax-funded university, unethically allied with the LGBT lobby[9], to manipulate local government using taxpayer dollars.

This misguided state agency must end its local meddling and halt its use of public funds to advance the university’s biased political and social agenda.

Jerry Steckloff, Jacksonville

Footnotes:
[1].   “The [UNF] Institutional Review Board (IRB) has the responsibility for protecting the rights and welfare of human participants in all studies and research . . . conducted under the auspices of UNF.”  See http://www.unf.edu/research/manual_IRB/IRB_01.aspx.
[2].   Responding to a Chapter 119 public records request, the UNF public records attorney stated:
“This research was conducted by a faculty member and a student during the course of their normal academic pursuits at UNF.”
[3].   There are 6 principal survey questions, the rest deal with demographics (income, race, sex, etc).  LGBT political groups authored 3 of the 6 questions. 
“Special thanks to . . . for providing questions six, eight, and nine of our survey”, from page 1, Author Note, second paragraph.  Download the UNF report at http://media.wix.com/ugd/390ab5_1cc1289291634a32bf1836d8a2a1f6fd.pdf
[4].   Ms Carroll is a member of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).  According to
http://www.glsen.org/policy, “GLSEN’s Public Policy team works with policymakers at all levels to ensure that the best and most inclusive safe schools policies are considered, passed, and implemented.”
[5].   Her publications are listed here
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lynne_Carroll2/publications.
[6].   Jacksonville ranks highest in Florida and other states.  See
http://www.gallup.com/poll/182051/san-francisco-metro-area-ranks-highest-lgbt-percentage.aspx.
[7].   Obscure: None of the cited studies can be found.  The 2011 JCCI study (margin of error 6.68%) is not available at its website.  The other two were created by activist groups, Bridging-Out (margin of error 6.07%) and JCE (margin of error 7.57%), whose reports and research designs are not available for examination.
[8].   Surveys have less validity when a “Don’t Know” response option is offered.   See:
http://www.qualtrics.com/blog/why-including-dont-know-responses-is-hurting-your-survey-data/“For open-ended items discouraging ‘Don’t Knows’ improves the measurement”, according to an extensive University of Texas – Yale University study.  See https://www.utexas.edu/cola/files/1422823
[9].   Taxpayer-funded UNF is a formal partner in the LGBT political movement.  See
http://wearestraightallies.com/tag/university-of-north-florida/.  And, UNF readily allows LGBT interest groups to display its logo on their websites and literature. 

          No other governmental agency has aligned itself with the national LGBT machine.  Yet, UNF, a tax-funded state agency, actively pressures local government to adopt its biased viewpoint. 

          UNF president John Delaney has been an outspoken proponent of the legislation advanced by this UNF survey, consuming many hours in public presentations, news releases, press conferences, meeting attendance, letters to editors, organizational meetings, private meetings with decision-makers, and strategy sessions.  While devoting great amounts of his time to the LGBT lobby, his UNF ranks at the very bottom in performance by the state Board of Governors.  See http://www.flbog.edu/about/budget/docs/performance_funding/PBF-2016-17-Packet.pdf.  No UNF mission statement requires this extent of his outside work, on this subject matter.  Like Ms Carroll, he claims that his contributions to LGBT causes are done "independently, without compensation."


2016Mar11: Lead Letter: UNF professor defends poll on LGBT issues

By Lynne Carroll Fri, Mar 11, 2016 @ 2:21 pm
http://jacksonville.com/opinion/letters-readers/2016-03-11/story/lead-letter-unf-professor-defends-poll-lgbt-issues

I would like to address concerns Keith Russell raised in his Times-Union letter “UNF poll on how Jacksonville treats its LGBT community was flawed, biased” in response to a survey results story on the T-U’s front page March 4.

Russell levies some harsh accusations about how the research was conducted.

He states that we
“abandoned scientific rigor and credibility” and, worse yet, have “used public funds to promote one side of a sensitive local social issue.”

I would like to clarify who we are and how we approached our research. I am a UNF professor of psychology and worked with a psychology student. We were not recruited to conduct this study; we pursued this research independently without compensation.

RESEARCH HANDLED APPROPRIATELY

We, like all researchers at UNF, were required to submit our research proposal before the Institutional Review Board.

Our survey questions and methods were reviewed by our peers to ensure that participants’ rights to privacy and safety were protected.

We, like all academic researchers, are ethically bound to be as objective as humanly possible.

Like all social scientists, we have been trained to approach research so that our personal biases are minimized. If our research had turned out differently and might have been interpreted as unsupportive of HRO expansion, our research results would still have been publicly released.

We contacted 104 businesses and community organizations in addition to LGBT organizations (a total of 54) to find participants for our study.

We freely acknowledged that our research suffers from the same methodological flaws that most studies do that are dependent upon voluntary online participation.

OUR FINDINGS

According to our findings, the majority (57.4 percent) reported experiencing some form of discrimination within the past five years.

Additionally, the majority of survey respondents (97 percent) feel that it is necessary to expand Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to specifically include the LGBT community in employment, housing and public accommodations protections.

It’s important to note that our study is not the first one to examine this question.

Comparing data from 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2016, there has been a steady increase in the number of LGBT persons who view Jacksonville as an unwelcoming place and perceive current protections as inadequate.

We invite Russell and all Times-Union readers to judge the merits of our research by visiting this website:
lgbtexperiencesjax.wix.com/survey.

Lynne Carroll, Atlantic Beach

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

By Keith Russell Mon, Mar 7, 2016
http://jacksonville.com/opinion/letters-readers/2016-03-07/story/lead-letter-unf-poll-how-jacksonville-treats-its-lgbt

Letters from Readers

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 J 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


"A last-ditch effort by UNF, unethically allied with the LGBT lobby, to manipulate local government using taxpayer dollars"

TAKING A STAND FOR OUR FAMILIES
​IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA