RNC lists “in the closet” as a sexual orientation on survey

You know the Republicans are panicking when they ask their members if they should still be opposed to gay marriage, abortion, and marijuana. But that’s what a new RNC survey does, much to the chagrin, one would imagine, of the party’s “family values” base.

The official RNC survey, being promoted by party liberals like Cindy McCain, seems to be putting a wet finger in the air on once-hot-button issues in the party like gay rights, abortion, and marijuana legalization (of all things).


This would be akin to Democrats polling our members on whether inter-racial marriage is okay, and whether women deserve the vote.  If you ask the question at all, it suggests that the questioner is wavering on the question itself, or at least worried that the party’s standard position on the issues (opposed) is potentially a long-term loser.

The entire survey leans left, in my opinion.  One need look no further than Question 8.  There’s something conspicuously missing:


What’s missing?  Immigration.  Where is it?  Gone, baby.  And it’s not anywhere in the entire survey.

And “family values” isn’t in that list either, though gay marriage and abortion are – nonetheless, the once-GOP-buzzword “family” is gone.

You know what else isn’t anywhere in the survey?  The budget, the budget deficit, or federal spending.  Another huge issue for die-hard GOPers.  Now erased.

Just as interesting, throughout the survey they use the word “gay” rather than “homosexual,” the somewhat pejorative term favored by the anti-gay right expressly because gays don’t do as well in polling when the word “homosexual” is used instead of “gay” in the question.

Another “tell” on the gay issue, the RNC makes a nod to – I hate to say “politically correctness,” but that’s the term a Republican gay-hater would use – the new inclusiveness that, instead of saying “gay,” now says “gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”  (Even though the RNC got it wrong, while the correct order was once “gay, lesbian” it’s now “lesbian, gay.”)


Another telling question, number 15:



Polling about how well Republicans “like” the Tea Party?  That means they’re worried that people don’t like the Tea Party.  Interesting that the RNC didn’t ask how well people like conservatives, or even liberals, in the party – they only asked about the Tea Party.  Hmm….

Another indication that the party may have gone soft are questions 22 and 26, that are downright granola-y for a Republican:

rnc-poll-nice rnc-poll-fun

Nice?  Fun?  What is this, senior prom?  All kidding aside, voters don’t like candidates who are mean and boring.  But again, the fact that the RNC is asking the question means they’re worried that too many Republicans, at least those in office and running the party, are mean and boring.  I’m just wondering who’s going to tell Rush Limbaugh and the Family Research Council that they’re just not “fun” any more?

Another sore point for the RNC, “age”:


There are also two odd questions – well, odd in terms of the realm of possible responses the RNC offered.  Here’s the first, where the RNC seems to have elevated the environment to a civil right:


Also important to note is that the RNC now lists gays along with other groups that are discriminated against, implicitly acknowledging that gay rights are civil rights (another sore point for the religious right).

The final question, that’s perhaps the most surprising, is the RNC asking people what their sexual orientation is.


While on a Democratic survey you might expect a question about sexual orientation, die-hard GOPers like to claim that no one should be asking anyone what their sexual orientation is since it’s “just a sex practice.”  But this survey treats it as far more than a sex practice.

Oh, and Dear RNC, “in the closet” is not a sexual orientation.  Though I guess in Republican circles, maybe it is :)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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47 Responses to “RNC lists “in the closet” as a sexual orientation on survey”

  1. jewelz says:

    I like the point Colbert brought up about the discriminate question, the only one referred to as people are white people.

  2. Craig says:

    The GOP needs to focus on its core, and let all the one issue groups go their own way. The corollary to this is that GOP candidates cannot be one issue candidates. The focus should be on pro-growth policies, with jobs, the economy, reaching a balanced budget (and then gradually bringing down the deficit) and education the most important planks. The GOP also has to accept that people are different. It doesn’t matter who they are, everyone should be equal under every law. It should be the policy of the GOP that every Federal program applies to every person, including the President, Congress, the Supreme Court, etc. We need a strong military. We need a space program to foster the development of cutting edge technologies. We need a rational immigration policy, which encourages people who come to the US for a job or education to stay here and work and contribute. People who have not come through the proper channels should be given the opportunity to rectify that, if they can show that they have paid taxes since they entered the country, served in the military, or would be willing to do so. Equality should be the theme in everything the GOP does. If the one issue people, including the Tea Party, can find a better candidate than the GOP centrist candidates let them form their own party and try to get their candidates elected. Only if the GOP can end the discussion about being anti-gay, anti-women, anti-environment, etc. will they be able to return the party its heritage as a centrist, party that puts love of country first, and will not even discuss the issues with which the Democrat Party loves to bait them.

  3. Nicholas Bailey says:

    Thank you for pointing this out!
    It’s important for us liberals to remember, liberals can create fake news stories as easily as conservative.

  4. Nicholas Bailey says:

    Dear Mr Aravosis,
    Could you please give us the source you used that allowed you to conclude that the RNC actually created this survey? The survey is clearly an amateur design, and every pollster knows that internet surveys are not statistically meaningful.

    There is no mention of it on any site affiliated with the RNC and the only connection associating it with a republican I have been able to find is the post from Cindy McCain’s twitter feed.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    Actually it began with bigots like Obama and Biden last May and now includes bigots like H. Clinton and a number of other Democrats and the occasional Republican. It will take a longer time for the Republicans to come to terms with marriage equality.

  6. Styve61 says:

    I thought this was an April Fools Day joke, but I guess republicans are a running April Fools Day gag year-round!!

  7. JohnGalt WantsAPony says:

    Ever see that picture of Rush smoking his cigar at his broadcast studio? Oh he gets sure on that thang.

  8. JohnGalt WantsAPony says:

    You ask valid questions. Good blog, but how do you know thats really Cindy McCain tweeting? And why does the RNC hate old people? If you are over 30 your opinion is uninvited. Its really no wonder, I mean raised republican how much tact can you expect? Its a very controlling survey so its prolly lagit, facistic…just sayin.

  9. Papa Bear says:

    Actually, that’s covered in Politics 101–politicians been doing that since cave men days. They didn’t need to learn it from anyone…

  10. WarrenHart says:

    The Grand Old Party’s attempting to enter the 20th century. It’s hard work.

  11. Just one thing, John, the liberals left the Republican party during the New Deal. There are still a few moderates, but don’t distort positions to the right. Just because the god Ronald Reagan distorted positions, does not mean we must continue the distortion.

  12. HeartlandLiberal says:

    The survey is on surveymonkey. But there is absolutely no identification of the source or any indication this is an official GOP poll. I frankly doubt if it is. For one thing, it is very poorly designed, unless its intent is to gather how many people think the GOP suck. Also, absolutely no controls, so totally invalid. Please do not complete if over age 30. Yeah. Right. Well, I am 67, and I completed it. No, I don’t think this is any sort of official poll by the GOP, unless they are gathering info surreptitiously, in a manner they can disavow. But I did enjoy telling them just how much the GOP sucks. In every way.

  13. LosGatosCA says:

    Yes, the bigots is learning.

    First, they were unconsciously bigoted. (You know it wasn’t a question because blacks are genetically inferior, women belong at home married to a manly man, barefoot and knocked up from the missionary position, people with strange sounding names should just change them, latinos should stay in Mexico, and country clubs are for rich white Protestant people)

    Now they are consciously bigoted. (Compassionate conservative, they resent but try to honor ‘political correctness’, they resent being told they are selfish bigots – but not enough to change because blacks are genetically inferior, women belong at home married to a manly man, barefoot and knocked up from the missionary position, people with strange sounding names should just change them, latinos should stay in Mexico, and country clubs are for rich people including conservative Catholics and Jews who aren’t lawyers. )

    Next step, consciously unbigoted won’t happen in anyone’s lifetime, including the offspring (born or unborn). See Ed Gillespie, Ben Carson, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, et al.

  14. LosGatosCA says:

    Rush replied ‘Not sure’ on sexual preference.

  15. LosGatosCA says:

    Bigotry is what they’re aiming for, and they rarely miss the mark.

  16. LosGatosCA says:

    TPM sums it up:

    “Ed Gillespie, who served as a senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign, said Sunday that while Republicans may embrace a more federalist, state-by-state approach to same-sex marriage in future party platforms, he doesn’t believe the party platform will ever support marriage equality.

    “I don’t think you would ever see the Republican Party platform saying we are in favor of same-sex marriage,” Gillespie said on “Fox News Sunday.”

    “I don’t see the Republican Party or most Republicans, obviously, changing in terms of believing that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Gillespie said.”

    It took the GOP 110 years (1856 to 1966) to become the Confederate party. It will take that long for them to become something else.

  17. JohnGalt WantsAPony says:

    Are you sure the RNC put this out? Who signed off on this? Does Rush know about this?

  18. Clecinosu says:

    Another category, via Brian Posehn:

    “It’s not gay if you say “Slayer.” (Metal fans only.)

  19. Brainy Pirate says:

    I can’t find any reference to this survey outside this article.

  20. Apropos of nothing, I tend to prefer “GLBT” because it can be spoken as an acronym (something like “glibt”) but you can’t really do that with “LGBT”.

  21. LesMaggie says:

    male lions,
    male dolphins, etc., and then extrapolating their newfound knowledge to the human species.Girls! Free to join ______LesPassion.com______ create a free personals profile by simply answering a few easy questions, writing a paragraph or two about yourself and uploading a photo to compliment your personal ad. Once your profile has been created you can connect with other lesbian singles and create possible dating matches.

  22. PDQ says:

    Anyone who answers “Not Sure” to question 38 is most likely in the closet, but afraid that someone might discover their dirty little secret if they selected that answer. It’s like going to your first Pride parade and being paranoid of a TV camera catching you in the crowd and you winding up on the evening news. It’s a virtual impossibility, but I’m sure some people worry about it.

  23. cole3244 says:

    the gop’s positions on almost everything are hurting it unless you are a bigot or lacking in compassion and common sense.

  24. mike31c says:

    You got to give them bigots props for at least trying to look like less of an asshole right? :p

  25. Bill_Perdue says:

    They’re just trying to rebrand. They learned it from Obama and the Clintons.

  26. Papa Bear says:

    Anyone who thinks that this survey is anything other than window dressing (the GOP invented the totals before they started) is nuts…

  27. Tomorrow’s April 1st.

    Just sayin,,,,,

  28. Bill_Perdue says:

    The last closet is the political closet which is still full of members of GOProud, Stonewallers and LCR types.

    As long as they try to connect the interests and fortunes of the LGBT communities and our movement with the electoral interests of the twin parties of war, bigotry and union busting they are betraying our communities and making it more difficult to build alliances with the antiwar movement, the fight to free Brad Manning and the emergent union left.

    Democrats and Republicans have refused to pass an inclusive ENDA for decades and refuse to repeal DOMA.

    Pass ENDA. (ENDA is a step forward but what we really need is a federal Civil Rights Amendment that covers ourselves, people of color, women and imported workers and that addresses employment, housing and public access and that has robust penalties and jail time for racist, misogynist homohating and immigrant bashing criminals.)

    Repeal DOMA and pass a federal marriage Amendment outlawing state DOMA’s.

    Free Brad Manning and demand that the mad dog warmonger in the WH compensate him for being tortured, and award him the Medal of Honor and the Presidential Citizens Award http://boingboing.net/2013/03/

  29. Diane Turner says:

    Seeing that RNC survey makes me want give a sinister Jabba the Hutt laugh. :D Ho! Ho Ho Ho!

  30. FLL says:

    Another category: “National Geographic made me do it.” (Suddenly curious after having watched wilderness documentaries about female bonobo chimpanzees, male lions, male dolphins, etc.)

  31. Ninong says:

    You can’t fix stupid!

  32. Naja pallida says:

    I guess that depends if your manipulation is grounded in ignorance or not. While it is true that everyone seeking to garner favor manipulates their intended audience, there is a pretty distinct line to be drawn before you hit bigotry.

  33. LosGatosCA says:

    Thanks for this link – took the survey. For other I answered:

    “The Republican Party has a deeper issue than they can address with policy. The only value that seems to be a constant is dividing people: rich vs poor, white vs non-white, straight vs gay, religious vs regular people, gun owners vs regular people, Southerners vs non-Southerners, strange legitimate rape believers vs regular people, etc. The party is always using the ‘us against them’ theme and its too complicated to keep track of the sides. I don’t really need to keep a scorecard on who I’m hating on at the moment.”

  34. Naja pallida says:

    I object, there is no “other” selection. I feel discriminated against.

  35. BeccaM says:

    I found it hilarious that in their “does the GOP discriminate” list, they included “white” and “men” — and did so as two separate choices.

    I think I’m gonna have to take that survey, just so I can frack up their data sample. ;-)

  36. BeccaM says:

    I guess this is the GOP’s ‘minority outreach’ initiative: Fool minorities — including LGBTs, Latinos/Hispanics, African Americans, and women — as well as environmentalists and other activist groups into thinking the GOP actually gives a rat’s ass about us or our causes, and then spend all their time passing anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-environment, and anti-immigrant legislation anyway.

    Their sexual “orientation” list is missing a few options, although I see they helpfully included “in the closet,” which probably covers quite a few GOPers. Here’s some more:
    – In denial
    – On the Down-Low
    – Gay porn only
    – Wide-stance
    – Straight, but obsessed with The Gey
    – Strictly hetero, except for the rent-boys which don’t count
    – Gladiator fan
    – It’s not gay if you pay for it
    – Catholic clergy

  37. Randy says:

    In the closet? That’s hilarious! As if a conservative who is gay and closeted would actually admit that on a survey. But it’s so funny that they think it’s a large enough group that they have to include in the survey — I wonder if they will make the results public?

  38. karmanot says:

    They also control Obama it would seem.

  39. Indigo says:

    That survey is all over the place but I can see where the committee (!) that composed the survey might have thought they were setting up a Rorschach to help draw a profile of the responders. As it happens, the Rorschach works inversely, it’s a clear profile of two issues, Republican incompetence and Republican hot button prejudices. I have to admit I enjoyed the Lindsey Graham option though. Very funny.

  40. TheOriginalLiz says:

    So it’s a multiple choice?

  41. Gus Calvo says:

    Oh I said the same is quite repulsive and sad how they manipulate people and yet they see in the closet as a sexual orientation to hide their own anger and make other people feel like poop. I would say the same also, it can apply to a bunch of them.

  42. David says:

    It used to be GLBT but now it’s LGBT? Seriously? No. It is alternated randomly between GLBT and LGBT to acknowledge that both are equally important. (Not that the B and the T are any less important, but I think later to the party, but equally welcome.)

  43. S1AMER says:

    What’s amazing is how incredibly clumsy Republicans can be. If you’re not a straight, white, man, they almost need translators to try to talk to you.

    And. of course, all of this would be amusing, were they not in control of the House, Senate (de facto), and many state legislatures …

  44. Um, emotional manipulation isn’t a GOP thing, it’s a thing in every arena where anyone is trying to win public appeal. From advertising to politics to public relations campaigns, it’s everywhere. And believe me, Democrats use it every bit as much as Republicans. Agreeing with a particular brand of emotional manipulation doesn’t make it a different animal.

  45. clarknt67 says:

    This is a very interesting and revealing sample of question. I suppose they won’t release the results publicly. I suppose it’s possible, perhaps even likely the more liberal people in the party may leak them if it repudiates the parts of party they dislike, or who they feel are impeding victory with too strident conservatism.

  46. Phil Perspective says:

    Oh, and Dear RNC, “in the closet” is not a sexual orientation. Though I guess in Republican circles, maybe it is :)

    Al Billmon said on Twitter, it’s called the Lindsey Graham option. It could also apply to McConnell, Aaron Schock and a few others.

  47. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Most entertaining. How can we best manipulate you, emotionally, while we enact policies you don’t even pay attention to?

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