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LGBT survey shows progress being made in Colorado -- but there's still a ways to go

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The results of a recent statewide poll of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Coloradans by the new gay-rights organization One Colorado are in -- and they make for some interesting reading.

For example, only 50 percent of LGBT Coloradans are out about their sexuality to extended family members.

Here are some additional bullets:

  • 57 percent report being harassed on the street within the past year. But of those who were abused, 87 percent did not report verbal abuse and 65 percent did not report physical abuse. Safety is clearly an important issue: Respondents ranked ensuring safe schools for LGBT youth their number-one priority.
    • 53 percent live with a partner, and 22 percent are parents.

    • 27 percent of gay men and lesbians report employment discrimination.Transgender folks report having a hard time finding good-paying jobs, and 25 percent earn less than $10,000 a year.

    • 15 percent have no health insurance. But of those insured, 42 percent say their employer also offers benefits to their partner.

    • Of those who attend religious services, 31 percent say their congregation isn't inclusive.

    One Colorado surveyed more than 4,500 LGBT Coloradans; 4,619 responded to the online survey in January and February, and the organization distributed printed surveys as well. It also commissioned two research firms to survey 1,000 Coloradans about gay-rights issues. Among the results:

    • 70 percent of Coloradans know at least one gay or lesbian person.

    • 84 percent support same-sex couples making end-of-life decisions for one another.

    • 72 percent support the right for same-sex couples to be covered by their partner's health insurance.

    • 64 percent support same-sex couples enjoying the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples.

    • 56 percent support the right for same-sex couples to adopt children.

    In an e-mail, One Colorado board president Bobby Clark called the results "groundbreaking" and pointed out that more Coloradans appear to support LGBT rights than ever before. But, he wrote, there's still a ways to go. "While Colorado has made progress in recent years, the survey shows there is much work still to be done," he wrote. "One Colorado can now utilize the data to drive activity that is reflective of the people, increasing respect and equality."

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