I'm confused. Are you talking about people who are unwilling to publicly admit to being gay or people who won't even say it on a confidential survey? I thought it was the latter we were talking about.
I am saying that it is likely that both of the above statements are true for some people.
If the goal is to understand a demographic - homosexual men and women - for political messaging, then the ones who are in denial and do not think of themselves as gay are not your target audience and should not be counted. While they may sometimes engage in homosexual acts, they are not members of the gay community and not part of this demographic.
I agree with this statement.
Closet gays - those who think of them selves as gay and may secretly "indulge" but publicly portray themselves as straight - may be part of that demographic and are not being "written off" - at least, not by me. They would have an opportunity to be privately and confidentially counted. If they chose to falsely answer, they are writing themselves off and are effectively excluding themselves from the community.
Again, you bring up some very good points, and for purposes of demographic marketing you are mostly correct, although I would argue that gay-targeted marketing would most likely appeal to both in and out-of-closet gays.
But demographics, shmemographics! The only thing I'm trying to address is that there are various groups loudly proclaiming a specific
percentage (the numbers skew high or low, usually depending on the political persuasion of the group) of the population is gay, when it seems impossible to determine a reliable number given today's societal climate. Maybe I'm just uber paranoid, but if I was desperate to keep a secret that I feared would ruin my life if known, I would never own up to it. Even in a "private and confidential" survey. And I'm not even gay, but I can imagine how utterly difficult it must be to live with that pressure.
But regardless of what the actual
numbers might be, gays should have equal rights, including the right to marry, simply because it is the right thing to do. It shouldn't matter that they have a strong or weak voting block, or a powerful presence in Washington, or whatever (and I don't mean to imply that you disagree, Tape). No one should have to live in fear because of who they love.