The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

June 27, 2008

The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

Contents
Contributors ..................................................................................................................................... ii About the Survey ............................................................................................................................. 1 Timeline ....................................................................................................................................... 1 Sample Selection ......................................................................................................................... 1 Format ......................................................................................................................................... 1 Unique Responses ....................................................................................................................... 2 Survey Results.................................................................................................................................. 3 Respondents ................................................................................................................................ 3 Health Care .................................................................................................................................. 3 Children ....................................................................................................................................... 4 Finances ....................................................................................................................................... 4 End of Life Issues ......................................................................................................................... 5 Importance of Legal Recognition................................................................................................. 5 Communication Effectiveness ..................................................................................................... 5 Uniqueness of Responses ............................................................................................................ 6 Summary of Responses ................................................................................................................... 7 General ........................................................................................................................................ 7 Health Care ................................................................................................................................ 13 Children ..................................................................................................................................... 15 Finances ..................................................................................................................................... 18 End of Life .................................................................................................................................. 20 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................. 22

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

Contributors
David Shafer, Iowa LGBT Family Survey Project Coordinator Dr. Peggy Fitch, Professor of Psychology, Central College Trent Griggs, student, Central College Dr. Richard W. McCarty, doctoral graduate, Religious Studies, The University of Iowa

One Iowa Education Fund www.one-iowa.org One Iowa Education Fund is dedicated to supporting full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals living in Iowa through grassroots efforts and education. Carolyn Jenison, Executive Director Brad Clark, Director of Policy and Education Jessica Brackett Paul Whannel

Lambda Legal www.lambdalegal.org Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. Hector Vargas, Deputy Director of Education & Public Affairs Andrea Fehring, Marriage Equality Educator

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

About the Survey
The Iowa LGBT Family Survey was developed to obtain information about the experiences of individuals in same-sex relationships and their families in Iowa. The survey was sponsored by One Iowa Education Fund, with additional technical support and consultation provided by Iowa volunteers and staff from Lambda Legal.

Timeline
Initial development of the survey began on July 7, 2007, and was completed on October 2, 2007. Testing with a limited user group occurred from October 3, 2007, until October 10, 2007. The survey was open to respondents for approximately seven weeks, from October 11, 2007 (“National Coming Out Day”), until November 30, 2007.

Sample Selection
Potential respondents were invited to participate through:       E-mail messages sent by One Iowa Education Fund E-mail messages sent by partner organizations to their membership on behalf of One Iowa Education Fund E-mail messages sent or forwarded by interested individuals to their friends, family, and associates Announcements posted on popular web sites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace) A postcard sent by One Iowa Education Fund to addresses on their postal mailing list Local print and television news coverage

Format
The survey was conducted online using free, open source software (LimeSurvey, available at www.limesurvey.org). Respondents could access the survey at either of the following addresses: http://www.iowafamilysurvey.org http://www.iowafamilysurvey.com The survey began with the following introduction: “Welcome to the Iowa LGBT Family Survey. This survey is designed primarily to obtain information about how individuals in same-sex relationships and their families are treated in Iowa, although everyone may complete the survey. We encourage everyone, to the extent that the provided answers don't fully cover your experiences, to use the narrative sections in the survey to provide further insight on how your relationships are treated.

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey “We encourage you to share this survey with any same-sex couples and individuals in same-sex relationships you know in Iowa. Please answer honestly and completely, your responses are confidential. “The survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.” Subsequent pages contained 56 questions in five categories: demographic and general information, health care, children, finances, and end of life issues. The questions were distributed across six pages, with a graphical bar at the bottom of each page to indicate the respondent’s progress. All questions in the survey were optional, and some questions were presented only if applicable based on the respondent’s answers to earlier questions.

Unique Responses
Unique responses were encouraged through the use of Internet web browser tokens (“cookies”). Additionally, each respondent’s Internet address (“IP address”) was recorded to detect duplicate responses.

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

Survey Results
Respondents
A total of 721 responses were received to the survey. Respondents are predominantly from Iowa, and represent 52 of Iowa’s 99 counties. Among all respondents, 96% currently live in Iowa. Of those living in Iowa, 31% are from Polk County, 24% from Johnson County, and 9% from Linn County, with the remainder from 49 other counties (or no county specified). Of all respondents, 82% had lived in Iowa for more than 10 years, and 94% are registered to vote in Iowa. The ages of respondents varied. Among respondents who indicated their age, the average age is 39.9, with a standard deviation of 13, and minimum and maximum ages of 16 and 77, respectively. Respondents are predominantly white — 91% indicated their race/national origin is “White, not of Hispanic origin.” Respondents were asked to indicate their self-identified gender using six options: female, FTM (female-to-male), male, MTF (male-to-female), transgender, or other. Among all respondents, 59% identify only as female, 38% only as male, and the remainder indicated various other combinations of one or more gender identities (or did not indicate any gender identity). With regard to sexual orientation, respondents identified primarily as gay or lesbian. Among all respondents:        41% identify as lesbian, 33% identify as gay, 14% identify as straight, 9% identify as bisexual, 2% identify as queer, 1% did not indicate a sexual orientation, and the remainder identified as other

Among all respondents, 82% have ever been in a same-sex relationship. Of those who have ever been in a same-sex relationship, 77% are currently in a same-sex relationship.

Health Care
Respondents were divided when asked whether their employer offers health care benefits for same-sex partners. Among all respondents, 39% indicated their employer does offer benefits, while 37% indicated their employer does not. An additional 15% were unsure whether their employer offers health care benefits for same sex partners. Among respondents who have ever been in a same-sex relationship: 3

The Iowa LGBT Family Survey     33% reported they or their partner have gone without health care because one person was not covered by the other’s health care insurance 16% reported they or their partner have been unable to take time off from work to care for the other partner, or received disciplinary action for doing so 8% have been denied the right to visit their partner or accompany their partner while receiving medical care 7% have been denied the right to make important medical decisions on their partner’s behalf

Children
Among all respondents, 31% have children with their partner. Of those respondents:    62% reported both partners are not recognized as the legal parents of all their children 59% have one or more children under the age of 18 living with them and their partner 19% have taken out additional life insurance policies to compensate for their children not being entitled to Federal and other death benefits normally provided to children under 18, at an average cost of $115 per month 15% reported their child’s school does not recognize both partners as their child’s parents 13% reported their child, or their partner’s child, has been denied access to health care insurance because the parent providing insurance was not a legal guardian 12% reported they or their partner have been unable to take time off from work to care for their child, or received disciplinary action for doing so, because they were not considered a legal parent 8% reported they, or their partner, have been denied access to a sick child because they weren’t considered a legal parent to that child 6% reported their child has been denied health care because the parent accompanying the child was not considered a legal parent

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Among respondents who reported that both partners were not recognized as the legal parents of all their children, 13% indicated the cost of adoption had prevented both partners from becoming legal parents to their children, while 17% indicated fear of anti-gay bias in the adoption process had prevented the same.

Finances
Among respondents who have ever been in a same-sex relationship:    28% have taken steps to reduce financial penalties regarding insurance on shared property (e.g., transferred property, changed insurance carriers, etc.) 19% have ever been financially penalized due to inability to share credit history 36% have been financially penalized in other ways

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey Among respondents currently in a same-sex relationship, 76% share their finances with those of their partner. Among respondents with shared finances:     79% hold jointly-owned property (cars, real estate, etc.) 73% hold shared bank accounts 21% hold shared mutual funds or retirement accounts 14% hold jointly-owned stocks

End of Life Issues
Among respondents who have ever been in a same-sex relationship:      46% have prepared a durable power of attorney 45% have prepared living wills 43% have prepared wills 65% reported they or their partner had designated one another as beneficiaries on a life insurance or other insurance policy, or in other documents, such as a retirement plan 4% (24 respondents) had suffered the death of a partner

Among respondents who had suffered the death of a partner:   25% (6 respondents) were denied the right to make funeral or burial decisions 33% (8 respondents) were hindered or prevented from receiving inheritance from their partner’s estate

Importance of Legal Recognition
In response to the statement “Legal recognition of same-sex relationships will be an important factor in deciding where I will live in the future,” 59% of respondents indicated they agreed or strongly agreed. Respondents were asked to rank the importance of five factors in determining where they will live in the future. When selecting the factor most important to them, respondents chose:      Employment opportunities (34%) Proximity to family and friends (26%) Protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation (14%) Legal recognition of same-sex relationships (12%) Cost of living (11%)

Communication Effectiveness
Electronic mail generated the most responses to the survey. Asked how they learned about the survey, respondents indicated:   E-mail sent directly by One Iowa Education Fund (35%) E-mail sent or forwarded by someone else (31%) 5

The Iowa LGBT Family Survey     Postcard or other postal mailing from One Iowa Education Fund (13%) E-mail list (9%) One Iowa Education Fund web site, other web site, or print/electronic publication (6%) Other (5%)

Additionally, 52% of respondents indicated they were willing to be contacted regarding LGBT issues or any of the answers they provided.

Uniqueness of Responses
Responses appear to be unique. Of the 721 responses received, 577 originated from unique IP addresses. The remaining 144 responses were predominantly from IP addresses representing large Internet service providers (e.g., AOL) and corporations using Internet proxies, which cause users to appear with a single IP address.

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

Summary of Responses
A total of 721 responses were received to the survey. All questions were optional (nonresponses are indicated as “No answer”). Additionally, some questions were presented only if relevant based on a respondent’s answers to earlier questions (dependencies indicated in parentheses).

General
1. Do you currently live in Iowa? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 689 26 6 721 % 96% 4% 1%

2. (If “Yes” to question 1) In what county do you live?
Response BENTON BLACK HAWK BOONE BREMER BUCHANAN BUENA VISTA CEDAR CERRO GORDO CLARKE CLAY CLAYTON CLINTON DALLAS DELAWARE DES MOINES DICKINSON DUBUQUE FREMONT HAMILTON HARDIN HENRY IOWA JACKSON JASPER JEFFERSON JOHNSON JONES LEE Count 3 26 1 4 2 1 1 15 1 1 3 3 9 1 12 6 17 1 1 2 1 2 2 7 1 166 1 1 % 0% 4% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 2% 1% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 24% 0% 0% Response LINN LYON MADISON MAHASKA MARION MARSHALL MITCHELL MONTGOMERY MUSCATINE OSCEOLA POLK POTTAWATTAMIE POWESHIEK SCOTT STORY UNION WAPELLO WARREN WASHINGTON WEBSTER WINNESHIEK WOODBURY WORTH WRIGHT No answer Total Count 63 1 3 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 217 6 3 24 34 1 1 12 2 2 1 10 1 2 4 689 % 9% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 31% 1% 0% 3% 5% 0% 0% 2% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0% 0%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

3. Whether you live in Iowa now or have lived in Iowa in the past, how many years in total have you lived in Iowa? Response Less than 1 year 1 to 5 years 5 to 10 years More than 10 years No answer Total 4. Are you registered to vote in Iowa? Response Yes No No answer Total 5. What is your age? Sample Statistic Count Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Deviation 6. What is your race/national origin? Response African-American or Black, not of Hispanic Origin American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian or Pacific Islander Latino or Hispanic Mixed Race Other White, not of Hispanic Origin No answer Total Count 9 4 6 17 13 5 655 12 721 % 1% 0% 1% 2% 2% 1% 91% 2% Value 719 16 77 39.9 13 Count 677 37 7 721 % 94% 5% 1% Count 11 55 52 588 15 721 % 2% 8% 7% 82% 2%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 7. What is your self-identified gender? (Select all that apply) Female No No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Total FTM No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Male No No No No Yes No No Yes No No No MTF No No No Yes No No No No No No No Transgender No No Yes No No No Yes Yes No No Yes Other No Yes No No No Yes No No No Yes No Count 4 2 6 3 272 1 1 1 428 2 1 721 % 0% 0% 1% 0% 38% 0% 0% 0% 59% 0% 0%

8. What is your self-identified sexual orientation? Response Bisexual Gay Lesbian Other Queer Straight No answer Total Count 68 235 295 3 14 98 8 721 % 9% 33% 41% 0% 2% 14% 1%

9. Which of the following groups know your sexual orientation? (Select all that apply) Responses below are grouped according to the response to question 8, “What is your selfidentified sexual orientation?” (in parentheses). (All) Yes Family 669 Friends 700 Colleagues 597 Faith Leader (if applicable) 312 Health Care Provider 530 (Straight) Yes No 96 2 95 3 91 7 55 43 85 13 (Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Queer, or Other) Yes No 573 44 605 10 506 109 257 358 445 170

No 46 13 116 401 183

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 10. If your sexual orientation is known to others, at what age did you first disclose it? The responses to question 10 summarized below are limited to those respondents who identified as bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer or other in response to question 8. Sample Statistic Count Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Deviation 11. Have you ever been in a same-sex relationship? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 590 121 10 721 % 82% 17% 1% Value 595 12 73 25.3 9.4

12. (If “Yes” to question 11) Are you currently in a same-sex relationship? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 452 128 10 590 % 77% 22% 2%

13. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you had a commitment ceremony and/or religious ceremony to recognize your same-sex relationship? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 137 436 17 590 % 23% 74% 3%

14. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you entered into a domestic partnership, civil union, or civil marriage outside of Iowa with your same-sex partner? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 57 514 19 590 % 10% 87% 3%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 15. What is your religious affiliation? Response Buddhism Christianity – Catholic Christianity – Non-denominational Christianity – Protestant Islam Judaism Unitarian Universalist Wiccan/Pagan/Neo-Pagan None Other No answer Total Count 10 70 102 191 1 14 63 34 154 42 40 721 % 1% 10% 14% 26% 0% 2% 9% 5% 21% 6% 6%

16. In an average year, how many times do you attend religious services? Response 0 times 1-2 times 3-11 times 12-24 times (about 1-2 times per month) 25-52 times (about 3-4 times per month) More than 52 times (more than once per week) No answer Total 17. How many people are in your household? Response 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 No answer Total Count 129 361 102 79 24 5 5 3 1 12 709 % 18% 50% 14% 11% 3% 1% 1% 0% 0% 2% Count 190 143 130 85 120 25 28 721 % 26% 20% 18% 12% 17% 3% 4%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 18. What is the highest level of education you have attained to date? Response High school graduate or less Some college, no degree Associate’s degree Bachelor’s degree Master’s degree Doctoral degree Professional degree No answer Total Count 29 142 66 237 148 60 37 2 721 % 4% 20% 9% 33% 21% 8% 5% 0%

19. Which of the following best describes your present employment status? Response Disabled/unable to work Employed full-time Employed part-time Retired Stay-at-home parent Student Unemployed, not seeking employment Unemployed, seeking employment No answer Total Count 12 513 53 33 7 75 1 19 8 713 % 2% 71% 7% 5% 1% 10% 0% 3% 1%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

Health Care
20. Does your employer offer health care benefits for same-sex partners? Response Yes No Unsure No answer Total Count 283 267 111 60 721 % 39% 37% 15% 8%

21. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you ever been denied the right to visit your partner in a hospital or accompany your partner while receiving medical care? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 50 352 175 13 590 % 8% 61% 30% 2%

22. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you ever been denied the right to make important medical decisions on your partner’s behalf? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 41 256 272 21 590 % 7% 43% 46% 4%

23. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you or your partner ever gone without health care because one person was not covered by the other's health care insurance? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 193 255 130 12 590 % 33% 43% 22% 2%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 24. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you or your partner ever been unable to take time off from your job to care for the other partner, or received disciplinary action for doing so? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 93 293 191 13 590 % 16% 50% 32% 2%

25. Do you have any other comments or experiences to share regarding health care? Survey comments appear in a separate document.

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

Children
26. Do you and your partner have children? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 226 375 92 28 721 % 31% 52% 13% 4%

27. (If “Yes” to question 26) How many children under the age of 18 live with you and your partner? Response 0 1 2 3 4 5 No answer Total Count 90 56 61 10 4 3 2 226 % 40% 25% 27% 4% 2% 1% 1%

28. (If “Yes” to question 26) Are both you and your partner the legal parents to all of your children? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 82 140 4 226 % 36% 62% 2%

29. (If “No” to question 28) Has the cost of adoption prevented you or your partner from both becoming legal parents to your children? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 18 56 63 3 140 % 13% 40% 45% 2%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 30. (If “No” to question 28) Has fear of anti-gay bias in the adoption process prevented you or your partner from both becoming legal parents to your children? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 24 56 56 4 140 % 17% 40% 40% 3%

31. (If “Yes” to question 26) Have you or your partner taken out additional life insurance policies to make up for your children not being entitled to Federal and other death benefits provided to children under 18? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 44 146 36 226 % 19% 65% 16%

32. (If “Yes” to question 31) About how much do you spend each month to pay for those policies (in dollars)? Sample Statistic Count Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Deviation Value 43 $0 $400 $115 105

33. (If “Yes” to question 26) Does/did your child's school recognize both you and your partner as your child's parents? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 113 33 70 10 226 % 50% 15% 31% 4%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 34. (If “Yes” to question 26) Has your child, or your partner's child, been denied access to health care insurance because the parent providing insurance was not a legal guardian? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 29 96 92 9 226 % 13% 42% 41% 4%

35. (If “Yes” to question 26) Have you or your partner ever been denied access to a sick child because you weren't considered a legal parent to that child? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 19 115 82 10 226 % 8% 51% 36% 4%

36. (If “Yes” to question 26) Has your child ever been denied health care because the parent accompanying the child was not considered a legal parent? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 13 121 84 8 226 % 6% 54% 37% 4%

37. (If “Yes” to question 26) Have you or your partner ever been unable to take time off from your job to care for a child, or received disciplinary action for doing so, because you were not considered a legal parent? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 28 114 77 7 226 % 12% 50% 34% 3%

38. Do you have any other comments or experiences to share regarding children? Survey comments appear in a separate document.

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

Finances
39. What is your best estimate of your household's total combined annual income, before taxes? Response Under $25,000 $25,000 to $49,000 $50,000 to $74,000 $75,000 to $99,000 $100,000 to $124,000 $125,000 to $149,000 $150,000 to $174,000 $175,000 to $199,000 $200,000 or above No answer Total Count 80 157 146 124 87 36 15 11 14 51 721 % 11% 22% 20% 17% 12% 5% 2% 2% 2% 7%

40. (If “Yes” to question 12) Are your finances shared with those of your partner? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 343 89 20 452 % 76% 20% 4%

41. (If “Yes” to question 40) Do you have any of the following with your partner? Category Jointly-owned property (cars, real estate, etc.) Shared bank accounts Shared mutual funds or retirement accounts Jointly-owned stocks Yes 270 252 73 48 % 79% 73% 21% 14% No 73 91 270 295 % 21% 26% 79% 86% Total 343 343 343 343

42. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you taken steps to reduce financial penalties regarding insurance on shared property (e.g., transferred property, changed insurance carriers, etc.)? Response Yes No Not applicable No answer Total Count 167 239 158 26 590 % 28% 41% 27% 4%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 43. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you or your partner ever been financially penalized due to inability to share credit history? Response Yes No Unsure No answer Total Count 113 304 115 58 590 % 19% 52% 19% 10%

44. (If “Yes” to question 11) Has your family ever been financially penalized in other ways? Response Yes No Unsure No answer Total Count 210 230 104 46 590 % 36% 39% 17% 8%

45. Do you have any other comments or experiences to share regarding financial penalties for same-sex couples? Survey comments appear in a separate document.

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

End of Life
46. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you or your partner prepared any of the following documents? Category Durable power of attorney Living wills Wills Yes 270 266 256 % 46% 45% 43% No 320 324 334 % 54% 55% 57% Total 590 590 590

47. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you or your partner designated one another as beneficiaries on a life insurance or other insurance policy, or in other documents, such as a retirement plan? Response Yes No Unsure No answer Total Count 384 140 9 57 590 % 65% 24% 2% 10%

48. (If “Yes” to question 11) Have you at any time suffered the death of a partner? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 24 545 21 590 % 4% 92% 4%

49. (If “Yes” to question 48) Were you denied the right to make funeral or burial decisions? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 6 13 5 24 % 25% 54% 21%

50. (If “Yes” to question 48) Were you hindered or prevented from receiving inheritance from your partner's estate? Response Yes No No answer Total Count 8 8 8 24 % 33% 33% 33%

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 51. Do you have any other comments or experiences to share regarding end of life issues? Survey comments appear in a separate document.

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey

Conclusion
52. "Legal recognition of same-sex relationships will be an important factor in deciding where I will live in the future." Response Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree No answer Total Count 202 226 145 38 32 78 721 % 28% 31% 20% 5% 4% 11%

53. Please rank the following factors based on their importance in deciding where you will live in the future. Category Cost of living Employment opportunities Legal recognition of same-sex relationships Protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation Proximity to family and friends No answer Total 54. How did you learn about this survey? Response E-mail sent directly by One Iowa E-mail list E-mail sent or forwarded by someone else One Iowa web site (www.one-iowa.org) Other web site Postcard or other postal mailing from One Iowa Print or electronic publication Other No answer Total Count 254 66 221 11 12 91 16 38 12 721 % 35% 9% 31% 2% 2% 13% 2% 5% 2% Ranking 1 81 249 83 100 189 19 721 Ranking 2 139 175 92 171 124 20 721 Ranking 3 150 122 128 174 124 23 721 Ranking 4 147 77 170 196 101 30 721 Ranking 5 177 74 219 54 163 34 721

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The Iowa LGBT Family Survey 55. Are you willing to be contacted regarding LGBT issues or any of the answers you have provided? Response Yes No No answer Total 56. Contact Information Responses to this question are confidential. Count 372 217 132 721 % 52% 30% 18%

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