Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two more vote updates and great news

It appears that Sheppards & Lapsley presbytery, in central Alabama, has flipped from a previously strong anti-equality vote to a YES on 08-B vote this year. We also have a vote count from Western Colorado with a strong positive trend.

Sheppards & Lapsley
2001-2 01-A: 59 yes, 109 no --> 35.1% YES
2009 08-B: 77 yes, 75 no --> 50.7% YES

Coming out of nowhere (i.e. not on my radar) with nearly a 16% pro-equality shift to flip to pro-equality by 2 votes, Sheppards & Lapsley suggests that this is going to be a very interesting few months of voting. I'd be happy to discover that my more conservative speculations about which presbyteries are likely to flip pro-equality could be completely wrong (in a good way).

My presbytery map suggests that Sheppards & Lapsley includes both the cities of Birmingham and Montgomery, both of course well known historically for events that took place there during the civil rights movement.

If there are More Light supporters in this presbytery who'd be interested in having a phone conversation, I'd love to do a phone interview with you to understand how you did it. (You can email me at hahne at io dot com). There could be ramifications for the larger LGBT equality movement. If we can understand what wins hearts, minds, and votes in central Alabama by 16% in 7 years, it could help to guide strategy within equality organizations well beyond the PCUSA LGBT equality movement.

Western Colorado
2001-2 01-A: 6 yes, 33 no --> 15% YES
2009 08-B: 11 yes, 23 no --> 32% YES

This is an excellent (17%) pro-equality shift from Western Colorado, and it breaks in a positive way with the general trend that "presbyteries under 30% previous equality support are shifting anti-LGBT in their votes". In some sense we could say this vote "cancels out" the disappointment from Glacier Presbytery a few days ago, which had a 14% anti-equality shift.