BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
About three-quarters of LGBT voters in Florida supported President Barack Obama on Election Day, according to an analysis from Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar Gary J. Gates.
An "analysis of preliminary returns from Florida show that the 420,000 total LGBT votes cast in the state may be a deciding factor in President Obama’s projected lead in Florida," according to a Williams Institute email sent Friday. "Though final results aren’t yet known, an estimated 300,000 LGBT Floridians voted for the president—a margin many times larger than the current vote difference between the two candidates."
According to Gates, 73 percent of LGBT voters in Florida supported Obama; 26 percent Romney.
Nationally, the gap was slightly bigger, with 76 percent of LGBT voters supporting Obama and 22 percent Romney.
"The president has shown over the first four years the strongest commitment to equality," said C.J. Ortuño, executive director of SAVE Dade. "He clearly connects civil rights -- human rights -- to LGBT rights. They're one in the same to him."
That led to "a high level of loyalty and a sense of obligation to support the president because of his values," Ortuño said.
"We also connected with the president's values. Using the president's values allowed us to speak to the LGBT community in Florida and that's how we got them to come out," he said. "That translates into phone banking, knocking on doors and writing checks."