LONDON, U.K. — Stretching through 14 countries across Latin America and Europe, the world’s largest gay market research study ever to be undertaken has officially launched. With an overall population of three-quarters of a billion, the involved nations are home to more than 35 million lesbian and gay people living diverse lives.

The countries being surveyed in the 2010 Out Now Global LGBT Market Study are: (in Latin America) Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay; and (in Europe) France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.

The study will cover many areas including consumer habits, incomes, education levels, media usage, parenting, relationships, travel, employment, discrimination, equality concerns, aspirations and more.

The study is being spearheaded by Out Now, a company that has been involved in lesbian and gay marketing research, corporate strategy and LGBT community development since its founding in Australia in 1992. Today, the agency has grown to include specialist LGBT consultants working in markets across the world.

The groundbreaking project has already lured corporate underwriters. The European study is sponsored by Berlin Tourism Marketing while the Latin American research is sponsored by Delta Air Lines in conjunction with GNETWORK360, the region’s leading LGBT networking organization.

Out Now’s CEO, Ian Johnson, said this research was blazing new trails in the understanding of lesbian and gay people.

“We are seeing a lot of interest in this study due to its groundbreaking nature — and its emphasis on understanding the tremendous diversity of LGBT people’s lives all across this vast region,” Johnson said. “We are pleased to help gay community groups, government offices, NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and companies to better understand — and meet — the needs of LGBT people.”

Johnson added, “It is so valuable to focus on the millions of LGBT people living outside of North America. This is the largest-ever European gay and lesbian market study and the first-ever Latin American LGBT study.

According to Out Now’s U.K. consultant, Darren Cooper, the new research has generated interest from companies wanting to better understand gay and lesbian consumers.

“With more and more destinations and companies looking to target LGBT consumers, the need for detailed research data has never been greater,” Cooper said. “By better understanding this important market, companies will discover their competitive edge, enabling them to execute marketing strategies in far more effective ways. We are confident that Out Now’s new global LGBT market study will be their key to gaining this advantage.”

The landmark study is underway now until the end of May. Results will be released soon after.

> In late February, the highest-ranking leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines appeared before Congress and testified in support of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey; Secretary of the Army John McHugh; Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz; Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead; Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Conway made their remarks while testifying before the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees regarding defense authorization requests for Fiscal Year 2011.

> Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has announced that after analyzing Maryland’s marriage comity laws, the state may extend marriage rights to same-sex couples married out of jurisdiction even though Maryland does not itself offer same-sex marriage. He said the state may recognize these marriages through legislation enacted by the Maryland General Assembly, through a decision of the Court of Appeals, or implement them piecemeal by state agencies.

> Charlotte, N.C.-based Campus Pride has recognized George Aumoithe, Jr. of Bowdoin College (Class of 2011) and Stephen Lucas from Pennsylvania State University (Class of 2010) with the 2010 National Voice & Action Leadership Award. The annual honorary recognition is the only one of its kind focused nationally on LGBT and ally college students. Every year the award is bestowed upon young adults who have made extraordinary contributions as LGBT and ally leaders at colleges and universities across the United States.

> “Concentrated Juice: Gay Pulp 1935-1969,” a new exhibition organized by Stonewall Library & Archives, is currently on view in the Charles L. Ross Gallery of the Stonewall Museum in Fort Lauderdale. In the late 1930s, publishers began issuing inexpensive pulp paperbacks. By the mid 1940s, genre novels — westerns, mysteries, crime, romance — appeared as original paperbacks. The paper used for these inexpensive books was unrefined, the pulp of the wood not processed into a sleek surface. Pulp fiction was born. It was not long before paperbacks began to explore new subjects that riled society — such as homosexuality. This exhibition is drawn entirely from the books of this genre in the Stonewall Archives.

> The Matthew Shepard Foundation has recognized the International Court System with an “Essential Piece” Award, citing the courts’ outstanding spirit of generosity and activism during 45 years of community service activity. The International Court System, a network of social and community-service organizations first established in 1965 in San Francisco, received the award from Foundation staff Feb. 13 at the President’s Ball held by the Imperial Sovereign Court of Seattle & the Olympic and Rainier Empire. The court system has raised more than $100,000 for the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

> Kristin Davis, who as the Manhattan Madam supplied escorts for Eliot Spitzer when he was N.Y. Attorney General and Governor, has announced her bid for governor as an advocate of gay marriage in New York State. “The Gay Marriage issue is about equality. All New Yorkers must have the right to marry the person of their choice. Anything less than this is unconstitutional,” she recently wrote on her blog. Davis hopes to petition her way onto the ballot, running on a platform that in addition to gay marriage includes legalization, regulation and taxation of prostitution and marijuana. : :

This article was published in the March 6—March 19 print edition.

David Stout

David Stout is the associate editor of QNotes. He can be reached at