Grindr is, in Wikipedia‘s words, ” a geosocial networking application geared towards gay, bisexual, and bi-curious men” that allows users to locate potential partners in the immediate vicinity using their smartphones.
It’s basically a hookup enabler, but as gay rights are a hot-button issue in United States politics. With the Presidential election coming up in a few weeks, the people behind Grindr have decided to use their app for political advocacy.
Today Grindr officially announces its plan to mobilize gay men as a political bloc in the 2012 elections by delivering geo-targeted messages about equality issues to its 1.5 million U.S. users — and to call those users to action. Grindr for Equality, a social effort developed by Grindr, is this call to action, informing gay men in the United States about the issues, urging them to vote for candidates based on those issues, and getting out their vote in order to have a decisive impact on this upcoming election.
Grindr for Equality will work to enhance GLBT rights this election season by doing the following:
- Creating awareness regarding GLBT equality issues being voted on in November;
- Encouraging Grindr users to register to vote, providing them with sources that’ll show them nearby poll locations, and prompting them to vote when the time comes; and
- Promoting knowledge of those presidential candidates and state and local candidates who support GLBT initiatives.
Grindr for Equality is about rallying Grindr’s mobile user base of gay men into a nationwide force of informed citizens who vote with equality as their unified goal. Grindr for Equality will utilize Grindr’s geo-location capabilities to deliver targeted in-app messages that spur users into action and produce noticeable change in November’s elections.
Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO of Grindr, hopes this app will be useful long after the Presidential election, to mobilize gay voters at all levels of government. “All elections are won or lost on the local level. There is no election or town too small to have a gay voice. We’ll use Grindr to unite gay men across the country, make that voice grow louder and have a nationwide impact.”
Huffington Post adds:
Details of how “Grindr for Equality” will exactly operate were scarce, but the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android and BlackBerry app will reportedly alert Minnesota-based users to their state’s proposed constitutional ban on marriage equality while encouraging them to contact their local lawmakers. In addition, there are plans to assist Ohio and North Carolina advocates who are working to lift their states’ bans on same-sex marriage, according to the app’s official site.
Officials also ask that individuals email them [email@example.com] with suggestions on local issues, including a brief description of how the issue relaties to the LGBT community.
Mobilizing niche voters with a mobile app? We must truly be living in the future.