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04/19/2007


Study: LGBT People More Likely to Be Poor Than Heterosexuals

The conventional wisdom that gays are affluent is about to be bucked by a new study, NBC News reports:

HouseOn Monday, the Williams Institute will release a detailed study about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their real economic status. Drawing on recent data from four different sources, the report finds a sexual orientation “poverty gap”: LGBT Americans are more likely to be poor than heterosexuals, with African-Americans and women particularly vulnerable.

Says M.V. Lee Badgett, professor of economics and research director for The Williams Institute:

The findings also suggest that there are other kinds of things to prevent poverty that need to be addressed. For instance, we don’t have any protection against discrimination against LGBT people at the federal level. Only 21 states outlaw discrimination for sexual orientation and 16 states for gender identity. People who lose jobs because of discrimination are very likely to run into problems with poverty. If they don’t have incomes, they will be a whole lot poorer. So, nondiscrimination laws are very important.

Also, marriage is designed to give people a framework for living their economic lives together as well as their family lives, and when people in same-sex couples don’t have access to that framework, then they are automatically deprived of certain kinds of economic supports. Not having the right to marry makes people more economically vulnerable as well.

Read the full interview with Badgett here.


States with Highest Percentages of Gay Couples Raising Children Have Bans on Same-Sex Marriage: Infographic

Ssc

Some interesting statistics from The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

The L.A. Times reports on their findings:

But the reality for gay parents can be very different, said Gary J. Gates, the researcher behind the new estimates from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

For instance, "a big chunk of them are people who had children young, with opposite-sex partners, before they came out," Gates said. After coming out, they raised those children with a partner of the same sex, he explained.

That may be one reason that in some more conservative places not known for celebrating gays and lesbians, a striking percentage of same-sex couples are rearing children, Gates said. Among states, Mississippi has the highest percentage of gay or lesbian couples raising children — 26% — his analysis of census data found.

Though Salt Lake City has a high percentage of gay couples raising children, the actual number is still much smaller than in coastal hubs such as New York or Los Angeles, the data show. Besides the Utah capital, other large urban areas where gay couples are more likely to have children include Virginia Beach, Va., Detroit and Memphis, Tenn. — all places where more than a fifth of couples of the same sex are bringing up kids.


The County Where Gay People Don't Exist: VIDEO

Franklin

Franklin County, Mississippi is ranked as one of the least hospitable county for gay couples because none were counted in the U.S. Census, so CNN's John Sutter went there to find out if that was the case:

2_franklinI drove to this place of rolling hills and misty valleys with a few questions on my mind: Can there really be such a thing as an all-straight county? If so, what is it like to be someone who never has met a gay person? Do you just watch "Glee" and figure it out?

If there are gay people in Franklin County, what keeps them hidden?

I spent a few days searching for answers before I realized I was making the wrong assumptions: It's not that gay people here (or anywhere really) want to be in the closet, necessarily. It's the rest of the world that pushes them in and shuts the door.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The County Where Gay People Don't Exist: VIDEO" »


Gallup Breaks Down Percentage of LGBT People by State in Largest Study of its Kind: POLL

Gallup is out with new poll results today based on responses to the question, "Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?" The question was asked in tracking interviews during the second half of 2012 and is the largest single study of the LGBT population distribution on record.

GallupThe District of Columbia was found to have the largest percentage of LGBT-identifying residents by far with 10%, and North Dakota the least, with 1.7%.

They note:

As was outlined in the first report of these data in October, measuring sexual orientation and gender identity can be challenging because these concepts involve complex social and cultural patterns. There are a number of ways to measure lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientation, and transgender status. Gallup chose a broad measure of personal identification as LGBT because this grouping of four statuses is commonly used in current American discourse, and as a result has important cultural and political significance. One limitation of this approach is that it is not possible to separately consider differences among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, or transgender individuals. A second limitation is that this approach measures broad self-identity, and does not measure sexual or other behavior, either past or present.

Here are the results:

Gallup


Every Person Counted by the U.S. Census: MAP

Census

A fascinating image of human settlement patterns. Try zooming in here.

In First-Ever Count, Census Bureau Reports 131,729 Same-Sex Married Couples in the U.S.

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its first-ever estimated count of same-sex couples in the U.S.:

House The U.S. Census Bureau released today new statistics on same-sex married couple and unmarried partner households. According to revised estimates from the 2010 Census, there were 131,729 same-sex married couple households and 514,735 same-sex unmarried partner households in the United States.

The results of the 2010 Census revised estimates are closer to the results of the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) for same-sex married and unmarried partners. The 2010 ACS estimated same-sex married couples at 152,335 and same-sex unmarried partners at 440,989.

The new, preferred figures revise earlier estimates of same-sex unmarried partners released this summer from the 2010 Census Summary File 1 because Census Bureau staff discovered an inconsistency in the responses in the 2010 Census summary file statistics that artificially inflated the number of same-sex couples.  In addition, a breakdown of couples who reported as same-sex spouses is now available. The summary file counts originally showed that there were 349,377 married couple households and 552,620 same-sex unmarried partner households.

Statistics on same-sex couple households are derived from two questions on the census and ACS questionnaire: relationship to householder and the sex of each person. When data were captured for these two questions on the 2010 Census door-to-door form, the wrong box may have been checked for the sex of a small percentage of opposite-sex spouses and unmarried partners. Because the population of opposite-sex married couples is large and the population of same-sex married couples in particular is small, an error of this type artificially inflates the number of same-sex married partners.

After discovering the inconsistency, Census Bureau staff developed another set of estimates to provide a more accurate way to measure same-sex couple households. The revised figures were developed by using an index of names to re-estimate the number of same-sex married and unmarried partners by the sex commonly associated with the person's first name.

Census The Bureau adds: "The 2010 Census preferred estimates have been peer-reviewed by Gary Gates, a demographer with the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, by Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and by Megan Sweeney, professor of sociology at UCLA. These experts concluded the methodology behind these revised estimates was sound."

According to a separate release from the Williams Institute:

The Williams Institute conducted a survey of same-sex couples immediately after Census 2010 showing that most same-sex couples who described themselves as spouses are in legally recognized relationships, but not all are actually married. The analyses suggest that approximately 70% reported that they were legally married, and another 15% said that they were in civil unions or registered domestic partnerships. The remaining 15% indicated that while they were not actually in a legally recognized relationship, they considered themselves to be spouses.

Same-sex couples can marry in six states and the District of Columbia. Thirteen states offer non-marital forms of relationship recognition like civil unions or registered domestic partnership.

The Williams Institute estimates that about 50,000 same-sex couples have married in the following states, and in the following numbers: Massachusetts (2004-2009) 16,129; California (2008) 18,000; Connecticut (2008-2010) 6,752; Iowa (2009-2010) 2,099; Vermont (2009-2010) 1,425; New Hampshire (2010) 1,805; District of Columbia (2010) 3,500. Data on marriages in New York are not yet available. In addition, as many as 30,000 same-sex couples may have been married outside of the US. The Williams Institute also estimates that approximately 100,000 same-sex couples are in non-marital forms of relationship recognition like civil unions and registered domestic partnerships.


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