Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who Are Those Darn Same-Sex Couples, Anyway?

Unfortunately, every time we go to the ballot over marriage equality, we lose (except for Arizona, but then they turned around and "corrected" that in no time flat). The theory goes that it's easy for voters to vote against us because they don't know us - we're a faceless group, and voting against our rights has no consequences for them.

But we are here. We exist. We live. We work. We commute. We pick up our kids from school. We go grocery shopping and cook. We go to church or synagogue. We go to the movies. We go to school. But where exactly do we do this? And who exactly are those "couples"?

Culling information from the Williams Institute study, Same-Sex Spouses and Unmarried Partners in the American Community Survey, 2008, the Economist has created a map of the country indicating where exactly same-sex couples live. (Notice that this represents couples, not singles.)

"Those states where gay marriage is legal or where same-sex partnerships are recognised have a higher proportion of same-sex couples than the national average of 4.7," says the Economist. 'The District of Columbia is home to most gay households with over 14 for every 1,000."

Embedded below is the Williams Institute's full survey. A few interesting points:
  • One in four same-sex couples designated each other as spouses (roughly 150,000 couples); those who did not differed from those who did (those who did were more likely female or more likely raising children)
  • Same-sex couples were identified in every state, more in states with some form of legal recognition for these couples.
  • Same-sex and different-sex spouses shared many characteristics, such as education, income, and home ownership, but differ on child rearing and employment

Same-Sex Couples and Unmarried Partners in the American Community Survey

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