According to an article by Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times, from a couple of days ago, Census Bureau numbers have been crunched and some surprising facts have been generated. If you don’t have a Times account, here’s a mirror at the Seattle Times.
The American South hosts more gay families than any other region. The largest population of same-sex couples with children is in San Antonio, with Jacksonville, FL, not far behind.
The data was mined by Gary Gates at UCLA. The article itself focuses mostly on Jacksonville.
Gay couples in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.
And an important item: these families defy stereotypes. The adults in those families tend most often to be African American women and Latinas, who often had married and had children before coming out.
People grew up in church, so a lot of us lived in shame. What did we do? We wandered around lost. We married men, and then couldn’t understand why every night we had a headache.
–Darlene Maffett, 43, Jacksonville
Darlene had two children in 8 years of marriage.
Here’s an interesting tidbit on the men’s side: gay men who have children tend to do so 3 years earlier than heterosexual men.
The Census Bureau estimated in 2009 that there were 581,000 same-sex couples in the US. The Bureau does not count single gays and lesbians.
About a third of all lesbians (one might presume that this refers to lesbians in relationships…the article is unclear) are parents. One-fifth of gay men are parents. This is despite the fact that their children are some of the most at risk, with fewer legal protections and less health insurance than the children of heterosexual couples.
About 32% of same-sex couples in Jacksonville have children, compared to 34% in San Antonio.
Often the children are forced into the closet at school, for fear of their parents being identified and losing their employment.
Even when employers agree to cover domestic partners, those couples pay higher taxes, because without federal recognition of their status, health coverage is considered income and is taxable. Until recently, Florida was one of a handful of states that expressly prohibited adoption by gay couples.
Money is often an immediate problem.
I’m one check away from being on welfare.
–Ty Francis, a bank customer-service worker with a sharp sense of humor, who supports six children together with her partner, Rosalyn Cooley, a health-care worker.
For those of us ion the Northeast, I found this article to be of some interest, from 2008:
Gay Families Find the Bronx Is a Place to Call Home. On the other hand, data I discovered shows that in 2008, Manhattan led all NYC boroughs in the sheer number of same-sex families, with about three times the number in the Bronx (I found that link at work, but am struggling to locate it now that I am at home).