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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How Many of Us Are There?

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.

Why is this important?

Knowing who we are as a nation is essential not only for the proper apportionment of benefits and largess, but for the understanding of our national identity. When cities, counties and states become majority-minority, for example, we want to know when, how and whom. But, the increasing prevalence of same-sex family households reminds us that hundreds of thousands of people are living, working, paying taxes and raising children next door to millions of people doing the exact same thing. The former just happen to be gay. Growing awareness of the gay family will be the single most important factor in increasing acceptance of gays as parents and as entitled to the same rights to love, marry and defend the country as everyone else.

Posted by Ari Ezra Waldman on September 27, 2011 at 03:20 PM | Permalink


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I agree with everything you say. I object, however, to the collection of data only for same-sex couples. I think that singles should have the opportunity to identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Over time, as more people "come out" sufficiently to feel comfortable disclosing this information, this would get us closer to an accurate approximation of what percentage of our population is non-heterosexual. Gay people are not only gay or in need of being counted when they are in a live-in relationship.

(Also, side note: contrary to the wording in your final paragraph, same-sex family households can indicate the presence of bisexuals, not only gay people.)

Posted by: singles | Sep 27, 2011 4:10:21 PM

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