While the 2010 U.S. Census won’t treat legally married gay spouses like their hetero counterparts, a different survey, the American Community Survey (also from the U.S. Census Bureau) does break it down. So what do the numbers for 2008, the most recent available, show America’s gay couplings? For starters, that just 20 percent of you claiming to be spouses are legally recognized as such.
Taking a look at the data, the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA Law finds — not so surprisingly — that Massachusetts leads the nation with gay marriages: 3.63 gay married couples per 1,000 households. Of course, they’ve have longer time to practice!
So while some 565,000 same-sex couples identified themselves in the 2008 American Community Survey, just 150,000 referred to themselves as spouses. From there, an estimated 32,000 of them were actually legally married by the end of 2008. And not so big a shock? “When comparing same-sex spouses to same-sex unmarried couples and to married different-sex couples, the report finds many similarities between same-sex and different-sex spouses. They are similar in terms of age, education, household income, and homeownership rates.”
Some 56 percent of same-sex spouses were female (compared to an even split for different-sex couples).
And lest the right-wing get ahold of this data and try manipulating it, here’s the hard facts:
• We’re raising kids in greater proportion: “Same-sex spouses were twice as likely to be raising children — more than 31% of spouses are raising children as opposed to 17% of unmarried partners.”
• Those of us who might want to get married one day are not out to ruin American society, but contribute more to it: “Same-sex unmarried partners do differ in many ways from their different-sex unmarried counterparts. They are older, more educated, wealthier, more likely to own a home, more likely to be employed, and less likely to be raising children.”