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Monday, January 24, 2011

Gay Parents of All Types in All Places

If you had to guess which cities have the biggest percentage of gay and lesbian couples raising kids, you might say New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles – but you'd be wrong. The top spot is San Antonio, Texas.
Using new census data, the Williams Institute at UCLA found that 34% of same-sex couples in San Antonio are raising children under 18. A close second was Jacksonville, Florida, which was highlighted in a recent New York Times article. Also in the top 15 are Raleigh, Houston, Dallas, and Baltimore (you can see the full Top 15 list here.)
The new data serves to clear up some myths about who and where families led by gay parents are. First off, the most common region for same-sex couples is not the west coast or the northeast, but the south. Second, many of those families are minorities – in fact, black or Latino gay couples are twice as likely to be raising children as white couples. And those minority families are more likely to be facing tough economic situations.
In Baltimore, where Freedom to Marry is working with Equality Maryland to win marriage for all loving and committed couples, there are an estimated 1,300 same-sex couples raising children. Equality Maryland Executive Director Morgan Meneses-Sheets pointed out, "Same sex couples have the same joys as concerns as everyone else. The difference is that gay and lesbian couples and their families are deprived of the critical safety-net that comes with marriage.”


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