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Twice As Many U.S. Same-Sex Couples Will Be Able To Marry If NY Equality Act Passes

by David Badash on June 16, 2011

in Legislation

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If the New York Senate passes Governor Cuomo’s Marriage Equality Act, twice as many same-sex couples living in the United States will be able to marry, based upon the 2010 U.S. census, researcher Gary Gates has determined. Gates and The Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law, a leading think tank in the field of law and public policy relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, released the following statistics to illustrate the potential impact of the bill’s passage.

●     There are an estimated 42,600 same-sex couples in New York (Source: 2009 American Community Survey), of whom 21% (nearly 9,000) are already legally married (Source: Williams Institute/Harris Interactive Same-sex Couple Survey, 2010)
●     Approximately 7,200 same-sex couples in New York are raising about 14,000 children (Source: 2008/2009 American Community Survey)
●     If New  York extends marriage to same-sex couples, the percentage of the U.S.’ population living in a state that allows same-sex couples to marry will more than double, from 5.1% to 11.4%. (Source: Census 2010)
●     Similarly, the percentage of same-sex couples living in states that allow them to marry will more than double, from 6.9% to 14.3% (Source: 2009 American Community Survey)
●     An estimated 38% of same-sex couples living in states that allow them to marry are currently married, compared to 12% in states that do not allow same-sex couples to marry (Source: Williams Institute/Harris Interactive Same-sex Couple Survey, 2010)

In April Gates and the Williams Institute published a study, “How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender?,” that showed almost nine million American adults – close to 4% of the American adult population — identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

The study examined five American and an additional four international population surveys and found, “women are substantially more likely than men to identify as bisexual,” and that 11% of the population, more than 25 million Americans, acknowledge some same-​gender sexual attraction.

The study also showed that an estimated .3% of Americans are transgender. Additionally, the Williams study showed 3.5% of American adults are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, including 1.8% of American adults who are bisexual.

Regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, 19 million American adults have had same-​gender sex.

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