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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 14, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 02
Gay parents find the South more welcoming
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Gay parents find the South more welcoming

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The longer you live in progressive Seattle, the easier it becomes for you to forget that in most parts of the country, LGBT families do not feel safe, do not have anything resembling equal rights, and may feel unwelcome. Often times, when one thinks of a 'welcoming' city, images of San Francisco, New York, and Seattle come to mind. But, according to an analysis of the U.S. Census data, childrearing is more common among same-sex couples in the South than in any other region of the country, defying the mainstream stereotype of Gay people as affluent, white, and living in major cities.

The New York Times reports on the pattern identified by demographer Gary Gates of the University of California, evidenced by the fact that Jacksonville, Florida is home to one of the biggest populations of Gay parents in the country.

Other locations for LGBT childrearing - compared to the West Coast, New York, and New England - include Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

According to the Times, 'Black or Latino Gay couples are twice as likely as whites to be raising children, according to Mr. Gates, who used data from a Census Bureau sampling known as the American Community Survey. They are also more likely than their white counterparts to be struggling economically.'

One theory, according to Gates, is that the pattern could be related to the number of Gay people who have children in heterosexual relationships before coming out, and the expanding number of minority women of childbearing age.

The Times reports that the Census Bureau estimated there were 581,000 same-sex couples in the U.S. in 2009. Single LGBT persons were not counted.

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