A new study from the Williams Institute, a project of the UCLA School of Law, estimates that about 230,000 children are currently being raised by same-sex couples, married or otherwise, with likely hundreds of thousands more being raised by single gay parents.
Authored by scholar Gary J. Yates, the studies, entitled ‘LGBT Demographics: Comparisons among population-based surveys’ and ‘LGB Families and Relationships: Analyses of the 2013 National Health Interview Survey’, drew upon four large, recent, national, population-based surveys. They offer the following key findings.
- Up to 9.5 million individuals in the US, over the age of 18, are LGBT. The figure varied from state to state, between 2.2% and 4% – leading to a figure between 5.2million and 9.5 million nationwide.
- The figures for those who identified as lesbian or gay remained fairly consistent (around 1.4% and 1.6% respectively) but the proportion of adults who identified as bisexual varied more widely: between 0.6% and 1.6% from state to state.
- In 2013, there were an estimated 690,000 same-sex couples in the US, of whom approximately 124,000 were married. When analysis was restricted to the second half of 2013, after the Supreme Court’s ruling that brought federal recognition to married same-sex couples, that figure rose to 130,000 married same-sex couples.
- The number of married same-sex couples in the US has increased by an estimated 50% in the last three years, with married couples living in every region of the country.
- An estimated 4 in 10 LGB adults (40%) reported either being married or in a cohabiting relationship with a partner compared to 6 in 10 non-LGB adults (60%). This figure was higher for lesbians (51%) compared to gay men (35%).
- Same-sex couples were raising an estimated 200,000 children under age 18, of whom 30,000 are being raised by married same-sex parents. LGBT individuals who are not part of a couple are raising between 1.2 and 2 million children – a wide variable due to the range in estimates of adults who identify as LGBT.
This is very important because it completely undermines the arguments against same-sex marriage. All of the arguments for why the legal and financial protections that come with marriage benefit the children in those families applies equally well to families headed by gay couples as they do families headed by straight couples. That’s why the claim of the anti-gay bigots to be “pro-family” is, at its core, a lie. They don’t care about families, they only care about those families they approve of.