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States with the fewest same-sex households

  • New Orleans Pride Parade 2016 — Tony Webster // Wikicommons
    1/ New Orleans Pride Parade 2016 — Tony Webster // Wikicommons

    States with the fewest same-sex households

    Today marks the first day of Pride Month, a month in which LGBT+ communities around the world honor its history and celebrates its people. Pride also seeks to bring further recognition to the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other individuals from the vast spectrum sexual and gender identities have had on their societies. The holiday began as a day of remembrance for the Stonewall riots of 1969, but has since expanded into a full month of events including memorials, parades, parties, and concerts. But as LGBT+ people throughout America celebrate the gains that have been made, many still face discrimination from neighbors and legislation alike, particularly as they take steps towards starting families.

    While some parts of the U.S. have enacted broadly inclusive policies and protections against discrimination, others leave their LGBT+ community members to fend for themselves. In order to paint a full picture of challenges faced by LGBT+ families, Stacker has examined the states with the lowest percentages of same-sex households, representing both couples — married and unmarried, and families with children. Census data from the 2016 American Community Survey was used to rank the top 25 states, and this information was supplemented with a report from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law on demographics of LGBT+ households in each state.

    Read on to find out how each state’s LGBT+ community ranks, as well as information on legislation and other recent events that may make it a less-desirable location for same-sex couples to raise their families.

    To find out which states have the most same-sex households, click here.

  • 2013 Twin Cities Pride Parade — Tony Webster // Wikicommons
    2/ 2013 Twin Cities Pride Parade — Tony Webster // Wikicommons

    #26. Minnesota

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.67% (14,436 out of 2,148,725)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 57.7%

    Gender breakdown: 43% male, 57% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 16.5%

    While much of Minnesota is rural, Minneapolis is home to a thriving LGBT+ community. It was only the third city in the country to prohibit housing or employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and hosts many LGBT+ centric organizations, as well as art and music events.

     

  • theodoranian // Wikicommons
    3/ theodoranian // Wikicommons

    #25. Oklahoma

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.67% (9,839 out of 1,469,342)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 51.7%

    Gender breakdown: 41% male, 59% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 20.9%

    At 20.9%, Oklahoma has one of the highest percentages of same-sex couples raising children of any state. Contrary to this clear desire to enjoy family life, the state’s governor recently signed into a law a measure that would “allow private adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT couples on religious grounds when placing children.”

  • Pride month color run at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey in 2014—U.S. Air Force Photo
    4/ Pride month color run at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey in 2014—U.S. Air Force Photo

    #24. New Jersey

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.66% (21,172 out of 3,194,519)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 65.1%

    Gender breakdown: 46% male, 54% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 19.7%

    New Jersey was one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage with a court decision in 2006. The LGBT+ community has grown sharply since that decision, but is still small in numbers compared to New York City, just across the river.

  • Married couple from Kentucky, plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized same sex marriage—FloNight // Wikicommons
    5/ Married couple from Kentucky, plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized same sex marriage—FloNight // Wikicommons

    #23. Kentucky

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.66% (11,342 out of 1,717,706)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 43.7%

    Gender breakdown: 42% male, 58% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 18.5%

    At the end of May, the valedictorian of a Catholic school in Crestview Hills, Ky. — 18-year-old Christian Bales, who identifies as gay and non-gender-conforming — was not allowed to speak at graduation because the Catholic diocese disagreed with its content, which focused on activism. He delivered his speech anyway, using a megaphone.

  • 2016 Pittsburgh Pride Equality March—Mylan N.V. // Wikicommons
    6/ 2016 Pittsburgh Pride Equality March—Mylan N.V. // Wikicommons

    #22. Pennsylvania

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.66% (32,451 out of 4,937,771)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 53.7%

    Gender breakdown: 44% male, 56% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 15.9%

    Daryl Metcalfe, an extremely conservative legislator selected as the chairman of Pennsylvania’s State Government Committee, oversaw bills that sought to diminish LGBT+ rights in a state that already had few protections for them in place. He still serves in that position, despite multiple petitions calling for him to step aside after he made inappropriate comments to another legislator last winter.

  • Utah Pride Festival in Salt Lake City, 2017—Delta News Hub // Wikicommons
    7/ Utah Pride Festival in Salt Lake City, 2017—Delta News Hub // Wikicommons

    #21. Utah

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.63% (5,979 out of 943,147)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 57.4%

    Gender breakdown: 45% male, 55% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 20.1%

    A recent Utah Department of Health study showed that the state’s LGBT+ citizens are at a much higher risk of experiencing sexual violence than those who are heterosexual. These results echo national trends.

  • Milwaukee Pride Parade 2017—Wayne // Wikicommons
    8/ Milwaukee Pride Parade 2017—Wayne // Wikicommons

    #20. Wisconsin

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.62% (14,317 out of 2,326,998)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 51.4%

    Gender breakdown: 40% male, 60% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 16.4%

    Last March, Brad and Nick Schlaikowski, a gay couple in Milwaukee, opened the state’s first group home for LGBT+ youth. “We have 500 kids on the street in Milwaukee, 40% identify as LGBT,” Brad Schlaikowski told NBC News.

  • Pride Festival St. Louis—State Farm // Flickr
    9/ Pride Festival St. Louis—State Farm // Flickr

    #19. Missouri

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.61% (14,514 out of 2,372,190)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 52.8%

    Gender breakdown: 42% male, 58% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 17.3%

    A Missouri legislator recently sought to outlaw same-sex marriage in the state with a proposal that would “declare any union that's not one man and one woman a ‘parody marriage.’” It is virtually impossible that the resolution will become law, but citizens are still concerned that it was even proposed.

  • Charlotte NC Rally Against Prop 8 in 2006—James Willamor // Wikicommons
    10/ Charlotte NC Rally Against Prop 8 in 2006—James Willamor // Wikicommons

    #18. North Carolina

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.61% (23,624 out of 3,882,423)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 52.6%

    Gender breakdown: 42% male, 58% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 18.5%

    Apple is currently considering the development of a new corporate hub near Raleigh, N.C. This would be a paradoxical move, as Apple has been a famous supporter of LGBT+ causes. North Carolina in general has stood against inclusivity through legislation such as an “insidious law that prevents LGBTQ people from being protected across the state.”

  • Pixabay
    11/ Pixabay

    #17. Tennessee

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.61% (15,472 out of 2,556,332)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 47.7%

    Gender breakdown: 43% male, 57% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 18.1%

    Earlier this year, Republicans in the Tennessee legislature stopped a bill banning child marriage in order to maintain the legal basis for a lawsuit mounted by the Family Action Council of Tennessee against the 2015 Supreme Court marriage decision. Tennessee is also the only state with an “LGBT Erasure Bill” which defines terms in Tennessee law according to “natural and ordinary” meanings, thus potentially preventing same-sex couples from being legally recognized as the parents of children they are raising together.

  • Cincinnati Pride Parade 2017 — MediaGamut // Flickr
    12/ Cincinnati Pride Parade 2017 — MediaGamut // Flickr

    #16. Ohio

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.60% (27,615 out of 4,624,669)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 43.8%

    Gender breakdown: 42% male, 58% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 17.7%

    Since before the Supreme Court decision, LGBT+ advocates in Ohio have pushed for legislation protecting against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, jobs, and places of public accommodation. All bills introduced have stalled so far, but state Rep. Nickie Antonio is optimistic about a current proposal the Ohio Chamber of Commerce has agreed to back.

  • Charleston Pride Parade 2012 — RELewisJr // Wikicommons
    13/ Charleston Pride Parade 2012 — RELewisJr // Wikicommons

    #15. South Carolina

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.57% (10,651 out of 1,877,887)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 60.6%

    Gender breakdown: 42% male, 58% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 18.9%

    Similar to the bill proposed by a Missouri legislator, a bill recently introduced by South Carolina Republicans called the Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act, would define all same-sex marriage in the state as “parody marriage.” Newsweek reported that the lawmakers behind this bill “believe that the observance of same-sex marriage rights has ‘excessively entangled’ the state government with secular humanism and has created an indefensible legal weapon to be used on its opponents.”

  • Motor City Pride 2017 — Gregory Varnum // Wikicommons
    14/ Motor City Pride 2017 — Gregory Varnum // Wikicommons

    #14. Michigan

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.56% (21,579 out of 3,884,153)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 48.7%

    Gender breakdown: 40% male, 60% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 18.2%

    Last summer, gay YouTube comedian Elijah Daniel paid $100 to the town of Hell, Mich. to be declared its mayor. In his first decree, he banned all heterosexuals from the town and was promptly impeached. On a more serious note, Michigan’s Civil Rights Commission has recently instituted protections against discrimination for its LGBT+ residents, and began investigating claims this past May.

  • New Orleans Pride Parade 2016 — Tony Webster // Wikicommons
    15/ New Orleans Pride Parade 2016 — Tony Webster // Wikicommons

    #13. Louisiana

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.55% (9,422 out of 1,720,801)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 43.8%

    Gender breakdown: 41% male, 59% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 19.9%

    New Orleans’ LGBT+ community has a long, proud history, but elsewhere in the state, communities are not so inclusive. Louisiana’s Republican lawmakers are pushing to reinstate a state law that bans bestiality and homosexual intimacy in the same phrase.

  • Boise Pride 2010 — Kenneth Freeman // Flickr
    16/ Boise Pride 2010 — Kenneth Freeman // Flickr

    #12. Idaho

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.54% (3,293 out of 610,872)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 54.2%

    Gender breakdown: 33% male, 67% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 22.3%

    Idaho legislators are having a hard time accepting their LGBT+ constituents. In January 2017, state Reps. Ron Nate and Stephen Hartgen argued that the state should still have a ban on same-sex marriage despite the Supreme Court decision — and a decision about Idaho itself in 2014. And this past January, Nate and another legislator, Heather Scott, tried the same tactics again.

  • Ludovic Bertron // Wikicommons
    17/ Ludovic Bertron // Wikicommons

    #11. Montana

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.52% (2,180 out of 416,125)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 49.4%

    Gender breakdown: 30% male, 70% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 22.0%

    Transgender and non-binary residents of Montana are currently fighting for their rights: a newly introduced bill, I-183, would require them to use restrooms not consistent with their gender identities. Kasandra Reddington, a transgender Montana resident and member of the American Civil Liberties Union, explained that such legislation would put her “at risk for physical assault and loss of [her] job.”

  • Iowa City Pride Fest 2017 — Alan Light // Flickr
    18/ Iowa City Pride Fest 2017 — Alan Light // Flickr

    #10. Iowa

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.52% (6,477 out of 1,247,932)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 59.4%

    Gender breakdown: 39% male, 61% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 18.6%

    Controversy erupted over Iowa’s branch of youth development organization 4-H this past April, when the organization began to consider a new inclusion measure to accept “all gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations and sexes.” Some Christian and family-based groups questioned the policy, while 4-H leaders argued on behalf of LGBT+ students.

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    19/ Max Pixel

    #9. West Virginia

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.50% (3,627 out of 722,125)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 40.7%

    Gender breakdown: 44% male, 56% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 17.8%

    Last spring, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that violent attacks on the basis of sexual orientation did not count as hate crimes, and would not be subject to prosecution as such. This decision was made even though LGBT+ people, as a minority group, are widely targeted by hate crimes second only to African-American people.

  • LGBT Color Run 2017 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. — U.S. Air Force Photo
    20/ LGBT Color Run 2017 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. — U.S. Air Force Photo

    #8. South Dakota

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.49% (1,650 out of 334,003)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 37%

    Gender breakdown: 31% male, 69% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 21.1%

    South Dakota legislators passed a law last year that allowed religious adoption and foster care agencies to turn away potential LGBT+ parents. “This bill proves once again that opponents of equality are happy to put children at risk and deny them permanent homes to further their anti-LGBT agenda,” said Laura E. Durso, vice president of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress.

  • FBI and Omaha Police Department Stand United in the Heartland Pride Parade — FBI // Flickr
    21/ FBI and Omaha Police Department Stand United in the Heartland Pride Parade — FBI // Flickr

    #7. Nebraska

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.46% (3,454 out of 747,562)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 58%

    Gender breakdown: 42% male, 58% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 19.6%

    While South Dakota recently instituted a bill challenging adoption by same-sex couples, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled last year to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex couples becoming foster parents. The state is also notable for policies many of its companies have in place protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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    #6. North Dakota

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.45% (1,428 out of 315,134)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 59.3%

    Gender breakdown: 34% male, 66% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 21.6%

    North Dakota’s legislature is not so favorable for LGBT+ inclusivity. Even though the state Senate voted to advance a non-discrimination bill in 2015, the House voted against it. LGBT+ activists in the state remain optimistic; however, another non-discrimination bill has not yet been introduced.

  • Team Little Rock celebrates Pride Month at the Little Rock Air Force Base in 2017 — U.S. Air Force Photo
    23/ Team Little Rock celebrates Pride Month at the Little Rock Air Force Base in 2017 — U.S. Air Force Photo

    #5. Arkansas

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.45% (5,099 out of 1,142,718)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 43.7%

    Gender breakdown: 41% male, 59% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 21.2%

    The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down anti-discrimination legislation in the city of Fayetteville last year. A legal battle continued for months after as the city struggled to support its citizens.

  • torbakhopper // Flickr
    24/ torbakhopper // Flickr

    #4. Alabama

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.43% (7,885 out of 1,852,518)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 49.5%

    Gender breakdown: 42% male, 58% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 20.4%

    Patricia Todd, the first and only openly gay member of the Alabama state legislature, fought in vain against a bill that protected homophobic adoption societies in the state. “I practically had the sponsor in tears when we were debating this on the floor,” she told The New York Times.

  • Women's March Topeka, KS 2017—mmrogne // Wikicommons
    25/ Women's March Topeka, KS 2017—mmrogne // Wikicommons

    #3. Kansas

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.42% (4,686 out of 1,110,407)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 61.6%

    Gender breakdown: 40% male, 60% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 21.8%

    The same week Oklahoma’s discriminatory adoption bill was signed this May, Kansas’ governor signed a similar bill. An art teacher in Seneca, Kan. resigned from his job in April after receiving threats. In response, "The American Prospect" published a story entitled, “There's No Place Like Homophobic Kansas.”

  • Worlds Direction // Flickr
    26/ Worlds Direction // Flickr

    #2. Wyoming

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.36% (816 out of 223,619)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 75.4%

    Gender breakdown: 39% male, 61% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 24.7%

    Homophobic hate crimes are common for Wyoming’s small LGBT+ population, but some of the state’s residents are pushing for more inclusivity. Last year, after Wyoming Republican Senator Mike Enzi said that someone who wore a tutu to bars on Friday nights was “asking for” a fight, Wyoming citizens began wearing tutus everywhere — and sending Enzi photographic evidence.

  • The Saint Anthony Falls Bridge over the Mississippi River in 2015—Tony Webster // Wikicommons
    27/ The Saint Anthony Falls Bridge over the Mississippi River in 2015—Tony Webster // Wikicommons

    #1. Mississippi

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.36% (3,964 out of 1,091,245)

    Percent of members of these same-sex households who are same-sex spouses: 50.2%

    Gender breakdown: 38% male, 62% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 25.7%

    In 2014, Rolling Stone dubbed Mississippi the worst state in America for LGBT+ people. This past January, the U.S. Supreme Court supported Mississippi’s Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, which "Gay Star News" called the “most homophobic state law in America.” This law allows individuals, businesses, and organizations to turn away LGBT+ individuals on the basis of religion, and allows foster families to force children into conversion therapy.

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