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States with the most same-sex households

  • States with the most same-sex households
    1/ MaxPixel

    States with the most same-sex households

    LGBT+ families are an integral part of American society. The Movement Advancement Project, an independent think-tank working to promote equality for LGBT+ people, has estimated that 2 million children are being raised by lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender parents around the country, from rural communities in the Midwest to the center of Manhattan. These LGBT+ couples and their families can have broadly different experiences depending on state legislation and community dynamics. Some families are supported by policies on adoption and benefits while others struggle to thrive in communities that are less tolerant. The number of people identifying as LGBT+ has risen over time, and supportive legislation and resources for new families have increased over the past few decades. Millennials, recently dubbed the “gayest generation,” will soon be starting families of their own.

    In honor of June being Pride Month, Stacker examined the states with the highest percentages of same-sex households, representing both couples — married and unmarried, and families. Census data from the 2016 American Community Survey was used to rank the top 25 states, and this information was supplemented with a report on the demographics of LGBT+ households in each state from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

    Read on to find out how each state’s LGBT+ community ranks, as well as information on recent news and legislation affecting this population.

    And, click here to read about the states with the least same-sex households. 

  • #25. Texas
    2/ Creative Photo Corner // Shutterstock

    #25. Texas

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.67% (64,266 out of 9,535,612)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 54%

    Gender breakdown: 45% male, 55% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 19.8%

    Although same-sex marriage has been legal in Texas since the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized it nationally, same-sex couples do not have entirely equal rights in the state. Last year, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that spouses of gay and lesbian public employees were not entitled to the government marriage benefits received by heterosexual employees.

  • #24. Virginia
    3/ Virginia Pride Festival 2017 - Tony Alter // Flickr

    #24. Virginia

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.69% (21,416 out of 3,120,692)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 55.5%

    Gender breakdown: 44% male, 56% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 16.0%

    Virginia has also had issues integrating the Supreme Court ruling. A bill to change language in the state’s code restricting marriage to “one man and one woman” was recently voted down by the state Senate.

     

  • #23. Connecticut
    4/ Jon Tyson // Unsplash

    #23. Connecticut

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.69% (9,344 out of 1,357,269)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 57.6%

    Gender breakdown: 44% male, 56% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 17.0%

    Same-sex marriage was legalized in Connecticut in October 2008. In the years since that decision, Connecticut’s gay couples have started families at high rates, leading to what some doctors call a “gay baby boom.”

     

  • #22. Illinois
    5/ Illinois Pride Month 5K - Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Fowler // Wikicommons

    #22. Illinois

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.69% (33,342 out of 4,822,046)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 50.4%

    Gender breakdown: 48% male, 52% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 16.6%

    The Illinois Senate voted this past May to require teaching LGBT+ history in public schools, through a unit studying "the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State." The amount of time spent on this unit will be up to the board of each district.

  • #21. Georgia
    6/ nathanmac87 // Wikicommons

    #21. Georgia

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.70% (25,949 out of 3,686,135)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 53.3%

    Gender breakdown: 48% male, 52% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 19.6%

    There is actually a town called “Gay” located in Georgia — LGBT+ population: unknown. The legislation in this state is not the most inclusive: organizations can refuse service to LGBT+ individuals on the basis of faith, and adoption agencies can deny same-sex couples.

  • #20. Indiana
    7/ Gay Pride Parade 2017 in downtown Indianapolis - Alexey Stiop // Shutterstock

    #20. Indiana

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.71% (17,867 out of 2,533,270)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 47%

    Gender breakdown: 40% male, 60% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children:18.9%

    Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017, prior to serving as Vice President. During his tenure, he tended to promote homophobic policies. The state has seen good news for LGBT+ inclusivity recently, however: Memories, a pizza restaurant that famously refused to cater same-sex weddings in 2015, was recently forced to close.

  • #19. Alaska
    8/ Pride Month 2015 in Fairbanks, Alaska - Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor // U.S. Air Force photo

    #19. Alaska

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.79% (1,952 out of 248,468)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 55%

    Gender breakdown: 37% male, 63% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 23.1%

    Alaska’s route to equality has been long and filled with challenges, filled with six failed bills attempting to make gender identity and sexual orientation illegal. The state’s first gay marriage ceremony was performed in 2014, when a magistrate in the northern town of Barrow started marrying couples in celebration of the state’s ban being struck down.

  • #18. Maryland
    9/ tedeytan // Wikicommons

    #18. Maryland

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.80% (17,470 out of 2,194,657)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 64.7%

    Gender breakdown: 41% male, 59% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 20.3%

    This past April, Maryland became the 11th state to ban “gay conversion therapy,” or “reparative therapy.” Methods include any secular, religious programs, or individual analysis intended to “convert” LGBT+ youth to heterosexuality. Despite widespread controversy with regards to children’s rights, such programs are still used widely in the U.S.

  • #17. Arizona
    10/ LGBT Pride Month 5k color run 2017 - Airman 1st Class Caleb Worpel // Wikicommons

    #17. Arizona

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.82% (20,656 out of 2,519,052)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 52.7%

    Gender breakdown: 47% male, 53% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 16.5%

    My-King Johnson, a rising sophomore at Arizona State, has made headlines as the first openly gay scholarship student in Division I college football. His coach and team have been supportive of his decision to go public regarding his sexuality.

  • #16. Maine
    11/ pexels

    #16. Maine

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.84% (4,446 out of 531,660)

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

    Gender breakdown: 37% male, 63% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 13.8%

    Portland, Maine was once lauded as one of the “gayest cities in America.” As other states have increased inclusivity, both politically and socially, Maine has actually become less prominent, as evidenced by Portland’s only gay nightclub closing in fall of 2016.

  • #15. Colorado
    12/ VDB Photos // Shutterstock

    #15. Colorado

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.85% (17,929 out of 2,108,992)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 55.1%

    Gender breakdown:39% male, 61% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 15.9%

    Colorado was the site of a famous stand-off between a gay couple planning their wedding and a baker who refused to bake them a cake. The case has moved through rounds of appeals to the Supreme Court, which is expected to make a final decision this summer.

  • #14. New Mexico
    13/ pxhere

    #14. New Mexico

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.88% (6,692 out of 758,364)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 45.4%

    Gender breakdown: 38% male, 62% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 17.8%

    Santa Fe, N.M. is the home of a thriving LGBT+ community including the city’s previous mayor, Javier Gonzales  with an exciting art scene and robust retirement community. Interestingly, gay bars have not proven successful in this city — perhaps because residents tend to feel comfortable anywhere they happen to be drinking.

  • #13. New York
    14/ Josh Wilburne // Unsplash

    #13. New York

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.89% (64,147 out of 7,209,054)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 55.9%

    Gender breakdown: 52% male, 48% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 16.4%

    New York City as a metropolitan area has one of the largest LGBT+ populations in the U.S. — which was apparently once controlled by the mafia. Nevertheless, other parts of New York are not so inclusive, and the state overall comes in at #13 on this list.

  • #12. Washington
    15/ Dennis Bratland // Wikicommons

    #12. Washington

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.92% (25,401 out of 2,768,076)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 67.7%

    Gender breakdown: 44% male, 56% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 15.8%

    Legislation in Washington State is largely supportive of same-sex households. Gay couples have been allowed to adopt in the state since 2009, and Washington was one of the first states to outlaw conversion therapy for minors earlier this year.

  • #11. Florida
    16/ Pulse Nightclub memorial - Walter // Wikicommons

    #11. Florida

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.92% (69,566 out of 7,573,456)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 56%

    Gender breakdown: 54% male, 46% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 13.3%

    In June 2016, Orlando, Fla. was the site of the deadliest mass shooting in American history up until that point: Pulse, a gay nightclub. Florida’s LGBT+ community has remained strong since, with several cities in South Florida recently winning “Best of Gay Cities” awards.

  • #10. Nevada
    17/ Las Vegas Gay Pride night parade 2016 - Kobby Dagan // Shutterstock

    #10. Nevada

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.93% (9,827 out of 1,055,158)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 55.6%

    Gender breakdown: 52% male, 48% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 17%

    Both same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships are legally recognized in Nevada, although tax advantages and some other rights are only available to married couples. The state also supports same-sex couples with a constitutional amendment passed last spring, which aims to protect Nevada couples if the current U.S. Supreme Court reverses its 2015 decision.

  • #9. New Hampshire
    18/ pixabay

    #9. New Hampshire

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.94% (4,915 out of 520,643)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 67.9%

    Gender breakdown: 36% male, 64% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 16.5%

    Earlier in May, the New Hampshire legislature sent a bill banning conversion therapy to Gov. Chris Sununu, who has previously offered support for such legislation. For LGBT+ couples, this state offers forest retreats such as Joe's Hideaway Campground, a “gay-owned, members-only, adult male (21+), gay camping facility.”

  • #8. Hawaii
    19/ Honolulu Pride Parade 2012 - Daniel Ramirez // Wikicommons

    #8. Hawaii

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.96% (4,381 out of 455,868)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 56.3%

    Gender breakdown: 53% male, 47% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 15.8%

    Acceptance of homosexuality was a prominent part of Hawaii’s native culture, later stamped out by Western culture when the archipelago became part of the United States. In recent years, artists and activists have sought to celebrate this history through projects such as “Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place,” a documentary by Connie Florez about the Glade Show Lounge, a celebrated '70s drag show club.

  • #7. Rhode Island
    20/ Providence Pride Festival 2012 - Josh McGinn // Flickr

    #7. Rhode Island

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.97% (3,963 out of 408,239)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 61.8%

    Gender breakdown: 43% male, 57% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 15.5%

    Rhode Island was host to one of the first times in American history that homosexuality was brought to the public eye. In 1919, the U.S. Navy investigated rumors of homosexual activity among sailors in Newport. Today, the state is very supportive of its LGBT+ community, with policies and guidelines on how public schools should protect transgender students.

  • #6. California
    21/ Max Templeton // Unsplash

    #6. California

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 0.99% (128,111 out of 12,944,178)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 57.7%

    Gender breakdown: 52% male, 48% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 16.0%

    California has the largest LGBT+ population in the nation. But much of the community in this state is still fighting for rights, ranging from a campaign to ban conversion therapy — led by state legislator Evan Low  to the tragic ongoing investigation around Aaron Salazar, a gay university student who “mysteriously disappeared from his moving train” while traveling to Sacramento.

  • #5. Vermont
    22/ Pride Parade 2015 - Sterling College // Flickr

    #5. Vermont

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 1.03% (2,635 out of 254,851)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 61.6%

    Gender breakdown: 33% male, 67% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 18.6%

    Vermont has been called “one of the best states in the country for anyone in the LGBT+ community to live and raise a family.” It was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through a legislative decision — rather than a court ruling, and has the highest percentage of LGBT+ people in the country after D.C., according to recent Gallup polling data.

  • #4. Delaware
    23/ Joshua Stitt // Unsplash

    #4. Delaware

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 1.06% (3,728 out of 351,085)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 59.6%

    Gender breakdown: 46% male, 54% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 15.6%

    Delaware has long been a convergence point for the LGBT+ community: in the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, the beaches of Rehoboth were a favorite vacation spot for gay men from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Living in an accepting community doesn’t guarantee safety, unfortunately; a gay former student was recently assaulted at a University of Delaware fraternity party.

  • #3. Massachusetts
    24/ Alice Donovan Rouse // Unsplash

    #3. Massachusetts

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 1.09% (28,113 out of 2,579,398)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 62.7%

    Gender breakdown: 42% male, 58% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 17.1%

    Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry in November 2003. This decision paved the way for other states, and finally for the Supreme Court in 2015.

  • #2. Oregon
    25/ Portland Pride Parade 2017 - Another Believer // Wikicommons

    #2. Oregon

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 1.10% (17,332 out of 1,571,678)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 48.4%

    Gender breakdown: 38% male, 62% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 16.3%

    Portland, Ore. is one of the cities with the highest percentage of LGBT+ people — only San Francisco ranks higher, and Oregon had the nation’s first openly LGBT+ governor, Kate Brown. Similar to gay bars’ lack of success in Santa Fe, Portland does not have a gay enclave; rather, residents find widespread acceptance throughout their city.

  • #1. District of Columbia
    26/ White House Press Office // WIkicommons

    #1. District of Columbia

    Percent of households that are same-sex: 2.50% (7,036 out of 281,241)

    Percent of these households with same-sex spouses: 53%

    Gender breakdown: 74% male, 26% female

    Percent of same-sex households raising children: 8.7%

    By the numbers, Washington, D.C. is the “gayest place in America.” It also has the highest percentage of people who identify as LGBT+, according to Gallup. After decades of residents hiding their identities in order to secure government jobs, the city’s LGBT+ population is now out and proud.

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