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Thursday, November 8, 2012

One in Five Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Now Live in a Jurisdiction Where They Can Marry

 On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, the residents of Maine, Maryland, and Washington affirmed that their states will recognize marriages for lesbian and gay couples. In addition, Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional amendment barring same-sex couples from marrying.

Williams Institute analyses of Census 2010 data suggests that approximately 35,000 same-sex couples live in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, and that over 17,000 will marry in the next three years.  Many of these couples are raising children, ranging from 14% of same-sex couples living in Maine to 20% in Maryland.   

After yesterday’s vote, same-sex couples can now marry in nine states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia.  As a result, 20% of same-sex couples now live in states where they can marry. Overall, 16% of the U.S. population lives in states where same-sex couples can marry.

If the U.S. Supreme Court affirms or let’s stand the 9th Circuit opinion striking down Proposition 8 in California, 35% of same-sex couples in the U.S. will live in states where they can marry; and 28% of the U.S. population will live in states where same-sex couples can marry.

Further data about same-sex couples in these states, and all 50 states and D.C., can be found in the US Census reports on the Williams Institute website.

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