New research published in Los Angeles today has revealed that estimated 11,000 same-sex couples have married in California in the first three months since gay weddings were ruled legal in the state.
The Williams Institute estimates that the number same-sex couples in the state has increased to 109,000, or 14% of the US total, and there are 861,000 lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults living in California.
Same-sex couples live in every county in California, constituting 9 of every 1,000 households.
San Francisco has the highest percentage of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals at 14%, followed by Humbolt (5.6%), Lake (5%), Santa Cruz (5%), and Sacramento (4.3%).
Voters in California will consider a ballot measure on election day in November that would alter the state constitution and “eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry.”
In May the California Supreme Court overturned a ban on same-sex marriages in the state.
The Court voted 4 to 3 to strike down the ban.
Opponents of gay marriage raised more than a million signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot.
The research from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law revealed that five counties account for nearly 80% of the estimated 11,000 same-sex couples: Los Angeles (2,719), San Francisco (2,708), San Diego (1,689), Riverside (1,247), and Alameda (475).
These are all counties known to have large and visible lesbian and gay populations and are also attractive tourist destinations for both in- and out-of-state weddings.
The Williams Institute also published three new research studies providing demographic and economic information for the 109,000 same-sex couples in California.
The first study, an analysis of recent data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, shows that nearly 25% of same-sex couples in California are raising more than 52,000 children.
“Clearly, same-sex couples who seek legal recognition are in enduring relationships,” said Gary Gates, Senior Research Fellow at the Williams Institute and co-author of all three studies.
“While lesbians are more likely to be in a cohabiting partnership than are gay men, gay men nonetheless have longer duration relationships, especially those who have sought official registration, 12 years average duration for gay men compared to 9 years for lesbians.”
The third study, published in the journal Review of Economics of the Household, reveals that the usual predictors of marriage, economic factors like education and income, do not have as strong an impact in predicting which lesbian and gay couples will seek registered domestic partnership.