Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Report shows lesbian and gay families live in NYC's outer boroughs

Note to those who think being gay in NYC means you must live in Manhattan: You would be wrong.

This week the Williams Institute at UCLA issued a report that gives a detailed look at the lives of same-sex couples living in the five boroughs of NYC. The report’s primary author, Gary Gates, is the nation’s foremost expert on studying U.S. Census data to shed light on the demographic and economic makeup of the country’s lesbian and gay population. The report gives a city-wide overview and then looks at each borough separately.

From our perspective as advocates for marriage equality, the major take-away in this report is the strong message this sends to Assemblymembers and State Senators in the outer boroughs still making up their minds on where they stand on marriage for our families. The message is this: our families having access to marriage (and the protections New York provides with marriage) will directly benefit families in your districts. You have lesbian and gay constituents – a lot in fact – and they need marriage and the 1,324 rights and responsibilities it provides to keep their families strong. They are raising thousands of children who are depending upon you to provide their families with the protections only marriage can provide.

Here are some of the report's key findings:

  • Same-sex couples live in every borough with 62% living in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island
  • They are racially and ethnically diverse and in some cases, like in the Bronx, are more likely to be non-white than those in the Bronx who are different-sex married couples.
  • Ninety-two percent (92%) of children being raised by same-sex couples live outside of Manhattan and nearly half of same-sex couples in the Bronx are raising children.
  • Same-sex couples raising children are economically disadvantaged, having average household incomes between 7% (Brooklyn) and 36% (Staten Island) lower than their married counterparts.
  • Same-sex couples raising children in the four outer boroughs are less likely than their married counterparts to own their own homes.

The New York Post got it right in its headline (for once) when it said: Gay-Parent Mecca. Chelsea? Nope. The Bronx!

Go here to look at the entire Williams Institute report and here to read our statement on the report.

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