Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gay Parenting Most Common in South

This article is very interesting and enlightening on a number of levels.

In addition, the data show, child rearing among same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gay couples in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.

The pattern, identified by Mr. Gates, is also notable because the families in this region defy the stereotype of a mainstream gay America that is white, affluent, urban and living in the Northeast or on the West Coast.

“We’re starting to see that the gay community is very diverse,” said Bob Witeck, chief executive of Witeck-Combs Communications, which helped market the census to gay people. “We’re not all rich white guys.”

My first reaction is to hope that the fact that the South is home to the most gay parents will serve as a wake up call to residents of other states that consider themselves progressive but aren't forcing their state legislatures to make a real push for gay rights (I am looking at you, New York). What are your reactions? What stood out to you about these findings?

1 comment:

BlindGiant said...

I appreciate the general tone of the article. I remember reading some studies in which people opposed to gay rights said that they didn't know m/any gay people, and the study's authors suggested that perhaps their gay friends were too uncomfortable to tell them. One assumes that realizing that your friends are gay would help you understand the humanity of gay people rather than thinking of them as some conceptual evil. So it's nice to have an article that discusses gay communities throughout the South, for the sake of demonstrating that they are not the walled-off elitist communities that television imagines.

I'm a bit on the fence about their interview of one of the children. While surely her stance is legitimate, it might lead people to believe that the children of gay parents really suffer socially or internally because of the gender of their parents, which the APA officially disagrees with. Most children raised by gay parents are healthy and well-adjusted, and contradictory anecdotes probably do more harm than good.