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The Facts About Gay Marriage

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The editors at Best Counseling Degrees decided to research the topic of:

The Facts About Gay Marriage

Facts and stats about gay marriage - who supports gay marriage, who identifies as LGBT, gay marriage and the military, and more.

Facts & Stats: Where is it legal

- Nine states plus the District of Columbia currently allow same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington. [1]
- Three more states will legalize gay marriage this summer: Delaware on July 1, 2013 and Minnesota and Rhode Island on August 1, 2013. [2]
- Thirty-six states ban same-sex marriage in their state constitutions or by state law. [2]
- New Jersey and New Mexico do not have bans against same-sex marriage nor laws to allow it. [2]
- Gay couples have been able to marry in Massachusetts for nine years. [1]
- Massachusetts was the first state to allow gay marriage. [1]
- The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in November 2003 that it was unconstitutional for same-sex couples to be banned from marrying. It began allowing gay marriages on May 17, 2004. [1]
- Gay marriage was legal in California for 142 days before voters banned it with Proposition 8. [1]
- About 18,000 couples were married In California during that 142 day window. [1]
- Civil unions, which grant couples most of the rights of state civil marriages but not federal benefits, are legal in Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey. [2]
- Fifteen other countries, and parts of Mexico, have laws that allow same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships. Most of these countries are in Europe and South America. [2]

Who supports gay marriage?

By age group

A May 2013 Gallup poll shows that 53% of Americans say the law should recognize same-sex marriages. Three years ago, support for gay marriage was at 44%. In 1996, it was 27%. [3]

Younger Americans are more likely to support gay marriage than older Americans. 2013 Stats: [3]

Ages % that support gay marriage

-18 to 29 - 70%
-30 to 49 - 53%
-50 to 64 - 46%
-65+ - 41%

By political affiliation

Political Party - % Support Gay Marriage

-All Americans - 53%
-Democrat - 69%
-Independent - 58%
-Republican - 26%
-Liberal - 80%
-Moderate - 60%
-Conservative - 28%
-Of Americans who support gay marriage, 32% say they support it because everyone deserves equal rights and freedoms. Thirty-two percent say it is a personal choice, and that it is love and happiness - not sexual orientation - that matter. [5]
-Of Americans who oppose gay marriage, 47% cite religious reasons for their opposition. [5]
-Fifty-four percent of Americans say they would vote for a law that provides marriage benefits (e.g., insurance, taxes, Social Security, etc.) to spouses of federal employees in same-sex marriages. [6]
-Of those, 73% are Democrats, 52% are Independents and 38% are Republicans. [6]

Who identifies themselves as being LGBT?

-There are approximately 9 million Americans who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. [1]
-According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 3.4% of Americans identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. [4]
-A third of people who identify themselves as being LGBT are non-white. [4]
-Women (3.6%) are slightly more likely to identify themselves as being LGBT than men (3.3%). [4]
-Adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are three times as likely to identify as LGBT versus seniors aged 65 and older. [4]
-LGBT identity declines with age. [4]

Ages % of Americans that identify themselves as being LGBT

-18 to 29 - 6.4%
-30 to 49 - 3.2%
-50 to 64 - 2.6%
-65+ - 1.9%
-Nearly 13% of those in a domestic partnership or living with a partner identify as LGBT. [4]
-Seven percent of single people who have never been married consider themselves LGBT. [4]
-The percentage of LGBT individuals who are married is 1.3%, the lowest of any subgroup (married, single/never married, domestic partnership, divorced, separated, widowed). [4]
-There are approximately 594,000 same-sex couple households in the United States, about 1% of all couple households. [8]
-Approximately 115,000 of the 594,000 same-sex couple households had children. [8]

Gay marriage and the military

-Same-sex partners who sign a "Declaration of Domestic Partnership" form are eligible for some benefits including unescorted status when visiting bases, access to commissaries, the right to visit their partners in military hospitals and survivor benefits. [7]
-Other benefits, such as health care coverage, will not be offered to troops at this time because of the limitations of the Defense of Marriage Act. [7]
-The Pentagon estimates there are 5,600 active duty troops seeking such benefits, plus 3,400 National Guard troops and 8,000 retirees. [7]