Gay and Lesbian Marriages in California Grows Rapidly

The number of households headed by gays and lesbians in California to grow six times faster than opposite sex couples between 2000 and 2010, a decade when the country was rocked by the battle over same-sex marriage.

Homosexual population who live together as a couple rose 36.2 percent, and rose to 5.7 percent of heterosexual marriages, according to census data released today. Even with this increase, domestic same-sex couples rose only 1 percent of all households in this most densely populated country.

Although the growth rate of smaller groups that are expected to exceed the married couples of the opposite sex, the increase was significant because the magnitude and what it says about the willingness of gays and lesbians to disclose their status, said William Frey, demographer from the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Gay and lesbian couples have long felt more comfortable, and accepted, in states like California and New York, said Gary Gates of the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy in Los Angeles. That may be the case across the U.S..

United States Census Bureau gradually released details about the relationship of ethnic origin, age, housing and families in 50 countries - and so far, the data for Alabama showing same-sex households rose 38.8 percent between 2000 and 2010, and up 42, 1 percent in Wyoming and 55.4 percent in Kansas.

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