One-Quarter of Gay Couples Raising Children, Census Reveals

Filed under: In The News

Just as New York legislators are voting on a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state, the U.S. Census has released data that could have a huge impact on the vote.

The census counted same-sex couples and their children for the first time in 2010, and shows that about a quarter of gay American couples are raising kids.

"Data released today on five more states showed that 28 percent of families in Wyoming are raising children. In California, the percentage is 21 percent; Delaware, 19 percent; Kansas, 26 percent; and Pennsylvania, 20 percent," ABC reports.

If New York does pass the bill, it will become the sixth state to legalize gay marriage after Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire -- as well as the District of Columbia.

According to ABC, this kind of census information is vital in political debates, advocates say, as the data helps in forming policies that ensure the best interest of children.

Stuart Gaffney, a spokesman for the gay rights group Marriage Equality USA, says these families have always existed, but this is just the first time they are accurately reflected in the population.

"It's something we find out when they are lobbying in legislatures like Albany right now and reps say they don't have someone in their district who it matters to," he tells ABC. "That's why it's so critical to show we are in every state, every city and every county in the United States. There are constituents and they need to know we are here."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.