Metro Weekly

Highest percentages of same-sex couples raising children tend to be in red states

Mississippi. North Dakota. Idaho. Montana. Wyoming. That other Dakota.

They’re not exactly known as bastions of gay rights, but when it comes to raising children in a same-sex household, they’re home sweet home.

A fascinating new study by the Williams Institute, a national think tank at UCLA Law, finds that the states with the highest percent of gay households with children tend to be those with a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. 

The Top 10:

  1. Mississippi — 26 percent!
  2. Wyoming
  3. Alaska
  4. Idaho
  5. Montana
  6. Kansas
  7. North Dakota
  8. Arkansas
  9. South Dakota
  10. Oklahoma

When broken down by metro areas with a population of more than 1 million:

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah — 26 percent
  2. Virginia Beach, Va. — 24 percent
  3. Detroit; Memphis, Tenn.; San Antonio — 22 percent

And when broken down by metro areas with a population of less than 1 million, the list becomes more surprising:

  1. Grand Forks, N.D. — 65 percent
  2. Bismarck, N.D. — 61 percent
  3. Hinesville, Ga. — 46 percent
  4. Laredo, Texas — 45 percent
  5. Visalia, Calif. — 44 percent 

When ranked with the states, D.C. has the lowest percentage of same-sex couples raising children. Only 8.7 percent of same-sex Washington couples are raising children, meaning the average gay couple in Mississippi is three-times more likely to be someone’s moms or dads than a gay couple here. 

“Research consistently shows that same-sex couples raise children all across the country,” said Williams Institute public policy research fellow, Angeliki Kastanis. “This analysis underscores the fact that recognition of LGBT families is a consequential policy question in every state.”

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