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Old 11-04-2009, 12:40 PM   #1
Ernest Nagel
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Default Gay couples similar to straight spouses

This is hardly breaking news and while it may seem patently obvious to most of us it apparently wasn't to 53% of the Maine electorate yesterday. Against the evangelical's and fundamentalist's agitprop facts are our best friends. JMO.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33595163/ns/us_news-life/

Report: Gay couples similar to straight spouses
Nearly one-third of same-sex couples are raising children, data shows


updated 8:47 p.m. CT, Mon., Nov . 2, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO - Same-sex couples who identify as married are similar to straight spouses in terms of age and income, and nearly one-third of them are raising children, according to Census data released Monday that provides a demographic snapshot of gay families in America.

The study released by a think tank based at UCLA also found that Utah and Wyoming were among the states with the highest percentages of gay spouses in 2008, despite being heavily conservative states with no laws providing legal recognition of gay relationships.

The data from the annual American Community Survey showed that nearly 150,000 same-sex couples in the U.S., or more than one in four, referred to one another as "husband" or "wife," although UCLA researchers estimate that no more than 32,000 of the couples were legally married.

Many couples raising children
The couples had an average age of 52 and household incomes of $91,558, while 31 percent were raising children. That compares with an average age of 50, household income of $95,075 and 43 percent raising children for married heterosexual couples.

"It's intrinsically interesting that same-sex couples who use the term spouses look like opposite-sex married couples even with a characteristic like children," said Gary Gates, the UCLA demographer who conducted the analysis. "Most proponents of traditional marriage will say that when you allow these couples to marry, you are going to change the fundamental nature of marriage by decoupling it from procreation. Clearly, in the minds of same-sex couples who are marrying or think of themselves as married, you are not decoupling child-rearing from marriage."

Gates said the report is the first to reliably compare same-sex couples who identify as married with gays who say they're in unmarried partnerships and with married opposite-sex couples.

In the past, same-sex couples who referred to one another as "husband" or "wife" automatically were recorded as unmarried partners, a step gay rights activists lobbied the Census Bureau to eliminate as more states have legalized same-sex unions.

Unsurprisingly, Massachusetts, where gay couples have been able to get married since 2004, had the highest proportion of same-sex couples who were either legally married or considered themselves married, 3.63 for every 1,000 households. Vermont, which allowed same-sex couples to enter in civil unions with all the rights and obligations of marriage in 1999 and made same-sex marriages legal this year, came in second, with a rate of 2.71 per 1,000.

But Hawaii, Utah and Wyoming — states with neither civil unions nor same-sex marriage — came in next, ahead of California, Nevada, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island. What accounts for the phenomenon is unclear, but "it does provide this evidence that there are clearly couples in conservative parts of the country who do use these terms and do see their relationships in that framework."

‘A marriage mentality here’
Melissa Bird, a 35-year-old Utah lobbyist, said she understood why her home state has so many same-sex couples who see themselves as married, even though the state government does not recognize them that way. Bird and her 26-year-old partner had a commitment ceremony two years ago in Utah that wasn't legally binding. They tied the knot legally in California last year before voters approved a gay marriage ban.

"There is very much a marriage mentality here in Utah," said Bird, whom considers her partner her wife. "We know a lot of people who get 'married' in quotes. It never crossed our minds not to do it."
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:43 PM   #2
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For the millionth goddamn time it was not 53% of Maine's voters. It was 53% of THOSE WHO TURNED OUT.


I'm pissed that it got overturned but can we PLEASE BE REALISTIC HERE
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tooz View Post
For the millionth goddamn time it was not 53% of Maine's voters. It was 53% of THOSE WHO TURNED OUT.


I'm pissed that it got overturned but can we PLEASE BE REALISTIC HERE
Picky, picky picky! FAIL = FAIL. Numbers won't change until minds do (or the SCOTUS grows some balls and handles this as the civil rights issue that it is). JMO.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ernest Nagel View Post
Picky, picky picky! FAIL = FAIL. Numbers won't change until minds do (or the SCOTUS grows some balls and handles this as the civil rights issue that it is). JMO.
I'm just growing tired of peoples' attitudes about this. It's not the whole damn state, and it's IMPORTANT to note that, because it's not like it won 3 to 1 or something.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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I get your point that it's not the whole state. But unfortunately when it comes to legislation and voting, it doesn't matter what those people that didn't vote think. They don't count. Literally.

I mean to a certain extent there has to be some responsibility, not necessarily by you of course, taken for the low turn-out of voters in ALL of these types of propositions.

And it's also worth noting, Maine is not the only state where this has happened. I know it happened in my home state of Oregon a few years ago. In fact I don't think that any state has survived one of these propositions after a states supreme court has ruled on the legal rights of same sex marriage.

We just need to get smarter. We need to be more proactive. We need to stop them from being able to pull tricky business, like letting out of state firms decide what's best on the state level, or letting them frame the argument like all of their propositions it's a "Yes" vote if you're AGAINST gay marriage - as opposed to a "No" vote or having something this important be shoved into an "off" election year cycle.

We shall triumph! Eventually...
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:00 PM   #6
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I agree, but I'm just getting sick of the attitude.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:23 PM   #7
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This reminds me of this MASSIVE argument I had with a human sexuality prof in college - we had a test with the question, "Which of these most accurately describes the relationship between homosexual partners? A) Best friends, B) Siblings, C) Husband and wife" The textbook DID say best friends, and that's what she went with, but MAN did I ever have it out with her over that one. She ended up giving me the point, because she said she agreed with me, but she didn't change the test because she had to follow the textbook. *grumble*
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:28 AM   #8
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I can see how you would take this personally Tooz. If you were even half as patriotic over the state you live in as i am of Scotland your hackles would be raised at the thought of anyone thinking badly about your home. I think people just have a gut reaction though when this sort of injustice occurs. I have to agree with Ernest that this is a 'human rights' issue. Gay couples should have the same rights as straight people no questions asked. It should be law.
I might have mentioned this before but a while back we had a weird law called 'section 28' which basically stopped gay people having many of the rights straight people have. There was a bit of an outcry because a rich buisness man (The owner of stagecoach) paid for an advertising campaign- which included posters put up with a granny holding a baby with the quote beneath her saying "I don't want my grandchild being taught about two men having sex at school" -It was almost laughable really! I remember going out with my friends and painting over as many as we could with pink paint! (Oh the good old days!) -
Anyway..The first scottish minister (of the scottish parliment) Donald dewer, when the section 28 issue came up in parliment basically said "This is a human right issue and of course section 28 should be disbanded". The arsehole at stagecoach lost a shitload of money and his stocks plummeted (I have gay friends to this day who wont use his busses).
I just find it weird that two human beings dont have the same rights as each other, simply because of the gender of the person that one of those people is attracted to. It should not be allowed. It is a disgrace to the whole of America (not just particular states), which is a shame because i know there are so many queer friendly people there.
I hope next time the queers and queer supporters rally around and make sure they know that every vote counts!! As you say.. it was a very close call.
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