The Numbers of Americans Impacted by Gay Rights

June/30/2013 5:20AM
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The rights of gay Americans get a great deal of media and political attention these days. We must have a large number of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to get so much air time and have such political clout.

I did a little research to see if there are statistics to provide the size of the homosexual population.

First, let me say, I am not against gay marriage. I was just curious.

The U.S. census Bureau began asking questions about same-sex households in the 1990 Census. They found that only 581,300 individuals were part of a same-sex household in 2009. That was less than one-half of one percent of the 307 million people living in the country in 2009. The Census Bureau 2010 Demographic Profile showed that “same-sex spouses” were 2.5% of the U.S. population in the 2010 report. The University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center, which has been doing research on homosexuality for almost 30 years, states the percentage at 2%, virtually interchanged since the 80’s.  Splitting the difference, the number of homosexual Americans is approximately 6 million.

However, Gallup showed that 52% of the total US  population said that at least one in five Americans is homosexual and 35 percent estimated more that one in four. The general population overestimates the homosexual population by a magnitude of 10.

This confirms two things to me. First, most Americans, like me, believe the number of homosexuals in this country is very large. The Galllup poll estimates between 20-25% is the popular belief.

Second, the amount of attention this relatively small percentage of the population has received is significantly higher than the actual population would normally receive. Hence, the attention creates the disparity between the actual population size and the public estimate of the size of the population.

One can only tip one’s hat to the Gay Rights Movement. They have done a remarkable job of getting the attention of the media and the politicians relative to the size of their population.

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