Interesting data points,courtesy UCLA’s Williams Institute, for a story I’m working on, set for publication in QNotes‘ Feb. 5 print edition…
Ranking of metropolitan areas with population above one million by the percent of same-sex couples who are raising children under age 18, American Community Survey (2005-2009).
|Rank||Metropolitan Area||% of Same-sex couples raising children under age 18||Same-sex couples raising children||Same-sex couples not raising children||Total Same-sex couples|
|36||Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC||18.9%||840||3,613||4,453|
An important side note: It’s important to remember that data sets like these do not accurately reflect the entire LGBT population. In this case, the numbers are a reflection of same-sex couples and excludes single LGBT people. Further, the American Community Survey and U.S. Census do not count total numbers of LGBT citizens or residents. It’s a shame really, since all we have to go by regarding total LGBT population in this country are numbers like these and other data sets extrapolated by groups like the Williams Institute (by far, the best and most in-depth). Some studies, like Indiana University’s National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, found 7 percent of women and 8 percent of men identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual (of 6,000 people nationwide between the ages of 14 and 94). That study also found that by age 60, 15 percent of men have had at least one oral, same-sex sexual encounter.
In Raleigh, a lesbian couple with children was almost denied entry to a preview sale at a popular children’s consignment fair (Raleigh News & Observer):
Kids Exchange is having a sale this weekend, where people can consign and buy used baby and children’s clothing and toys. Volunteers who agree to work 11 to 12 hours at the sale get a special perk — exclusive access to an early preview sale on the Wednesday before.
Amanda Lenhart showed up Wednesday for early shopping with her partner, Kathy Perry, who had volunteered this week. But they encountered resistance from a 10-year-old rule that only spouses may accompany volunteers to the early sale.
Lenhart said she and Perry were stopped by the woman working the door. Lenhart explained that they were domestic partners and that the two children with them were theirs.
Still, the woman objected, Lenhart said. Eventually, they were let in by another woman who knew them, and they were able to shop.
But as the couple checked out, a woman working the cash register said they would not be permitted to shop at the early sale again, Lenhart said.
Organizers say their aim isn’t to discriminate against gay couples:
Organizers have strictly enforced the policy, not allowing volunteers to bring their mothers, sisters or friends to take advantage of the early sale.
“We care so much about our volunteers, we want to protect them,” said Amy Winstead, a co-founder of the sale. She added that the policy is not meant to discriminate against gay couples.
EqualityNC’s Ian Palmquist connected the dots between civil recognition and social respect for readers:
Ian Palmquist, executive director of Equality N.C., an organization working for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians, said Lenhart and Perry’s experience is not uncommon.
“The fact is, in North Carolina same-sex couples don’t have any recognition from the state,” he said. “They encounter this sort of discrimination on a daily basis.”
I could go on about other demographic breakouts, but the conclusion is the same: No, of course AA voters aren’t the sole reason Prop 8 passed; some of the blame belongs elsewhere. But they’re a damned big part of the reason, and we shouldn’t try to paper over that fact.
Given that no other racial/ethnic group’s rejection of Prop 8 even came close to these figures and that black liberalism has been contested since the Reconstruction era (think DuBois vs Washington struggle), I find that it is not plausible to blame blacks for the passage of Prop 8 by statistics alone.
Some of the statements being made by West Coast queers about the blame the African-American community holds for “passing” Prop. 8 is wrong. The numbers just don’t support that “conclusion” that blacks were the reason Prop. 8 passed. And, I find it disturbing that the only folks I’ve heard repeat those lines are privileged, white gay men.
The Christian Action League of North Carolina’s executive director, the Rev. Mark Creech, says Christians were “body slammed” at the polls. Obama’s won. The Tar Heel State went blue. Indeed, his world must be coming to an end.
But, no! He finds hope!
The Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, admitted late this week that he has truly grieved over what he likened to believers’ being “body slammed” at the polls. But deeper than his grief is his conviction that God will use this very dark moment in our nation’s history to reverse its course permanently.
“In a sense I believe it is kind of like a drug addict that has to hit rock bottom before turning around,” Creech said. “I’m afraid our country and state have to hit rock bottom before realizing that the ideas it has embraced are bankrupt.”
He’s laid out his post-election action plan:
- Focus on anti-choice initiatives at the national level to confront Obama as “the most pro-abortion president in the nation’s histor.”
- Redouble their efforts to push back state legislation that would protect North Carolina children from bullying, harassment and abuse in public schools.
- Push N.C. state legislators to pass a constitutional amendment banning recognition of all same-sex relationships.
Oh, and don’t forget his plea for cash:
The Rev. Creech also challenged supporters to make a difference by contributing financially to the Christian Action League.
“The Christian Action League is struggling financially. If ever there was a time to come to our aid, now is the time to do it,” he said, alluding to the organization’s budget deficit.
A bankrupt Christian Action League. Oh, no. We can’t have that.
Citizenlink.org, the website of the anti-gay Focus on the Family’s political action group, posted a press release Friday from California’s Yes on 8 campaign.
Through the entire thing, the Yes on 8 folks and Focus on the Family ignore every reality in our nation, politically, legally, socially. They conveniently paint a common experience among adopted children as one that only occurs in kids with gay parents. The political spinning is great, really it is. It’s also shameful.
Oh, and utilizing the family situation of a world-wide famous Hollywood couple. Yeah, Yes on 8 needs some attention.
The Right screams and rants when the political left uses children to a political advantage, yet the Right has no problem whatsoever doing it themselves.
Radical Right leader Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries has said the fight over California marriage equality and Proposition 8 is Armageddon:
“If sexual freedom is the ultimate liberty, then you have to rewrite the Bill of Rights,” Chuck Colson, founder of the Prison Fellowship Ministries, says on a Yes on Proposition 8 video produced by the American Family Association for distribution to pastors and Christian activists. “This vote on whether we stop the gay marriage juggernaut in California is the Armageddon. We lose this — we’re going to lose in a lot of other ways, including freedom of religion.”
Colson, who will speak at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics with Dr. James Dobson in Charlotte on Nov. 7-8, should not be ignored. His language, a throw-back to violence and rhetorical militancy, should not be taken lightly.
Note: This post is a part of the world-wide Blog Action Day on poverty. In this post, I’ll delve into what a lack of marriage equality means to low-income LGBT, same-sex couples. Please visit www.blogactionday.org for more information and more posts on this exciting day to build awareness and education on this important global issue.
Gay writer James Kirchick, the assistant editor of The New Republic, eloquently outlined the many ways in which the GOP might be pulling back from its open and unregretable gay bashing. In his latest piece for The Wall Street Journal, Kirchick compared this year’s Republican National Convention to past events and speeches and statements regarding gays at each of them.
Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) mourns the passing of civil rights hero, Del Martin. Phyllis Lyon, Del’s wife, was by her side when she died.
“Del and Phyllis reflect everything that marriage represents – lifelong commitment and everlasting love,” said Molly McKay, MEUSA Media Director. “Our hearts go out to Phyllis in this difficult time. And in Del’s memory, we will redouble our efforts to fight for the freedom to marry so that all couples, like Phyllis and Del, get the same dignity and respect that only marriage can provide.”
Seems as though John McCain isn’t as radical as his evangelical followers.
We know the Religious Right would like nothing more than to strip away any kind of legal recognition or protection for LGBT people and same-sex couples. That’s why we’re seeing anti-LGBT, anti-family marriage amendments that have the possibility of outlawing any and all recognition, however big or small, for gay folks’ families.