I came across an article yesterday entitled, "10 Facts About America's Gays". It was so good, I thought I'd blog about it.
Fact 1: 9 million LGBT people live in the U.S., 3.8 % of the adult population.
There's probably more of us. In fact, I'd say it's a certainty. But, due to the bigotry and homophobia that still monopolizes a large subset of our population, some of us aren't able to declare ourselves. Sad.
Fact 2: LGBT people are racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse: 1 in 4 are people of color and same-sex couples have identified themselves on the Census in 99% of U.S. counties.
We're rainbow colored.
Fact 3: A substantial percentage of LGBT people are raising children: 1 in 5 same sex couples have children and 6% of children in foster care are being raised by LGB people.
6 states expressly forbid gays to adopt. In the other 44 states, while most allow adoption by a single, gay person, there are often restrictions which do not permit same sex couples from adopting together. I wonder why? Maybe children of gay parents only deserve one parent?
Fact 4: LGB people are serving in the Armed Forces: 71,000 are currently serving, and there are over 1 million LGB veterans in the U.S.
Over 12,000 (willing to serve) soldiers have been discharged since the inception of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the 1990's. UncleR is a veteran. When she enlisted in the US Army, in order to serve, she was required to lie on her armed service application by saying that she was not homosexual. Had she not hidden the truth, she would not have been permitted to enlist.
Fact 5: 70,000 same-sex couples have gotten married in the U.S.; another 90,000 have entered into civil unions and domestic partnerships.
Make that 70,001, as of this June.
Fact 6: The annual divorce rate for same-sex couples and different-sex married couples is similar — about 2%.
See, the gays really are just like the straights.
Fact 7: LGBT people are not more affluent. Gay men earn 10% to 23% less, on average, than heterosexual men. Children of same-sex couples are twice as likely to live in poverty.
The fact that our federal government does not recognize same sex marriages prevents same sex couples from accessing the many financial benefits that accompany legal marriage in this country, including: eligibility for certain public programs, access to health benefits provided by a spouse's employer, access to life insurance benefits, Social Security benefits, etc.
Fact 8: Rates of hate crimes and employment discrimination against LGBT people are similar to or higher than for other protected groups.
Here in Texas, I can be fired (legally) for being a lesbian. I'll leave it there.
Fact 9: "Don't ask, don't tell" has cost taxpayers over $500 million since it started being enforced in 1994.
Fact 10: If all 50 states and the federal government recognized marriage for same-sex couples, the federal budget would benefit by over $1 billion each year.
Maybe we can sell same-sex marriage to the fiscally-conservative Republicans by explaining the benefits to our economy. It could work.