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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Anti-Gay Religious Attitudes Create Gay Families

Posted by on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 8:21 AM


In addition, the data show, child rearing among same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gay couples in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England. The pattern, identified by Mr. Gates, is also notable because the families in this region defy the stereotype of a mainstream gay America that is white, affluent, urban and living in the Northeast or on the West Coast.

“We’re starting to see that the gay community is very diverse,” said Bob Witeck, chief executive of Witeck-Combs Communications, which helped market the census to gay people. “We’re not all rich white guys.”

Black and Latino gay and lesbian couples, the study found, were twice as likely to be raising kids, and most gay parents had their children in heterosexual relationships entered into before coming out. And you gotta love the irony: gays and lesbians who had kids when they were closeted—kids they're now raising with same-sex partners—entered into those heterosexual relationships because "church disapproval weighed heavily" on them. So religious leaders who condemn gay parents and gay families... wind up creating gay parents and gay families.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.


Comments (23) RSS

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Canuck 1
Sorry, didn't you get the memo? Gay families aren't "real" families, only god-fearin' hypocritical straight people get to be called families...
Posted by Canuck on January 19, 2011 at 8:38 AM · Report this
I wonder what the break down is between lesbians raising kids versus gay guys.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 19, 2011 at 8:52 AM · Report this
Arboreality 3
I saw Gates, from the Williams Institute, speak to this data last October at the LA Out & Equal conference, and this was one of the elements that struck me the most.

I, too, loved the irony: more children are being raised by gay parents precisely because it was not okay for those parents to be gay themselves. Oh, crazy christians, you truly do reap what you sow.

@2, As child rearing parents, if I recall correctly, the numbers were actually very close between gays and lesbians.

Two other striking things I learned from the session:

First, was that minority groups, especially African Americans, tend to stay where they were born, rather than migrating to the "big city" as the oft-stated myth suggests. In fact, for all racial and gender groups, gay people pretty much live in the same places -- rural, urban, inter-urban -- that their straight counterparts do. So it's not really surprising at all that gay blacks live in the south... but it does mean that when it comes to deciding where you feel comfortable, gayness is not the defining matter for people; instead they choose to be where they find cultural similarities outside their being gay.

Second, there are WAY more people who are by definition of their sexual activities Bisexual, and they are considerably more closeted than gays or lesbians. Like, 3x more closeted. Increasingly, gays and lesbians are willing to come out to family and at work, but bisexuals are still not willing to do so, making it difficult to get true numbers when you try to identify how many LGBT there are.

The williams institute is awesome, and if their link weren't down right now I'd be pointing to it.
Posted by Arboreality on January 19, 2011 at 9:09 AM · Report this
How awful to be a kid and have to keep it secret that your mom is gay lest she be fired from your school. A great article.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 19, 2011 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Canuck 5
Even here, gus, where you can't lose your job over your orientation, there are very few out teachers. It's sad, because I can't think of a better place to do it, for the kids' sake.
Posted by Canuck on January 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM · Report this
and we are presented with more overwhelming evidence that 'homosexuality' is just one more behavior choice...
Posted by Choose Wisely on January 19, 2011 at 9:40 AM · Report this
How awful to be a kid and have to keep it secret that your mom is in a lesbian relationship....
Posted by thankxmom! on January 19, 2011 at 9:48 AM · Report this
OutInBumF 8
FINALLY! Someone finds what I've long suspected- gay parents come by their kids the 'natural' way, and then bring their gay partner into the mix. The finding that christian hate causes gay families is also something I've long suspected and now find confirmed.
I have my two sons from my 'straight' marriage, which was a result of the 'pray away the gay' myth. Had I not had that kind of pressure in the '70's, from within and without, I would have no children today, and there'd be one less gay parent out there.
I returned to my rural roots to raise my kids, once I'd done my time in the big city to get on my gay feet. Still live here, tho the kids are long gone to adulthood.
The lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. When will these stupid xtians learn that the harder they swat at the fire, the bigger it gets?
PS- no, I am not bisexual in any way that matters.
Posted by OutInBumF on January 19, 2011 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 9
Gus & Canuck,
I've been really impressed at the number of elementary and high school teachers at Toronto's Pride parade over the last few years. It used to be only a handful of teachers, but now there's dozens.

Also, over the last two years, the downtown CAS building has put up signs during Pride saying they need more LGBT foster and adoptive parents. So, change does happen, just hella slowly.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on January 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM · Report this
BEG 10
@5 yes, what I wouldn't have given for an openly queer teacher in school. Instead what we got were a handful of perverts and molesters hidden among the otherwise great (and straight presenting) teachers...
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on January 19, 2011 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 11
@6: If you can't understand the difference between who you choose to sleep with and who you are capable of having emotional and physical connection with, I pity you and any partner(s) you may have in your life.

Homosexuality is not a behaviour choice or a lifestyle. People are gay or not, and the only choice we can all make is self-acceptance or self-hatred. I'm always impressed and amazed by the many people who have the courage to choose self-acceptance.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on January 19, 2011 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 12
I don't know about "The Lord," Dan, but humans aren't all that mysterious: As a society, they're stupid as sand, but on a personal level, they get by as best they can.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM · Report this

homosexuality sounds a lot like religion.
Posted by and not in a good way..... on January 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Canuck 14
Canadian Nurse, that's great about the teachers there. There are only a handful of GSAs in Calgary schools, there aren't, as far as I can tell, any openly gay teachers at my son's school.

BEG, can you even imagine what a difference that would make to kids, both gay and straight? I can't think of a better way to make a person's orientation irrelevant than to introduce kids to the various types when they are young.
Posted by Canuck on January 19, 2011 at 10:23 AM · Report this
John Horstman 15
Oh Yahweh, you've done it again, you rascal.
Posted by John Horstman on January 19, 2011 at 10:37 AM · Report this

You're absolutely right. It is terrible that a kid needs to keep that a secret lest he be the victim of bigotry and hate. I agree with you that a kid should not be ashamed if his parents are gay.
Posted by Largo on January 19, 2011 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Rach3l 17
My sister is a gay teacher in TX with a girlfriend in the midwest (not a long distance relationship by choice, they were living together for years but that was the only job she could find this school year).

Thoroughly closeted to her coworkers, out of necessity. :(
Posted by Rach3l on January 19, 2011 at 11:41 AM · Report this
@2, My assumption, based on no facts other than those that I observe, would be that more lesbian couples (and singles) are raising children than gay guys. In the instances of former closeted with children born in their hetero marriages, custody is generally awarded to women if it's disputed. It's unfair to the fathers, and archaic, but it happens. Not claiming to have stats to back it, but I've seen it happen time and again to my male friends. In the instances of children born to gay parents, it's much simpler for a lesbian to get pregnant than for a gay couple to find a surrogate.
Posted by catballou on January 19, 2011 at 11:54 AM · Report this

It really doesn't matter whether or not gay behavior is a choice. The only harm that comes from gay activity is a result of bigotry. The problem is not the gays, it's the bigots. Like the anonymous troll @6 who spends all his time thinking about unprotected man-on-man anal sex.
Posted by dwight moody on January 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM · Report this
It really doesn't matter whether or not gay behavior is a choice.

That's what I always thought. Even if gay behavior were a choice, what difference would it make? If anti-gay activists want to have valid arguments, they'd have to prove being gay is harmful, which as far as I can tell they haven't. Any argument about 'unnaturalness' simply flies in the face of all the 'unnatural' things people do, from writing blogs to driving cars.
Posted by ankylosaur on January 19, 2011 at 6:48 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 21
@19: I know you're right. Even if it were a choice it wouldn't matter.

But... it still drives me crazy when people say being gay is a choice. I've been in ER rooms a friend after her suicide attempt; I've been up all night with another friend who was having panic attacks; I've had phone calls at 4 am from the second friend, since she had promised me she'd call before hurting herself. Neither of those friends chose to be gay, and I'm so proud of them that they decided to live lives of honesty and self-acceptance.

Pretending that either of them just woke up and said, "Today I choose to be gay" is an insult to the long and difficult road they've both walked.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on January 19, 2011 at 9:04 PM · Report this
I raise my hand.

I am a lesbian that had a child at 16, married her father at 17, had my second child at 20, divorced their father at 21 and came out as lesbian at 25.

My former partner was my childrens' "other" parent for the majority of their lives. They are amazing adult now.

What were we talking about again? Oh, yeah, right...I grew up in the Bible Belt, but my heathen mother moved me to Arizona where all the above occurred. I'm sure none of it would have happened had we remained in the God fearing mid-west.
Posted by MaiaD on January 19, 2011 at 10:29 PM · Report this
@20 It would make even more sense if the "unnatural" things that gay folks do weren't also done by straight ones. In fact, in terms of sheer numbers, every "disgusting" thing that the freaked-out, anti-gay, pruriently-obsessed infants trot out as examples of "why you should hate the gayz" is something done far more frequently by straight couples.

Haters, listen up. Sex acts: Gay people aren't capable of doing anything that straight people don't also do, and there are a lot more straight people doing it, so your argument is complete and total shit. Go get a life. And go get laid, if you can, and stop worrying about other people's sex lives.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 2, 2011 at 1:42 AM · Report this

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