Census corrects area gay marriage data


(Michael Temchine/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Errors in the way the census recorded information in the “name” and ”sex” fields are to blame for the inflated original count, census officials said Tuesday. The August report was 6.3 percent higher than the revised data.

Still, same-sex couples are reporting their status more openly than before. Gary Gates, a demographer with the Williams Institute, a UCLA think tank that specializes in gay legal and policy issues, spoke to The Washington Post in August:

“The bulk of the change is people acknowledging it. Indicating your relationship on a census form is one way of suggesting people are more open about it. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re terribly out in their community.”

Revised data for the District now show 4,822 same-sex couples (5,146 couples were reported in August), a 42.5 percent increase from numbers recorded in 2000. Of this number, 745 couples say they are spouses.

Other significant findings:

Virginia: 4,243 same-sex couples, a 75 percent increase from 2000 numbers. Of this number, 2,474 say they are spouses.

Maryland: 12,538 same-sex couples, a 78 percent rise from 2000 numbers. Of this number, 2,321 say they are spouses.

Earlier data showed that same-sex couples with children were more likely to live in Washington’s surrounding counties and suburbs rather than in the city itself.

“We live where we can afford, where it’s reasonable to work, where there are good schools if you have children and where it’s close to shopping amenities. All the things our parents looked for,” Cary Jagur, president of the Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Association said in August.

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