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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Topic: gay

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July 31, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Map: Is Seattle’s ‘gayborhood’ vanishing?

Click to open interactive map In 1994, when Roddy Lindquist moved from Kent to the gay enclave of Capitol Hill, he didn’t even consider living anywhere else. “I wanted to be able to walk down the street holding my boyfriend’s hand,” he says. “Capitol Hill was the only place you could do that without getting harassed.” But after nearly 20…

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Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Capitol Hill, gay, LGBT

September 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Seattle overtakes San Francisco as No.1 city for gay couples

fyiguy_gays

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Move over, San Francisco.

Seattle now has the highest concentration of gay-couple households among America’s large cities.

Recently-released estimates from the Census Bureau show that in 2012, 2.6 percent of Seattle households were gay couples.  That is the highest percentage among the 50 most populous cities in the United States.

San Francisco, which had held the top spot since the Census Bureau began counting same-sex couples in 2000, ranked second with 2.5 percent of all households.

It’s a sharp reversal from previous census estimates.  In 2011, San Francisco had 2.4 percent gay-couple households to Seattle’s 1.7.

We are still No. 2 to San Francisco, however, for the percentage of gay-male households.  But Seattle claimed the top city for the percentage of lesbian couples by a relatively wide margin.  With lesbian couples making up 1.2 percent of households in 2012, Seattle was the only large city to exceed 1 percent.

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Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, gay, sexual orientation

March 21, 2013 at 6:10 AM

Support for gay marriage: How does Seattle rank?

The results of two national polls showing growing acceptance of same-sex marriage were released this week.   But we certainly don’t need a poll to tell us that the Seattle area supports marriage equality — after all, we voted for it.  In last November’s election, Referendum 74 to approve same-sex marriage passed by 67 percent in King County and 53 percent in Snohomish County.

But just how strong is our level of support compared with other parts of the country?

In surveys of more than 200,000 Americans conducted between October 2011 and September 2012 — slightly before voters here approved Ref. 74 — the Seattle area ranked sixth out of 79 metropolitan areas for the percentage of adults who showed some level of support for gay marriage.

The map below illustrates the metro areas with the 10 highest and 10 lowest levels of support.  Roll your mouse over the circles to see the data:

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Comments | More in Demographics, Market Research | Topics: gay, marriage

November 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Gay marriage and Eastern Washington: What’s wrong with this picture?

Ref. 74 map: One of these things is not like the other…

Everyone knows by now that same-sex marriage in Washington state was affirmed by popular vote — but the vote was a lot more popular in some parts of the state than others.  Most Puget Sound counties voted in favor of gay marriage, while the rest of the state voted against it.  The geographic divide is abundantly clear on the Washington Secretary of State’s Ref. 74 results map.

And yet, there’s something funny about this map.  Way over on the eastern edge of the state, amid a vast sea of yellow rejection, a lone patch of green approval stands out.  What is that place?

Meet Whitman County.

So why there?  Ref. 74 went down in flames in the rest of Eastern Washington.  What’s different about Whitman County?

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Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, elections, gay

October 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Just how gay is Seattle?

Seattle during Gay Pride, 2006 (photo by Lsc2seattle via Wikimedia Commons)

The battle is heating up over Referendum 74, which will ask voters to decide if the new law allowing same-sex marriage in Washington should be upheld.  The people who will be most immediately affected by the outcome of this vote, naturally, are gay men and lesbians.

So just how many people would that be here in Washington and in Seattle?

It would be nice if there were good, solid data to answer that question, but there really aren’t.   The Census Bureau doesn’t ask about sexual orientation directly.   There are some surveys of the gay population, but the best they can do is approximate an overall figure for the country, not for individual states, counties and cities.

However, there is a relevant question that the Census Bureau does ask, and it at least hints at an answer.

Since 1990, the Census has asked Americans if they are in a same-sex partner household.   Theoretically, we can assume that there is a correlation between the percentage of same-sex partner households and the overall gay population of a particular place; in other words, the more gay couples, the more gay people.

A think tank based at UCLA, the Williams Institute, crunched the Census data to derive the percent of same-sex couples in states, counties, cities and towns across the nation.

So what do we learn from the Census about the current state of gay Washington?

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Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: elections, gay, lesbian