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Gay Couples Make Census News In Wisconsin

July 29, 2011

Top story above the fold in today’s Wisconsin State Journal was not really news at all.  Everyone knows that society has changed views on gay Americans, and gay relationships.  As such the closet has been replaced with an open porch attitude.

As it should be.

With this acceptance it is only a matter of time…within the decade…that gay marriage will be a reality nationwide.

“I think social acceptance has moved beyond the coasts and urban areas and into more suburban and rural areas,” said Gary Gates, demographer for the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law at UCLA.

Among the 29 states for which the census has released data so far, every one showed an increase in same-sex couples, with a total overall jump of 49 percent. At the top of the list were Montana, which saw an 88 percent increase, and West Virginia, at 80 percent. Wisconsin ranks 11th among the 29 states in rate of increase. Big jumps in some states probably can be attributed to a growing willingness to report.

“There does seem to be a notion that more conservative places previously had bigger closets,” Gates said. New York, California, Vermont and Connecticut, by contrast, saw only modest increases.

Dane County had the highest rate of same-sex couples in the state — nearly 12 out of every 1,000 households — and Madison topped all other cities by a wide margin, with nearly 16 of every 1,000 households. Fitchburg had the third highest rate in the state, with about 11 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

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