INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The number of gay and lesbian
households in Indiana jumped 61 percent during the past decade, and about
a quarter of those same-sex couples are raising children, new U.S. Census
Bureau figures show.
released Thursday reveal that Indiana had 16,428 households led by
same-sex couples in 2010, up from about 10,000 such households counted in
the 2000 census.
takers counted 9,409 Indiana households headed by a woman and her female
partner and 7,019 households headed by a man and his male partner.
Twenty-six percent of those same-sex couples reported that their household
includes children they are raising.
an economic research analyst at the Indiana Business Research Center at
Indiana University, said it's unclear if the increase in Indiana's
same-sex households shown in the census data reflect an actual growth in
the number of such households or if same-sex couples are becoming less
leery of reporting their relationship status.
nothing in the data that will tell us that," Kinghorn said. "It seems to
me there would be some growth but I think a good part of it is a growing
willingness to report their status as a same-sex couple because it's
becoming more socially acceptable."
the president of the gay rights organization Indiana Equality, believes
the new numbers reflect both trends. He said more same-sex couples are
living together in Indiana and those couples are growing less apprehensive
about reporting their relationship to the federal agency.
But he said he
believes the number of same-sex couples in the state and nationwide remain
underreported, in part because some gays and lesbians are worried about
what the Census Bureau or others will do with the information.
and other advocacy groups for gays and lesbians opposed a state
constitutional amendment Indiana lawmakers passed this spring that would
ban gay marriage and civil unions in the state. That measure must win
legislative approval again in 2013 or 2014 to face a statewide referendum
in November 2014.
legislative push, Sutton said Indiana residents are becoming more tolerant
and accepting of same-sex relationships, in part from personally meeting
gays and lesbians in their communities open about their sexuality.
everywhere. They're in every church, every business and I think as more
Hoosiers see that same-sex couples work, pay taxes, go to school, take
care of kids and aging parents, are part of clubs — as they see more of
that "regular" activity, barriers start to fall," he said.
new figures show a significant increase in Indiana's reported same-sex
households, the more than 16,000 same-sex households in 2010 accounted for
less than 1 percent of the state's 2.5 million households.
census forms allow same-sex couples living together to be recognized, the
census doesn't allow single people to identify their sexual orientation.
That means the numbers aren't a measure of how many gay people live in
Among the many
other findings in the new census data are that Indiana had more than 1.2
million husband-and-wife households in 2010, down about 10,000 from 2000.
And nearly 173,000 households were headed by unmarried couples, up about
38 percent from 2000.
wave of census data is the most detailed findings released to date from
last year's census on Indiana's population. It includes data on families
and household relationships, housing, age, race and Hispanic origin. Some
of the data illuminates those categories down to the makeup of individual