Same-Sex Couples and Parenting: Increased Visibility

A new infographic called “The Evolution of the American Family” includes such phenomena as the decreasing rates of marriage and the increased visibility of same-sex couples and parenting. As Liza Mundy, The Atlantic, recently remarked about the connection between these issues, “It is more than a little ironic that gay marriage has emerged as the era’s defining civil-rights struggle even as marriage itself seems more endangered every day.”

One detail from the infographic seemed surprising: The states with the highest proportion of same-sex couples raising biological, adopted, or step-children are among the most conservative.

Further research led me to this finding from a recent poll by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law: “Metro areas with the highest percentages of same-sex couples who are raising children are located in socially conservative states with constitutional bans on marriage equality in place…”

The largest U.S. city in this category? Salt Lake City, Utah.

The largest state? Mississippi.

I know, huh?

Researcher Gary J. Gates says that the prevalence of same-sex families in socially conservative areas is due in large part to a relatively later emergence of LGBT identity, meaning an increased likelihood of previous unions with different-sex partners that produced kids. Another factor is the desire of LGBT parents for proximity to other family members.

Meanwhile, there are always those out to slam gay and lesbian parenting despite studies indicating it’s as least as good as any other kind. Just last month, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics added their official endorsement to marriage equality, and why? Because it’s good for kids. States sdgln.com:

The well-respected group said that marriage, as well as adoption, helps protect children’s right to maintain relationships with both parents, eligibility for health benefits, and financial security. Other prominent groups supporting same-sex adoption include the Child Welfare League of America, the National Adoption Center and the National Association of Social Workers.

And get this: the June cover story of The Atlantic is “What Straights Can Learn from Same-Sex Couples” by writer Liza Mundy. The conclusion of her article:

In the end, it could turn out that same-sex marriage isn’t all that different from straight marriage. If gay and lesbian marriages are in the long run as quarrelsome, tedious, and unbearable; as satisfying, joyous, and loving as other marriages, we’ll know that a certain amount of strife is not the fault of the alleged war between men and women, but just an inevitable thing that happens when two human beings are doing the best they can to find a way to live together.

Check out the totality of California Cryobank’s “The Evolution of the American Family” infographic below:

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