New Study: LGBT People A ‘Fundamental Part of The Fabric Of Rural Communities’

NPR 
by Leila Fadel
April 4, 2019

 

LGBT people are typically depicted as city and coastal dwellers. And those who live in rural America are often characterized as people yearning to escape rural life for more acceptance in urban areas.

But a new study from the Movement Advancement Project, a think tank that advocates for LGBT equality, shatters that stereotype.

Between 2.9 million and 3.8 million LGBT people live in rural America, that’s up to 5 percent of the rural population and up to 20 percent of the LGBT population. For the most part, they chose that life for the same reasons other Americans do: tight-knit communities with a shared sense of values that typically revolve around places like the church, schools or local businesses.

Same-sex parents, like many other parents, also gravitate to life outside the cities. The report says that “the highest rates of parenting by both same-sex couples and LGBT individuals are in the most rural regions of the country.” It points to data from The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law that says 24 out of the 30 states where same-sex couples are raising children are mostly rural in the Midwest, the South and the mountain regions of America.

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