U.S. Supreme Court Decision Opens Marriage To Nearly Two-Thirds of Same-Sex Couples in the U.S.

Media Advisory
For Immediate Distribution
October 6, 2014

Laura Rodriguez, lrodriguez@rabengroup.com, (310) 956-2425
Donald Gatlin, dgatlin@rabengroup.com, (202) 587-2871

Williams Institute scholars available to comment and provide legal and demographic analysis

LOS ANGELES—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear pending cases on state bans of same-sex marriage. The decision means that 11 more states will likely soon allow same-sex couples to marry.  As a result, nearly 65 percent of same-sex couples across the country will live in states where they can marry and the number of Americans living in states that allow marriage for same-sex couples is now six in ten.

Williams Institute research also suggests that an estimated 45,000 same-sex couples in those 11 states will likely marry in the next 3 years, generating $334 million in additional spending.

Key statistics include:

• Recent Williams Institute analyses suggest that the number of married same-sex couples, estimated to be as high as 130,000 in 2013, has increased by more than 50% over the last three years.

• Williams Institute research has analyzed the economic impact of allowing same-sex couples to marry in the 11 states that will now allow such marriages.  Combining these states, 45,000 same-sex couples are likely to marry in the next three years generating more than $334 million in additional spending and over $22 million in sales tax revenue. Full versions of the state reports are available here.

• Nearly two-thirds of same-sex couples in the U.S. will now live in a state where they can marry, up from 50% prior to today’s decision.

• 6 out of 10 Americans will now live in states that allow same-sex couples to marry, up from 4 in 10.

• Williams Institute research suggests that there were 690,000 same-sex couples in the US in 2013 raising an estimated 200,000 children.  As many as 30,000 of those children are being raised by married parents.

• In Indiana, there are more than 11,000 cohabiting same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 17% are raising more than 3,200 children in their homes.

• In Oklahoma, there are more than 6,100 cohabiting same-sex couples, of which an estimated 21% are raising more than 2,500 children in their homes.

• In Utah, there are more than 3,900 same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 20% are raising nearly 1,600 children in their homes.

• In Virginia, there are more than 14,200 cohabiting same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 18% are raising more than 4,000 children in their homes.

• In Wisconsin, there are nearly 9,200 cohabiting same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 20% are raising nearly 3,200 children in their homes.

• In Colorado, there are nearly 12,500 cohabiting same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 16% are raising nearly 4,000 children in their homes.

• In Kansas, there are more than 4,000 cohabiting same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 22% are raising nearly 1,800 children in their homes.

• In North Carolina, there are nearly 18,300 cohabiting same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 18% are raising nearly 6,600 children in their homes.

• In South Carolina, there are more than 7,200 cohabiting same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 19% are raising nearly 2,750 children in their homes.

• In West Virginia, there are nearly 3,000 cohabiting same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 18% are raising nearly 1,030 children in their homes.

• In Wyoming, there are nearly 700 cohabiting same-sex couples, of whom an estimated 25% are raising approximately 350 children in their homes.

Williams Institute scholars have filed amicus briefs in, and served as expert witnesses in, many cases concerning marriage rights for same-sex couples, and numerous courts have relied explicitly on Williams Institute research in striking down bans on marriage for same-sex couples.

The following Williams Institute Scholars are Available for Comment:

Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar and Research Director, Gary Gates, PhD, provided “highly credible” testimony as an expert witness in the Michigan case, Deboer v. Snyder, in the 6th Circuit, and demographic analysis of Virginia from a friend-of-the-court brief he filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit was cited in the majority opinion. He is the co-author of “The Gay and Lesbian Atlas” and a recognized expert on the demographic, geographic, and economic characteristics of the LGBT population.  His work on that subject has been featured in many national and international media outlets. He holds a PhD in Public Policy from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University along with a Master of Divinity degree from St. Vincent College and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

M. V. Lee Badgett is a Williams Distinguished Scholar of the Williams Institute.  She is an expert on the economic impact of same-sex marriage and has served as an expert witness in various cases concerning the marriage rights of same-sex couples. She is also the director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as a professor of economics. She studies family policy issues and labor market discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, and gender.  Her latest book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (NYU Press, 2009), focuses on the U.S. and European experiences with marriage equality for gay couples. She co-edited the recent book, Sexual Orientation Discrimination:  An International Perspective (Routledge, 2007).  Her first book, Money, Myths, and Change:  The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men (University of Chicago Press, 2001), presented her groundbreaking work debunking the myth of gay affluence.  She is also the author or co-author of numerous journal articles and policy reports.

Douglas NeJaime is a Visiting Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and former Williams Institute Law Teaching Fellow.  He teaches Family Law.  He is also Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law.  His research and teaching interests are primarily in sexual orientation law, family law, law and social movements, cause lawyering, and antidiscrimination law.

Before joining the UCI Law faculty in 2013, he was Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and the Sears Law Teaching Fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

NeJaime is the co-author of Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law (with William Rubenstein, Carlos Ball, and Jane Schacter) (5th ed. West 2014).  His recent scholarship includes “Before Marriage: The Unexplored History of Nonmarital Recognition and Its Relationship to Marriage,” 102California Law Review 87 (2014); “Constitutional Change, Courts, and Social Movements,” 113 Michigan Law Review 877 (2013); “Marriage Inequality: Same-Sex Relationships, Religious Exemptions, and the Production of Sexual Orientation Discrimination,” 100 California Law Review 1169 (2012); “Winning Through Losing,” 96 Iowa Law Review 941 (2011); and “Lawyering for Marriage Equality,” 57 UCLA Law Review 1235 (2010) (with Scott Cummings).

NeJaime has provided commentary on issues relating to sexual orientation and same-sex marriage to numerous press outlets, including the New York TimesLos Angeles Times, NPR, and NBC News.

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