Legally Married LGB People in the United States

By Ilan H. Meyer and Evan A. Krueger

Findings from the Generations study, a representative sample of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the US, show differences in the proportion of LGB people who are legally married across three cohorts: younger (ages 18-25 years), middle (34-41 years old) and older (52-59 years old).

In 2016-2017, when the data were collected

  • 59% of the younger cohort, 68% of the middle cohort, and 62% of the older cohort were in a relationship with a significant other who was either of the same- or different sex.
  • Of those in a relationship, 47% of younger cohort, 62% of middle cohort, and 87% of older cohort people were in a same-sex relationship.
  • Among people in same-sex relationships only, 6% of younger cohort, 37% of middle cohort, and 48% of older cohort people were legally married.
  • For the entire population, regardless of relationship status, 1.5% of younger cohort, 15% of middle cohort, and 25% of older cohort people were legally married to a same-sex partner.

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