N.Y. Marriage: 42,000 Couples Stand to Benefit

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com June 16 2011 2:30 PM ET

The extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples in New York State will affect more than 42,000 couples raising 14,000 children and will double the portion of the U.S. population living in states that allow gay couples to marry.

The figures, released as the state legislature considers marriage equality, come from the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy, a think tank based at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Based on its own research, the U.S. Census, and other studies, the institute estimates there are 42,600 same-sex couples in the state, of whom 21% — nearly 9,000 — were already legally married in other jurisdictions. About 7,200 of the state’s gay couples are raising children, and the children number about 14,000.

If New York enacts marriage equality, it will more than double the percentage of Americans living in states with such laws, from 5.1% to 11.4%, according to the institute. Similarly, the percentage of U.S. same-sex couples living in states that allow them to marry will more than double, from 6.9% to 14.3%.

An estimated 38% of same-sex couples living in states that allow them to marry are currently married, compared to 12% in states that do not allow them to do so, the institute reports.