Spike in Number of City's Same-Sex Couples
Friday, July 15, 2011
Same-sex marriage will soon be legal in New York — but more same-sex couples in New York City are already declaring their partnership with the Census Bureau.
Citywide there was a 27 percent increase in the reported same-sex couples in 2010, according to 2010 Census data. In Chelsea, one out of five of all couples were of the same sex.
But some say the report doesn't reveal an actual increase in couples but shows that people are more willing to report it.
"The size of the increase is a kind of accrued measure of how big the closet was in different areas 10 years ago," said Gary Gates, demographer at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
Some do feel there has been actual migration of same sex couples.
Marcus Dublin, who works at a salon in Chelsea, said he thinks the increase is due to young people relocating to the city in the last 10 years.
"You know, young people make changes," he said.
Crysdian Llemson relocated to Chelsea two months ago from Seattle with his partner of 12 years. He said he thinks the census is actually underreporting the amount of couples, in part due to "a lot of people dating, that wouldn't consider themselves partners."
Since the state will start performing same-sex marriages this month, some say the census reveals this is simply the start of a larger trend.
"It's only increasing," Dublin said. "Now I think that the law is passed, it’s only going to get better."