Press

More than 175,000 Georgia Couples at Risk From Anti-Gay Amendment on Marriage

Date: 
November 01, 2004

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

50,000 men, women and children in same-sex couple families, 126,000 opposite-sex couples at risk from Georgia anti-gay marriage amendment, study finds

Nearly 40,000 gay men and lesbians and more than 11,000 children being raised by same-sex couple families in Georgia will be denied access to "the benefits of marriage" if the proposed state constitutional amendment banning marriage and other forms of partner recognition passes Tuesday, Nov. 2. An analysis of 2000 U.S. Census data by Gary Gates of the Urban Institute was provided to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. Some 10,251 male same-sex couples and 9,037 female same-sex couples self-identified on the 2000 Census in Georgia. They are raising 11,057 children age 17 or under. Twenty-two percent of the gay male couples and 36% of the lesbian couples are raising children.

The data indicate that 63% of the same-sex couples in Georgia include two White partners, while 27% include one or two Black partners, 8% at least one Hispanic partner, and 3% at least one person of another race. Some 27% of the White couples are raising children 17 or under, as are 53% of the Black couples and 44% of the Hispanic couples.

Georgia's proposed state constitutional amendment threatens more limited forms of partner benefits, such as civil unions and domestic partner health insurance. An earlier study of Census data released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute found that many same-sex partners hold public sector jobs, which may offer domestic partner health insurance. Such benefits may be struck down if the anti-gay amendment passes tomorrow. This could mean an end to health insurance, inheritance rights, second parent adoption, and other legal protections for unmarried partners.

In addition to thousands of same-sex couples and their children, Gates found that there are 126,455 opposite-sex unmarried couples in Georgia. Forty-six percent of these couples are raising children 17 or under. These families could also be threatened by the anti-marriage amendment. Most domestic partner programs also offer benefits to heterosexual unmarried couples; such programs are also threatened by the Georgia anti-gay marriage amendment.

For more information on these data, contact Gary Gates at 202-257-6400, or the Task Force's Sean Cahill at 202-329-8146. For information on the anti-family amendment, call Georgians Against Discrimination at 404-378-9082. For information on statewide political advocacy, call Georgia Equality at 404-327-9898.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.