Archive for Sunday, October 15, 2006

Survey tracks gay populations in metro areas

October 15, 2006

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— The Orlando metro area now ranks in the top 10 metro areas in population for gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Nearly 6 percent of the adult population - more than 80,000 - in the Orlando-Kissimmee area are homosexual or bisexual, according to a new study out this week by an organization affiliated with the University of California at Los Angeles. San Francisco had the highest percentage of gays at 8.2 percent. Smaller metro areas such as Austin, Texas, (5.9 percent) and Hartford, Conn., (5.6 percent) also were in the top 10.

The statistics do not surprise Debbie Simmons, president of Metropolitan Business Assn., which is hosting Come Out With Pride today at Heritage Square Park.

"Every time I go to an event, I see more and more people," Simmons said. "We have quite a community here."

The report by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law used estimates from the recently released 2005 American Community Survey, which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. Census does not ask sexual orientation on its questionnaire.

But it does ask the relationship between adults in the household.

The categories include roommate, brother or sister, husband or wife or significant other.

For his research, Williams Institute researcher Gary Gates used adult males who said they were living with another adult male who was a significant other to identify same-sex couples.

The same criteria were used to note lesbian couples.

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