Friday, November 2, 2007

Same-sex Couples Raising Children in the Bay Area are more likely to be People of Color

A new study conducted by a group of Queer Bay Area organizations finds that same-sex couples raising children in the Bay Area are more likely to be people of color. The study also mentions the fact that 69% of the parents in the study were women, which the authors suggest may explain why their incomes were 17% lower than straight married couples with children. The study was published by Our Family Coalition, the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center and Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere.

This is an important study because it is one of the few LGBT research publications to highlight families of color. Similar studies that come to mind were published several years ago. Both were co-authored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The first is Black same-sex couple households in the United States: A Report from the 2000 Census, published (October 2004) with the help of the National Black Justice Coalition. The second is Hispanic and Latino same-sex couple households in the United States: A Report from the 2000 Census (November 2005) co-authored by the National Latino/a Coalition for Justice. As you can see, both of the studies use data from the 2000 Census because it was the first year the government asked people to report whether they were living with a same-sex partner. Both of these reports also site similiar economic disparities between households with children run by women, specifically women of color and their straight counterparts.

As an African American married to a Latina, my hope is that Baby Godot, will be bi-racial. And with that in mind, I want our family to be recognized as an important part of the LGBT community, the African American community and the Latino community, not to mention the world at large.

Even though this new study represents a drop in the bucket compared to the research and attention needed by queer families and, particularly, queer families of color on a national level, the fact that it was conducted, published, and highlighted recently in the SF Chronicle warms my heart.

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