Saturday, July 01, 2006


The Currents Of Progress

Dear Reader: Are you one of the seven to ten percent of Americans who is gay or lesbian? Then read this post. (Even if you're not, read it anyway.) You'd think from all the media coverage of anti-gay-marriage amendments in the news, that everything for gays has gone pretty pear-shaped of late. But at least one good thing just happened: The Arkansas Supreme Court unanimously (aside from one recusal) ruled that same-sex couples can be foster parents, overturning the decision of the Arkansas state child-welfare agency to ban them -- the only such ban in the country. Of course, the knuckledraggingly evil Mike Huckabee is making noises about getting the state legislature to pass a law that would overturn this ruling, but the wording of the ruling will make this somewhat difficult to do. Remember, this is Arkansas. The state whose unofficial motto is "Thank Goodness For Mississippi", because otherwise it'd be at the bottom of pretty much every legitimate ranking of a state's worthiness. If Arkansas can stagger into the light, at least on one portion of one issue, the rest of the nation (even Mississippi) can do so as well.

7-11% is a kind of a high end estimate.

The Urban Institute suggests ca. 5% and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force uses 3-8% as statistic to estimate the number of elders who are GLBT.

Granted, there are lots of people, typically right-wingers, who deny that they're gay even as they engage in homosexual acts. No survey method will count them.
I've seen estimates as high as 15%. Conservative groups, on the other hand, like to estimate 3% or lower. A gay friend of mine who does outreach to various groups believes that it's around 7%, which is the number that corporate America -- which has studied gay Americans intensely as they are a very lucrative target market -- has generally accepted.
Percentages aside, the really important part of this whole thing is that kids who are in dire need of homes will have a better chance of getting placed thanks to a larger number of people being eligible to be foster parents.
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