Nearly 150,000 same-sex couples reported being in marriage relationships last year, many more than the number of actual weddings and civil unions, according to the first U.S. census figures released on same-sex marriages.
About 27 percent of the estimated 564,743 total gay couples in the United States said they were in a relationship akin to “husband” and “wife,” according to the Census Bureau tally provided to The Associated Press. That’s compared with 91 percent of the 61.3 million total opposite-sex couples who reported being married.
A consultant to the Census Bureau estimated there were roughly 100,000 official same-sex weddings, civil unions and domestic partnerships in 2008.
Analysts said the disparities are probably a reflection of same-sex couples in committed relationships who would get married if they could in their states. The numbers are also an indicator of the count to come in the 2010 census, a tally that could stir a state-by-state fight over same-sex marriage, gay adoption and other legal rights.