Following New York’s legalization of gay marriage, more than 11 percent of the U.S. population — 11.37 percent — now lives in an area where same-sex marriage is a right, according to U.S. Census data. New York, with a population of nearly 19.4 million, was a huge victory in the movement toward marriage equality. Take away New York, and the percentage drops to just a shade over 5 percent. Jurisdictions where gay-marriage is now a right, with populations, are:
- New York, 19,378,102
- Massachusetts, 6,547,629
- Connecticut, 3,574,097
- Iowa, 3,046,355
- New Hampshire, 1,316,470
- Vermont, 625,741
- Washington, D.C., 601,723
The total U.S. population is 308,745,538.
To this day, the largest setback was California’s Proposition 8, which killed off that state’s nascent right of gay marriage. If California’s more than 37 million people were added, then the proportion of the country where gay marriage is recognized would rise to 23.4 percent, or nearly one-fourth of the national population.
According to the New York Times, the next most likely states to recognize gay marriage are Maryland and Rhode Island. That would inch us up to nearly 13.6 percent. Progress, yes, but slow progress. Although I don’t believe the majority should hold sway over basic human rights, the fact is that 53 percent of Americans now favor same-sex marriage.
Gay marriage harms no one, and is a vitally important substantive and symbolic benefit to gay and lesbian couples. A trickle isn’t good enough. Let’s hope that what happened in New York opens the floodgates.
Photo (cc) by AJ Alfieri Crispin and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.