The Exodus media blog cites a new press release promoting the Gay and Lesbian Atlas, an almanac of facts and figures about gays in America.

The information contained in the Atlas, derived from the U.S. Census, reminds the public that exgay facts and figures do not add up. Here’s why.

Exodus and its allies periodically assert that barely one percent (or 3 million) of the U.S. population is same-sex-attracted, or “gay.”

But the 2000 U.S. Census counted 594,000 gay couples and 59,000,000 heterosexual couples.

The gay couple count coincidentally happens to be 1 percent of the heterosexual couple count. This suggests one of the following: Either (1) gays have no greater difficulty forming couples, proportionate to their share of the population, or (2) more than 1 percent of the population is gay.

Calculated in other ways, the math looks equally bad for the exgay movement.

If there are 600,000 gay couples in America, then there are approximately 1,200,000 gay individuals comprising the coupled gay population — in other words, 40 percent of the alleged 3 million gay population. As it happens, the same percentage of the heterosexual population is coupled.

Does anyone believe that nearly half the gay population is coupled? In order for them not to be, the percentage of Americans who are gay must be many times higher than that claimed by the exgay movement.

Among the other stereotype-bending factoids shared in the Atlas press release:

  • Same-sex couples with children often live in states and large metropolitan areas not known for large gay and lesbian communities. Mississippi, South Dakota, Alaska, South Carolina, and Louisiana are where same-sex couples are most likely raising children.
  • The South dominates the rankings of states by the concentration of African-American same-sex couples among all households and among other gay and lesbian couples. Texas’s metropolitan areas (with their large Hispanic communities) feature prominently in similar rankings by the concentration of Hispanic gay or lesbian couples.

For more information
Gay and Lesbian Atlas

The impact of these numbers is likely to prompt some antigay activists to say, “Numbers don’t matter.” But if numbers don’t matter now, then why did they matter before the Census data came to light?

But they are right: Numbers don’t matter.

Constitutional rights matter. Civility, equality and respect matter. Truth matters.

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