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D.C. same-sex couples up 40% in 2010 Census

Data show Va., Md. same-sex couples up 50%



D.C. has retained its status of having the highest number of same-sex couples per 1,000 households compared to all 50 states, and it had a 40 percent increase in the number of people identifying themselves as same-sex couples since 2000.

Those are among the findings of newly released data from the 2010 U.S. Census as analyzed by the Williams Institute, a think tank affiliated with the University of Southern California at Los Angeles. The institute specializes in LGBT related issues.

The data show that Maryland had a 51 percent increase in the reported number of same-sex couples from 2000 to 2010 and Virginia saw a 49 percent increase in same-sex couples for that same ten-year period.

“The increases are far higher than population increases,” said Williams Institute official Gary Gates. “So we feel most of the increases we’re seeing in states, cities, and counties are attributable to more people reporting they’re a couple than ten years ago.”

The 2010 Census data show that 5,146 D.C. households declared themselves as being headed by same-sex couples, representing a rate of 19 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.  In the 2,000 census, 3,678 households in the District identified themselves as same-sex couple households.

Of the 5,146 D.C. same-sex households reported in the 2010 Census, 72 percent were gay male couples and 28 percent lesbian couples.

Ninety percent of the same-sex households reported in the 2010 Census for D.C. were not raising children compared to just 10 percent who reported they were raising children, according to the Williams Institute analysis of the data.

The Williams Institute analysis also shows that the highest concentration of same-sex couples in D.C. reported in the 2010 Census were in census tracks in neighborhoods of Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, Shaw West, Shaw East, and an area bounded by “Morrow Drive to Piney Branch Parkway, N.W., Rock Creek and 16th Street, N.W.”

The data show that the highest concentration of same-sex couples raising children were female couples living in mostly black neighborhoods in the far Southeast and far Northeast sections of the city.

The D.C. data were released Thursday by the Williams Institute, which is known officially as the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy. The Williams Institute has analyzed Census data pertaining to same-sex couples since the 2000 U.S. Census, when the  census first began counting them.

The 2010 Census data released by the Williams Institute show these figures for same-sex couples living in D.C. area suburban jurisdictions:

  • Montgomery County, Md. – 2,911 same-sex couples; 8.2 same-sex couples per 1,000 households
  • Prince George’s County, Md. – 2,525 same-sex couples; 8.3 same-sex couples per 1,000 households
  • Fairfax County, Va. – 2,783 same-sex couples; 7.1 same-sex couples per 1,000 households
  • Arlington, Va. – 1,328 same-sex couples; 13.5 same-sex couples per 1,000 households
  • Alexandria, Va. – 941 same-sex couples; 13.8 same-sex couples per 1,000 households
  • Baltimore, Md. – 3,226 same-sex couples; 12.9 same-sex couples per 1,000 households

Gates said the data the institute has analyzed so far show that the number of same-sex couples reported nationwide has increased by about 50 percent between 2000 and 2010. Gates said population growth and migration of LGBT people to certain locations accounts for some of the increase.

But he said most of the increase appears to be due to a decision by far more same-sex couples to self-identify while filling out the 2010 U.S. Census questionnaire, which was sent to all U.S. households.

Although D.C.’s rate of 19 same-sex couples per 1,000 households is the highest among the 50 states, several cities have rates far higher than D.C. if D.C. were to be viewed as a city.

Provincetown, Mass., a gay vacation destination with a sizable population of LGBT people living there year-round, leads the nation among cities with 50 or more same-sex couple households, with a rate of 163 same-sex couples per 1,000 households, Gates said.

The city of Wilton Manor, Fla., long known as an LGBT-friendly enclave next to Fort Lauderdale, came in second among cities in the 50 or more same-sex household category, with a rate of 140 same-sex couples per 1,000 households, according to Gates.

Palm Spring, Calif., came in third, with 115 same-sex couples per 1,000 households, Gates said.

In a development that appears to represent an LGBT population shift more than a greater degree of gay couples “coming out” in the Census questionnaire, Gates said the city of Rehoboth Beach, Del., came in fourth place in the category of same-sex couples in cities with 50 or more same-sex households.

Gates said the 2010 Census data show Rehoboth, a popular LGBT resort town, has a rate of 107 same-sex couples per 1,000 households. Gates noted that the actual number of same-sex couple households counted in the 2010 Census for Rehoboth was 81, an increase of 47 couples over the 34 same-sex couples that declared themselves in the 2000 Census.

“I think what you see there is this kind of movement from vacation home to actual residence for a lot of people,” Gates said. “I think in the last decade people made a lot on the real estate market in D.C. and bought vacation properties in Rehoboth. And I think now quite a few of them have moved there.”

Steve Elkins, an official with Camp Rehoboth, an LGBT advocacy group and community center in Rehoboth, said the census figures don’t surprise him.

“You see it every day. We’re in all walks of life,” he said, from local politics to the outlet malls.

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Chaos erupts at Loudoun County school board meeting over trans students rights proposal

Two people arrested, two others injured



(Screen capture from Loudoun County Public Schools public domain)

The Loudoun County School Board abruptly ended its meeting Tuesday as chaos erupted after parents who were against the school district’s implementation of Policy 8040 failed to observe rules regarding disruptions and decorum.

Loudoun Now reports Vice Chair Atoosa Reaser made the motion to curtail public comment about an hour after that portion of the meeting began. A brawl then broke out between members of the public, and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department deputies were called to clear the room. 

Two people were arrested, and two people also suffered minor injuries. The names of those who were taken into custody and injured have not been made public.

The school board resumed its meeting at 6:30 p.m. after it ended the public comment session and deputies cleared the room. The school board entered into closed session to meet with legal counsel and discuss negotiations involving a bid award.

In light of the events that transpired at the school board meeting, a group of LGBTQ groups in neighboring Fairfax County in a statement called upon prominent community members to condemn the anti-transgender hate in Loudoun County.

“A coalition of organizations based in Northern Virginia is calling on local officials … to condemn the rise of anti-LGBTQIA+ hate, in particular animosity towards transgender and gender-expansive students, on display in Loudoun County,” reads the statement 

“In addition, the coalition is asking for the denouncement of support for this hate from other local groups, including the Fairfax County Republican Committee, the Family Foundation of Virginia and the Family Research Council,” it adds. “Finally, the members of these organizations are requesting visible displays of support for LGBTQIA+ students, particularly trans and gender-expansive students, in both words and deeds.”

More than 300 people attended the school board meeting, with many of them opposing Policy 8040 which would allow transgender students to use their preferred name and pronouns regardless of the name and gender in their permanent education record. The proposed policy would also not require them to provide any substantiating evidence.

Parents also expressed their support for Policy 8040 during the public comment session.

They spoke in favor of inclusivity and equality in the Loudoun County School District.

Parents who were against the policy cited the need to respect biology and privacy as their arguments. In addition, some speakers, including former state Sen. Dick Black expressed anger at the previous school year’s events such as the suspension of physical education teacher Tanner Cross after he refused to refer to trans students using their preferred pronouns.  

“The crowd repeatedly cheered public speakers who lashed out at school board members and denounced the plan that would provide bathroom and locker room access based on a student’s gender identity,” WTOP News reports.

Only 51 of the 249 speakers who had signed up for public comment ended up speaking before Reaser’s motion was passed.

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Pride flags vandalized, stolen in Loudoun County town

‘Bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand’



Vandals destroyed or stole several Pride flags that had been displayed at homes in Lovettsville, Va. (Screen capture via WUSA9))

Vandals this week destroyed or stole Pride flags that Lovettsville residents had displayed on their homes.

Calvin Woehrie told WUSA the vandals used a blade to slash the Pride flag that was hanging from his house. The D.C. television station reported the vandals also targeted Woehrie’s neighbors who are a lesbian couple with four children.

The Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office said the vandals damaged five Pride flags from three homes and they stole two more. A spokesperson for the Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office told WUSA the vandalism is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

“I wanted to address events that happened over the weekend, that are deplorable and devastating to the entire community,” said Lovettsville Mayor Nate Fontaine in a letter he sent to town residents on June 16. “Over the weekend, there was destruction of property that specifically targeted our LGBTQ community. To make this even more heinous is that the destruction of property was done during Pride Month. To have property destroyed targeting members of our community is horrible and can be frightening for those targeted.” 

“For the individuals who committed these crimes, know that your bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand,” added Fontaine. “We are working closely with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and this has also been added as an agenda item for our June 24th Council meeting.”

Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee to succeed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, on Saturday described the vandalism as “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Whether someone is voicing an opinion or flying a flag, as Virginians — and as human beings — we must be respectful of one another,” wrote Youngkin in a Facebook post.

“Politicians always seem to be pitting neighbor against neighbor, but I am committed to bringing people together around our shared values, like treating others the same way you want to be treated,” he added. “We must all do better by respecting others’ right to live their lives freely, without being targeted because of who they are.”

WUSA reported Lovettsville residents bought Pride flags to replace the ones that had been vandalized and stolen.

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Transgender man murdered in Va.

EJ Boykin was shot outside Lynchburg store on June 14



EJ Boykin (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

A transgender man was murdered in Lynchburg, Va., on June 14.

The News and Advance, a local newspaper, reported EJ Boykin, who was also known as Novaa Watson, was shot outside a Family Dollar store on the city’s Fort Avenue at around 6 p.m. Boykin passed away at Lynchburg General Hospital a short time later.

A spokesperson for the Lynchburg Police Department told the News and Advance the shooting may have been the result of a domestic dispute. Authorities added there is no evidence to currently suggest the shooting was a hate crime based on Boykin’s gender identity.

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reported Boykin was born and raised in Baltimore and was a student at Morgan State University. The blog said Boykin celebrated his 23rd Birthday on June 10, four days before his murder.

Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, in a statement notes Boykin is the fifth trans man reported killed in 2021. HRC notes at least 29 trans or gender non-conforming people are known to have been murdered so far this year.

“The level of fatal violence we’ve recorded this year is higher than we’ve ever seen,” said Cooper. “All of these individuals deserved to live. We must strike at the roots of racism and transphobia, and continue to work toward justice and equality for trans and gender non-conforming people.”

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