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

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

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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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Delaware

Delaware’s Sussex Pride launches free statewide HIV, STI testing

Special program honors National HIV Testing Day on June 27

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Each year on June 27, people across the United States are encouraged to get tested for HIV. This year for Delawareans, it’s easier than ever.

Sussex Pride has partnered with STDCheck to offer free HIV and syphilis testing everywhere in Delaware. There are more than 20 locations across the state, making it simple to find a testing center.  

David Mariner, executive director of Sussex Pride, told the Blade, “We are thrilled with this new partnership with STDcheck. The ultimate goal is to empower individuals with knowledge about their HIV status, provide necessary support, and facilitate early intervention to improve health outcomes in our state.”

Finding a testing center, getting tested, and getting results is simple. Start by finding a lab near you using this link (https://www.stdcheck.com/std-test-center.php). Then call STDcheck at 800-456-2323 and request a free Sussex Pride HIV and/or syphilis test. Make sure to mention Sussex Pride in the call to get the test for free. Then schedule a time and get tested. 

“If you are HIV positive, the sooner you know, the better,” Mariner added. “Early and sustained treatment can help you live a long and healthy life. It can also help protect others.”

This special program is in honor of National HIV Testing Day, created in 1995 to highlight the lifesaving impact of HIV testing. HIV has historically had a disproportionate effect on the LGBTQ community. According to the CDC, 70% of all new cases of HIV in 2021 were among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.

The CDC’s theme for this year’s HIV testing day is “Level up your self-love: check your status.” The theme emphasizes, “valuing yourself, showing yourself compassion and respect, and honoring your health needs with self-love,” and the best way to do that is to test.

For more information on Sussex Pride’s testing program visit sussexpride.org/posts/testing/ and for more information on HIV visit CDC.gov/hiv.

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District of Columbia

D.C. police chief, officers marched in Pride parade in uniform

Capital Pride cautious about whether MPD violated ‘no uniform’ policy

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D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith marches in the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 8. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith led a contingent of D.C. police officers, including members of the department’s LGBT Liaison Unit, in the June 8 Capital Pride Parade with the chief and all the officers in uniform in what appeared to be a violation of a Capital Pride policy of not allowing law enforcement officers to participate in the parade in uniform.

The Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes most D.C. Pride events, including the parade, posted a statement on its website in June of 2020 announcing that a policy it adopted in 2018 that does not allow uniformed police officers to march in the parade remained in effect. The group told the Washington Blade this week in a statement that the no uniform policy remained in place for this year’s Pride parade.

In her own statement released on the day of the parade Chief Smith appeared to take exception to the no uniform policy without saying so directly.

“I am proud to march in today’s Capital Pride Parade in full uniform to support our LGBTQ+ colleagues and to further our commitment to creating inclusive and supportive environments,” the chief said. “MPD will continue to support, and ensure security, at Pride events and different community focused events year-round,” she said.

The chief’s statement, which was sent to the news media in a press release, added, “Having been selected as the department’s first Chief Equity Officer, and now as the Chief of Police, I’m committed to celebrating diverse identities. I will always stand up for diversity, equity and inclusion for our members and our community.”

In response to an inquiry from the Blade asking for confirmation of whether the “no uniform” policy was still in effect for the 2024 Pride parade, Capital Pride Alliance responded with a statement. 

“The Capital Pride Alliance policy concerning MPD remains in place,” the statement says. “If the group officially registers for the march, they must participate out of official uniform,” it says. 

“This year, the police did not register and as such were not an official parade contingent,” the statement continues. “The police chief walked the route with on-duty police officers, and being on-duty, officers are required to be in uniform.”

The statement adds, “We continue to have conversations with MPD, including the Chief of Police, about how we build a collaborative relationship with our community.”

D.C. police didn’t immediately respond to a Blade request for comment by Chief Smith or a spokesperson on the claim by Capital Pride officials that the police were not in an official contingent in this year’s parade.

Capital Pride officials did not respond to the Blade’s additional request this week for an explanation of why the no uniform policy was adopted and whether the policy is still needed.

In earlier statements posted on its website in past years, Capital Pride officials cited the Black Lives Matter movement and the police killing of Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd that triggered anti-police protests across the country as an issue that made some in the LGBTQ community and others participating in the Pride parade uncomfortable in the presence of uniformed police officers.

“Pride this year comes on the heels of a global pandemic and a nation confronting the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers,” the group said in a June 3, 2020, statement. The Floyd case and the 2020 police shooting deaths of a Black woman in Louisville, Ky., and a Black transgender man in Tallahassee, Fla. “have created a nationwide uprising crying out for racial justice and the protection of Black life,” the statement said.

“As members of the Black and Brown communities have stood with the LGBTQ+ community, the Capital Pride Alliance stands in complete solidarity to unite against these disparities that impact communities of color,” the 2020 statement said. “We pledge that we will work together to find solutions and make positive changes that are so desperately needed to end inequity, injustice, and violence against people of color.”

Activists have acknowledged that the LGBTQ community nationwide has been divided over decisions to ban uniformed police participation in Pride parades in cities across the country, including New York and San Francisco.

A June 2019 nationwide poll of 801 LGBTQ people in the U.S. conducted by the polling firm Whitman Insight Strategies and BuzzFeed News found that 79 percent of LGBTQ adults said, “police should be welcome to join pride events,” with just 8 percent expressing opposition to police presence, according to BuzzFeed.

“People of color, who made up 21 percent of all survey respondents, support cops in pride events by 77 percent to 8 percent (15 percent say it makes no difference either way),” BuzzFeed reported in a June 24, 2019, article.

Earl Fowlkes, the founder and former CEO of the D.C.-based Center For Black Equity, which organizes D.C.’s annual Black Pride events, told the Blade that Black Pride has not adopted a policy of restricting uniformed police officers from participating in any of its events.

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Comings & Goings

McCarty named director of partnerships at Universe

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Steven McCarty

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected].

Congratulations to Steven McCarty on his new position with Universe, as Director of Partnerships. Universe supports movement organizations, labor unions, and Democratic campaigns, with the software they need to win. On accepting the new position he said, “I’m most excited to take my years of campaign and technology experience to down-ballot Democrats across the country as we fight to preserve our Democracy this election cycle.” 

Prior to this, McCarty was Business Development + Partnerships Lead, at STAC labs (State Technology Acceleration Collaborative), where he spearheaded strategic business development initiatives, expanding STAC labs’ partner network by 400% with the launch of the Progressive Tech Index and doubling DemLaunch user base from four to 11 states within a year. Prior to that he was president at The Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C.; Senior Customer Success Manager at Crowdskout; Vice President at Circle K International, Indianapolis, Ind.; and a summer fellow at Michigan State AFL-CIO, Lansing, Mich. 

He has done a lot of volunteer work, including being an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for ANC 2G04, representing Blagden Alley, Naylor Court, and Shepherd Court. He received a Youth Champion Award for outstanding support to LGBTQ Youth, from SMYAL; and was named a Kiwanis Member of the Year, Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C.

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