It would be expected that the top places to raise kids for same-sex couples would be cities or communities with the heaviest concentration of the LGBT population, but researchers have found in new study that the top areas for gay parenting aren’t gay meccas like San Francisco and New York. MSN News reports on Tuesday that cities like Salt Lake City, Memphis, and areas in the state of Mississippi has higher percentages of same-sex couples raising children. Salt Lake City takes the crown as the top place for gay parenting.
The study, which was done by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, is surprising because the top areas are metro areas in states that currently have constitutional bans on gay marriage. So why does a city like Salt Lake City have the highest rates of gay couples raising children?
According to researcher Gary J. Gates “parenting among same-sex couples is more common in socially conservative parts of the county.”
An analysis of census data showed one in every four gay couples in Salt Lake City are raising children. Perhaps a reason is because couples in these type of areas are more likely to be older and settled down and away from the fast paced city life that a New York City or San Francisco may provide. Gates believes that “LGBT people in socially conservative areas likely come out later in life” and are more likely to have had children from straight relationships while they were young.
The study proves that places that are inclusive and supportive of same-sex couples aren’t necessarily the places chosen for raising families. According to Judy Appel, executive director of Our Family Coalition, “places like New York city and San Francisco are inviting for gays and lesbians just coming out, but they aren’t places the settle down.
“A lot of LGBT people come to places like San Francisco and New York because they are so welcoming and inclusive. These are places where they are coming out. It’s just that a lot of people might not want to continue living there.”
But the downside for same-sex couples raising children who live in places like Salt Lake City, Memphis and San Antonio is that they don’t have the same benefits as straight couples and don’t have gains to some of the same resources which makes the economic influence of raising families more difficult.
The report also included Baltimore, Maryland ranking as one of the top areas for same-sex couples raising children. The state of Maryland legalized gay marriage in 2012.