Census: More Gays Say They're Married Than Actually Could Get Hitched

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The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there were many more same-sex couples saying they were married last year than actual weddings and civil unions, another confusing indicator society can blame on the lack of marriage equality.

The Associated Press examined the data and then sought explanations:

Analysts said the disparities are probably a reflection of same-sex couples in committed relationships who would get married if they could in their states. The numbers are also an indicator of the count to come in the 2010 census, a tally that could stir a state-by-state fight over same-sex marriage, gay adoption and other legal rights.

A breakdown of the numbers follows the jump . . . 

The first census on same-sex couples in the U.S. found:

* Nearly 150,000 gay and lesbian couples reported being married last year;

* The 27 percent of the estimated 564,743 total gay couples saying they were in a relationship akin to "husband" and "wife" compares to 91 percent of the 61.3 million total opposite-sex couples who report being married.

* There were roughly 100,000 official same-sex weddings, civil unions and domestic partnerships in 2008.

* About 56 percent of the 149,956 total same-sex marriages in the census survey last year were lesbian couples.

* Same-sex spouses were reported in every state even though gay marriage was only legal in California, Massachusetts, Iowa and Connecticut in 2008. A handful of other states recognize civil unions and domestic partnerships and same-sex couples also can marry in Canada and other foreign countries.

* In 2007, 341,000 out of 753,618 total same-sex couples reported being in a marriage relationship, even though only about 11,000 marriage licenses had been issued in the country. The numbers were even higher for 2005 and 2006; about 390,000 each year reported being in a same-sex marriage out of nearly 780,000 reported gay couples.

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