Same-sex marriage, by the numbers

The Globe’s story this morning about the federal government’s change of position on out-of-country same-sex couples has caused unavoidable explosions.

If it’s a policy shift that sticks (and it may not – Harper sounded like he was blindsided by the issue this morning) it potentially affects thousands of people, mostly Americans.

I created a map/data package as a tie-in for 2009 Pride looking at same-sex marriage in Toronto, in which I found that almost half of the same-sex couples married here since 2003 were American (4,651 individuals up to mid-2009).

The City provided three-digit zip code data for U.S. residents, which allowed for some geographic analysis:

Looking at the top U.S. cities represented, based on the first three digits of the zip code, gay men were weighted more to the South and California, while lesbians came more from communities in New York State and the Midwest.

The men’s top 10 list includes Washington, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Atlanta and Miami, while the women’s top 10 list includes Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Madison, mid-Long Island, Rochester, Columbus and Detroit. New York, Chicago and Minneapolis are on both lists.

Population density data shows that U.S. lesbians married here came from more rural communities, and gay men from more urban ones.

Perhaps not surprisingly, most gay and lesbian Massachusetts residents married here did so before a court ruling in October, 2003 brought in same-sex marriage in that state. Only three people from Vermont, where same-sex couples have had legal recognition since 2000, were married here in the entire period, and one of them married a Toronto resident.

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