California Leads Nation in Gay and Lesbian Marriages

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

New figures released by the Office of Tax Analysis of the U.S. Treasury Department show San Francisco and Oakland as the top two marriage capitals in America for gay and lesbian couples.

“While SF led the way for same-sex marriages between males, at 3.2 percent of marriages, Oakland was No. 1 for women marrying women, at 2.1 percent,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Chronicle notes that the Treasury Department was able to determine this information by looking at couples filing joint returns since 2013; when the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Windsor vs. United States case to throw out provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The study also found that the average adjusted gross income for male same-sex couples filing joint returns was around $176,000. It was $124,000 for female couples filing joint returns and $113,000 for the much broader population of heterosexual couples who also filed jointly.

Outside of San Francisco, the highest rates for men marrying other men were reportedly in Washington, D.C. (2.7 percent), New York City (2.4 percent), Palm Springs, Calif. (1.7 percent) and Seattle (1.4 percent). The study also found the states with the lowest percentage of same-sex marriages were Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky and Mississippi.

“In 2014, we estimate that about 0.35 percent of all joint [tax] filers were same-sex couples or about 183,280 couples,” said the department’s report.

In May of last year, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage, presided over the same-sex wedding ceremony of a gay male couple. She used the occasion to cite the U.S. Constitution as the source of powers vested in her to wed the two men.

The move was seen as a foreshadowing of the Supreme Court’s ruling the following month which made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

Australia is in the midst of voting over whether the country will become on the last Western nations to legalize gay marriage. According to CNN International, the likelihood that this will pass is looking grim. If passed, gay couples would reportedly be allowed to marry in February of 2017.

CNN notes that a recent poll, conducted by Essential, found that approximately 57 percent of Australians support same-sex marriage.

Australian Marriage Equality director Tiernan Brady reportedly told CNN, “This will be the 22nd marriage equality bill in Australia and we still haven’t got (LGBT) marriage and at a certain point we have to think, what are we doing wrong here?”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz


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