The 10 Biggest Gay Populations In America

The campaign for gay marriage in the United States is continuing to gain momentum in 2014 with new legislation extending the rights of the gay community and high profile boycotts of homophobic businesses. While there are many outspoken critics of these proposals, the voices of gay marriage and LGBT activists are now firmly in the public sphere - where they plan to stay. The movement for equal rights is now taking place at a local, state and national level. There's still plenty of progress to be made; only 17 states currently permit gay marriage, while 29 have a ban on marriage between members of the same sex. It should be noted that those states that have already passed same sex marriage laws have much higher populations than those that have not.

Utah and Oklahoma have recently upheld the ban on gay marriage; if these states were to permit same sex marriages, then a total of 46% of Americans would live in a state that allowed for marriage between all consenting adult couples. The newest grey area in regards to gay marriage is Pennsylvania, whose laws are being challenged by a number of same sex couples in the state. If they, too, were to permit gay marriage, the percentage of Americans living in an equal-rights-for-all state would rise to 50% - a tipping point that would force the matter into a federal debate. A Washington Post-ABC news poll last month revealed that 59% of Americans are in favour of same sex marriage, an indicator that this is an issue which should be addressed at national level.

In light of this public debate, we've taken a look at the figures of people identifying themselves as gay in each state, and ranked them according to size. The social and cultural background to these states is important and the list gives a sense of which states are the most - and least - gay-friendly.

10 Washington: 209,670

9 Massachusetts: 247,247

8 Pennsylvania: 262,308

7 Georgia: 263,870

6 Ohio: 315,592

5 Illinois: 362,048

4 Florida: 513,847

3 New York: 570,388

2 Texas: 579,968

1 California: 1,338,164

With the city of San Francisco viewed by some as “the gay capital of the world,” it was only natural that the state of California would have the highest number of gay residents. There are well over 90,000 same sex couple households in California and gay marriage has been legal in the state of California since 2013; it was a long time coming. After a bill was passed in 2004 by the California Legislature to allow gay marriage, it was later vetoed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. A number of same sex couples had already married under the law at this stage. After a series of appeals, the bill was eventually passed into law, with San Francisco's City Hall alive with colour this past February celebrating 10 years of gay marriage in the state. The gay community is a major part of San Francisco's cultural life, and to a lesser extent Los Angeles, where the glitz, glamour and artistry of Hollywood has long had ties to the gay community. With everything from film festivals to support groups, California is definitely the number one place to be gay in America.

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The 10 Biggest Gay Populations In America