Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
Original data published by the 2010 Census reported that the number of same-sex households in the U.S. was 901,997, including 349,377 same-sex “married couple households,” and 552,620 same-sex unmarried partner households.
On Tuesday, however, the Census Bureau admitted that those numbers were significantly revised downward after staff discovered inconsistency in file statistics “that artificially inflated the number of same-sex couples.”
The number initially reported was about 40% higher than what the Census Bureau believes to be accurate.
The Census Bureau now estimates that there are 131,729 same-sex “married couple households,” and 514,735 same-sex unmarried partner households in the U.S. for a total of 646,464 same-sex households. The Census Bureau had, therefore, misrepresented the number of same-sex couples by 255,533 or 39.5%.
Why might this miscalculation and misreporting be important?
First off, the figure is an estimate. No doubt, same-sex “marriage” advocates will suggest that many such couples refuse to report their status and that the actual numbers are much higher. They will not only want to demonstrate that the numbers are higher, but that they are on the rise. Since, however, the number is an estimate, it’s just as conceivable (especially given the error) that the numbers are even lower. While I give the Census Bureau credit for its attempt at accuracy, the estimate, their mistake, and the highly politicized nature of the debate really put the data into question.
Numbers are important, particularly when it comes to politics and public policy.
Considering the battle over same-sex “marriage” going on in many states across the country, the president’s overwhelming support for the homosexual agenda, and the pop culture’s embrace, celebration, and promotion of homosexuality, inflated numbers make same-sex coupling seem far more common than it really is.
If, as the Census Bureau reports, there are 116,716,292 total households in the U.S., that means that same-sex households make up .55 percent of the total. That’s far, far less than what’s more commonly reported by the media, and drastically less than what’s depicted on television and film.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in its Network Responsibility Index ranked television networks for their coverage of homosexual issues. Of the 10 ranked cable networks in their most recent report, ABC Family was labeled the most pro-homosexual, with 55 percent of its programming hours featuring inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues. Showtime, TNT, HBO, AMC and others featured homosexual issues between 29 and 37% of their programming hours. So a demographic that accounts for .55 percent of the total U.S. households garners 29 to 55 percent of television station’s programming hours? The Media Research Center has done much research in this regard and reported on it.
According to an April Gallup Poll, U.S. adults overestimate that more Americans are homosexual than are Catholic. They estimate that 25% of Americans are homosexual.
The poll cites entertainment as a likely factor. “This [poll] suggests Americans have had even more exposure to gays and lesbians, be it in their personal lives or through entertainment or other means.”
The Economist took a look at the Gallup numbers and said that Americans couldn’t possibly be experiencing “1 out of every 5 people I know is gay.” They come to the conclusion that the primary cause of the inaccurate estimate is due to entertainment influences.
“In terms of how people constitute their mental pictures of society, these things drive the impression that gays are a normal and substantial portion of the population,” said The Economist blog.
Not surprisingly, those states that have legalized same-sex “marriage” report the highest number of both “married” and unmarried same-sex couples – Washington, D.C., Vermont, Massachusetts, and California.
Thankfully the U.S. Bishops and the National Organization for Marriage are supporting many efforts around the country to promote and strengthen authentic marriage as the commitment between one man and one woman. But will the Catechism of the Catholic Church be able to overcome the catechism of the culture?