The Migration of Partnered Gays and Lesbians between 1995 and 2000

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Abstract

This research investigates the interregional migration of partnered gays and lesbians between 1995 and 2000 as the first attempt at understanding the determinants of gay and lesbian migration using data from the Public Use Microdata Sample of the 2000 U.S. Census. Briefly, the findings are as follows. Both partnered gays and lesbians are regionally distributed throughout the United States consistent with the geographical distribution of the entire U.S. population. However, the shifting location of the partnered gay and lesbian population between 1995 and 2000 demonstrates significant variability. The general conclusion to be reached from models of the net migration of the partnered gay and lesbian population in that period is as follows: Partnered gay migration is directed toward moderate-sized urban regions rich in natural amenities without regard for tolerance toward gay lifestyles or the absolute or relative size of the partnered gay community. Partnered lesbian migration is focused on less-populous regions with a large, existing, partnered lesbian population. The role of natural amenities, the tolerance for lesbian lifestyles, and population density are not significant in determining partnered lesbian migration. The only trait partnered gay and lesbian migrations have in common is in their move toward less populous regions.

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