Predicting Registered Domestic Partnerships among Gay Men and Lesbians

Gary J. Gates, University of California, Los Angeles
Natalya Maisel, University of California, Los Angeles
M.V. Lee Badgett, University of Massachusetts

Studies of marriage and cohabitation have identified characteristics that differ between married and cohabiting heterosexual individuals and couples. Same-sex couples now have marriage or quasi-marriage rights in several states, including California. This is the first study to use a probability sample to make detailed comparisons of the characteristics of gay men and lesbians who have registered their domestic partnership with a state or local agency with those couples who are unregistered. We use data from a survey of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals in California to identify predictors of both partnership and partner registration. Preliminary findings show that partnership is higher among women, more educated and older individuals, and among those who have been previously married. In addition, people in partnerships are more open about their sexual orientation. We use similar models to predict marriage and cohabitation for heterosexual Californians in the American Community Survey.

Presented in Poster Session 7