North Dakota Has The Fewest Number Of Self-Identified Gays In The Nation

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I posted this earlier today in the headlines. According to Gallup, North Dakota has the lowest percentage in the nation of citizens identifying themselves as gay, lesbian or transgendered.

PRINCETON, NJ — The percentage of U.S. adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) ranges from 1.7% in North Dakota to 5.1% in Hawaii and 10% in the District of Columbia, according to Gallup surveys conducted from June-December 2012. Residents in the District of Columbia were most likely to identify as LGBT (10%). Among states, the highest percentage was in Hawaii (5.1%) and the lowest in North Dakota (1.7%), but all states are within two percentage points of the nationwide average of 3.5%.

The problem with a number like this is, do we have a low number because there just aren’t a lot of gays in the state? Or because gays/lesbians/transgendered people sense hostility toward them in the state and are afraid to be open about who they are?

I’m not sure that’s something we can quantify, but I think the latter is probably true for a lot of gays in the state.

One of the arguments in favor of a bill which would have added gays to the list of classes protected from discrimination was that North Dakota has a reputation for being hostile to gays. I opposed that bill, because I object to creating classes of people with special protections under the law, but I can’t argue with the view of North Dakota as being an unfriendly place for homosexuals.

That’s something North Dakota should be ashamed of.

We need a bit more “live and let live” in this state.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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