Why Marriage Matters to Latinos

OVERVIEW: Hispanic and Latino/a same-sex families have much to gain from the legal protections of marriage and nondiscrimination protections — and much to lose when states prohibit marriage equality. Census data finds that Latino/a same-sex couples are raising children at three times the rate of their Caucasian counterparts. Based on the 2000 Census, of the approximately 255,000 children underage 18 being raised by same-sex couples, 23%, or 58,650 children, were of Hispanic origin. According to the same findings, 20% of same sex parents raising children are Latino/a. Generations of Americans of Latin American heritage, both leaders and every day folks, understand what's at stake and continue to work hard in order to make our nation's promise of equal justice a reality. This publication from the National Council of La Raza discusses the variety of ways in which Hispanics have supported the LGBT community. 

PROMINENT VOICES: Many leaders in the Latino community, from religious leaders to celebrities to established organizations, have voiced strong support for the freedom to marry. 

In June 2012, the board of the National Council of La Raza, the country's largest Latino civil rights organization, approved a resolution in support of the freedom to marry. Just a few weeks later, the oldest Latino group in the country - the League of United Latin American Citizens - approved a similar resolution supporting the freedom to marry. Both resolutions came after years of support for the LGBT community from these organizations. The Hispanic Federation has also applauded President Barack Obama's support of the freedom to marry.

Religious leaders like Dr. Miguel de la Torre and Rev. J. Manny Santiago have written about the ties between Latino and LGBT disenfranchisement and made remarks about the importance of the Latino community supporting the freedoms of all communities. Elected officials, including Texas representative Mary Edna González, have also spoken out. 

A number of prominent Latino and Latina celebrities have expressed their support, including singer Jennifer Lopez, Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, singer and Broadway star Ricky Martin, blogger Perez Hilton, and actress Eva Longoria

POLLING DATA: (For a full overview of polling on the freedom to marry, click HERE) 

  • 67% of acculturated Hispanics say they support "legal gay marriage," countering popular assumptions that Hispanics are more anti-gay than other segments of society. A joint study by the National Council of La Raza and Social Science Research Solutions also found 55% support among bi-cultural Hispanics; 79% support among Hispanics who say they have no religion, are atheist, or agnostic; and 67% support among Hispanic Catholics. (NCLR & SSRS, April 2012)
  • 59% of Latinos in the United States say that society should accept homosexuality. Second-generation Latinos go even further with 68% of those surveyed saying the same. (Pew Hispanic Center, April 2012)
  • Hispanic voters support the freedom to marry by nearly 2 to 1 (with 55% in support and 30% opposed), an increase in 10% since the previous poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NBC (in October 2009). Catholic voters say they support the freedom to marry by an even larger margin (59% to 29%), and Catholic voters who say they attend church "frequently" support marriage for same-sex couples 50% to 35%). (The Wall Street Journal/NBC, March 2012)
  • 53% of Latinos in California, regardless of religion, say they favor marriage for same-sex couples in the state.
  • A November 2011 study found that opposition among Latinos to government recognition for same-sex relationships was at 26%. 43% of Latinos surveyed said they support the freedom to marry, while an additional 13% said they support civil unions for same-sex couples. (Univision/Latino Decisions, November 2011)
  • In New York, a month before Gov. Cuomo signed the freedom to marry into law, 55% of Latinos surveyed said they supported marriage for same-sex couples. (Siena College Research, June 2011)
  • 67% of Latino Catholics support legal recognition of same-sex relationships, while 30% are opposed. (PRRI, March 2011
  • In a poll conducted in both English and Spanish, 74% of Latinos said they supported either marriage or other forms of legal recognition. The poll also demonstrated that Latinos understand that gay people often face discrimination; 80% of respondents said they believed this. (Bendixen & Amandi, 2010)

Blog Posts Related to Latinos

WATCH: New Mexico family talks about why marriage matters in new TV ad

This morning, a coalition of state and national organizations in New Mexico launched a new statewide television spot featuring The Sandoval Family, headed by Daniel and Theresa Sandoval, who have been married for 51 years in Albuquerque, NM.

Williams Institute report tracks Latino LGBT adults and families in the U.S.

A new report from The Williams Institute crunches the numbers behind the 2010 Census and tracks the impact and scope of LGBT Latinos living in the United States. 29.1% of same-sex Latino couples are raising children, the report also finds.

WATCH: Dolores Huerta discusses the importance of unity in Latino community

Today, Familia es Familia, the national campaign that aims to increase support for LGBT members of the Latino community through partnership with nationally recognized Latino-based organizations, released a new public education video featuring civil rights leader Dolores Huerta.

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Resources Related to Latinos

Familia es Familia: Ya Es Hora

Read the 2014 update to the brochure about 'Familia es Familia' - a public education campaign co-led by dozens of Latino organizations and Freedom to Marry that works to build and amplify support for gay and lesbian people, and the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, in the Latino community.

Latino Support for the Freedom to Marry

Recent public opinion data show that Latinos – especially Latino Catholics – widely favor the freedom to marry, both nationwide and in key states.

Census 2010: More Gay Parents Raising Children in South

UCLA demographers analyzing 2010 Census Bureau data have found that same-sex couples raising children are more common in the South than in any other region in the United States.

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