SAN FRANCISCO (Christian Examiner) -- Gallup has released figures showing that as a percentage of the population, San Francisco has the largest LGBT community among metropolitan areas in the country, beating out even New York City, although the Big Apple has the largest population of LGBT persons by actual numbers.
Still, despite having the largest concentration of homosexuals and transsexuals in the country, at 6.2 percent the LGBT population falls well below the often cited 10 percent figure homosexual rights activists claim about the U.S. population as a whole, in pushing for social change.
Meanwhile, Birmingham, Alabama, the center of an ongoing battle of state versus federal powers about marriage laws, is the metropolitan area with the lowest percentage of LGBT individuals, with only 2.6 percent of the city claiming to be "lesbian, bisexual, gay or transgender."
Gallup offered that variations across the metropolitan areas likely were due to social stigma in some areas versus acceptance in others.
However, Salt Lake City, Utah, is among the top 10 metro areas with the largest percentage of LGBT populations, and it is home to the largest population of Mormons in the country and known for highly conservative views and political leanings. On the other hand, San Jose, California, is home to the Silicon Valley and headquarters for technology giants like Apple, Google and Facebook which are active supporters of gay rights, and it is among the bottom 10 metro areas with the lowest percentage of LGBT populations.
Nationwide, on average, about 3.6 percent of metropolitan populations identified themselves as homosexuals or transsexuals in the Gallup poll.
Data regarding LGBT populations in suburban and rural areas is less clear, however, demographers surmise the percentages are much lower given the findings of several large-scale studies.
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data which revealed that only 1.6 percent of the population self-identified as gay or lesbian compared to 96.6 percent who said they were heterosexual in that large-scale study. Another 0.7 percent identified as bisexual and 1.1 percent answered they "don't know" or "something else" or declined to answer the question.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual rights advocacy organization, conceded in a 1994 amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that about 2.4 percent of men were gay and about 1.4 percent of women were lesbian, a combined average of about 1.9 percent homosexual adults nationwide.