Charting Texas’ Rise in Same-Sex Marriages

Ballinger News Staff

Surge in Same-Sex Households in Texas Since Legalization of Gay Marriage


Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage nine years ago, the number of same-sex households in Texas has seen a dramatic increase.

Importance of the Trend


The rise in same-sex households underscores the normalization of same-sex marriage in Texas, even as the state’s Republican Party continues to oppose gay marriage and parenting.

Background: Obergefell v. Hodges


The Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, was a watershed moment, nullifying all bans on same-sex marriage across the United States, including Texas. This ruling significantly changed the legal and social landscape for same-sex couples nationwide.

Detailed Statistics


In 2022, Texas was home to 107,252 same-sex couple households, with 54.2% of these couples being married, as per a new U.S. Census Bureau report. This represents a significant increase from 2014, the year before the legalization of same-sex marriage, when there were 58,654 same-sex couple households in Texas, of which only 34.6% were married.

On a national scale, the number of same-sex couple households rose to about 1.3 million in 2022 from approximately 783,100 in 2014. The proportion of married same-sex couple households also increased, from 42.8% in 2014 to 58% in 2022. Additionally, the number of married same-sex couple households more than doubled, from around 334,900 in 2014 to about 740,800 in 2022.

Massachusetts’ Pioneering Role


Massachusetts set a precedent as the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004, paving the way for other states and eventually the entire nation.

Data Collection Challenges


The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the Census Bureau’s data collection in 2020, resulting in a lack of data for that year. Additionally, the Census Bureau has historically struggled to accurately count same-sex marriages. To address this, the American Community Survey (ACS) in 2019 began specifically inquiring about same-sex spouses and unmarried partners in American households. The Census Bureau is also experimenting with new questions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity to better capture data on this historically overlooked group.

Ongoing Legislative Challenges


Despite the protections afforded by Obergefell v. Hodges, many states, including Texas, continue to introduce legislation aimed at restricting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year allowing businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples on religious grounds further exemplifies the ongoing legal battles. The Texas Supreme Court is also expected to rule on the case of a Waco justice of the peace who refused to marry same-sex couples.

Hope Amidst Opposition


Despite these challenges, there is a growing sense of optimism within the LGBTQ+ community. Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, notes that anti-LGBTQ+ legislative efforts seem to be losing momentum nationwide. Robinson highlights the overreach of opposition groups, noting their attempts to attack not only the LGBTQ+ community but also children.



The Obergefell decision has had a profound impact on millions of Americans, including those in Texas, by legitimizing same-sex marriages and transforming societal attitudes. However, the journey towards full equality continues, with ongoing legislative and legal battles shaping the future of LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.

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