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Showing posts from September, 2010

A de Rossi by any other Name?

News that Australian actor Portia de Rossi (of Arrested Development fame) has taken her wife Ellen DeGeneres' surname casts an interesting new twist on a old dilemma: should a wife take her spouse's name?

Portia de Rossi married Ellen de Generes in the wake of the decision of the California Supreme Court in In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757, 76 Cal.Rptr.3d 683, 183 P.3d 384, which opened up marriage to same-sex couples. While proposition 8 restored the former ban on same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court decision in Strauss v. Horton 46 Cal.4th 364, 93 Cal.Rptr.3d 591, 207 P.3d 48 confirmed that the c. 18,000 same-sex marriages contracted in the interim would remain valid.

Now, Portia has changed her surname to De Generes, to match that of her wife. An LA court recently approved the proposed name change. Incidentally, this is de Rossi's second name change - she was raised as 'Amanda Lee Rogers' but adopted the moniker by which she is better known at the p…

Statistically speaking...

I have a stock answer when asked what proportion of the population is gay - a lot more than most straight people think, and a lot less than most gay people think.

The British Office for National Statistics is a good deal cleverer and less glib than I. It has published an estimate of the number of gay and bisexual (LGB) people in the UK.

The ONS - rather bravely - asked approximately a quarter of a million Britons aged 16 or over about their sexual orientation.

The results? 1.5% identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (1% as gay, 0.5% as bisexual). Another 0.5% stated 'other' while 2.8% refused to answer or stated that they did not know. An additional 0.5% did not respond to the question. Notably, London reported the highest LGB presence, while Northern Ireland was lowest at 0.9%.

The survey also revealed some notable differences between the average LGB person and his or her straight equivalent. Globally, LGB respondents were, on average, more likely to be employed, more likel…