Alex Wan gets checked, half true on gay Atlanta
Setting aside for the moment the question of whether straight folks can count gay folks better than gay folks can count gay folks, Alex Wan and his “half-truths” have been checked. Gay marry that. Snap!
Wan, the only openly gay member of the Atlanta City Council, convinced his mostly-willing colleagues on Monday to approve a resolution backing gay marriage. The two-page document (below) includes lots of whereas clauses that make the case for why the Council should support marriage equality.
And therein lies the rub, according to PolitiFact Georgia. They took one of Wan’s claims in the resolution—“The city of Atlanta has one of the highest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations per capita, ranking third among major American cities.”—and fact-checked it. Their verdict? It’s half true.
Atlanta is always perceived to be one of the South’s gayest cities. Which isn’t that difficult. Atlanta has even been one of the gayest cities in America, though that was a couple of years ago and based on bad science.
But hey, we’re gay and we know it. PolitiFact did the research, though, and found that claiming that Atlanta is third-gayest in all the land is, well, tough to prove.
It’s less clear that Atlanta ranks third nationally because there’s not much current data detailing the percentage of all LGBT residents by city. Atlanta ranks below more than at least five cities when it comes to same-sex, unmarried households.
The first part of Wan’s claim appears accurate. But even these numbers are open to interpretation. It appears Atlanta is a little lower than third in the other part of the claim.
Overall, Wan’s statement is probably accurate, but it needs a lot of context.
We rate it: Half True.
The best part of the PolitiFact takedown? They describe the issue of gay marriage as “somewhat thorny inside City Hall.” So true.
The issue is somewhat thorny inside City Hall. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has been criticized by some LGBT activists for not fully supporting same-sex marriage. Reed, who as a state lawmaker successfully passed a hate crimes bill to protect gays and other groups, has said he respects the council’s vote on the resolution. Wan said he didn’t intend to pressure Reed by introducing the resolution and hopes the mayor will soon “reach the same conclusion” on same-sex marriage.
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