NYT: Politics makes D.C. the 'gayest place in America'

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Gay Marriage,Human Rights Campaign,Gay rights

The New York Times has declared Washington, D.C., the “gayest place in America,” in part because politics is a huge draw for gays and lesbians.

The Sunday Styles story highlights Washington's coming out in several statistics that show the city a top draw for gays, a growing community where same-sex couples make up 18.1 household for every 1,000.

Author Jeremy W. Peters gives politics some of the credit for making Washington the gay capital.

“Why are they all here?” he asks. “One answer seems to be that they have always been here. Gays and lesbians do seem to be drawn to politics in disproportionately high numbers. [Democratic lobbyist Steve] Elmendorf told me he thinks that gay people, because they were mostly without children, were able to resist the draw of higher pay in the private sector.”

He also took note of the gay commercial establishments in the city:

“Such ubiquity isn’t just an abundance of gay bars, though there are at least six within walking distance of my house in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Northwest Washington. On the days I make the 20-minute walk from home to my office near the White House, I will pass one example after another of this city’s thriving gay economy: a Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams furniture store; a clothing retailer whose window displays regularly feature bare-torso, well-endowed mannequins in nothing but tiny briefs; three CrossFit gyms; the offices of two gay newspapers, the Washington Blade and Metro Weekly (most cities cannot even sustain one); a bathhouse; and the national headquarters for the Human Rights Campaign.”

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.