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It turns out Kentucky is NOT the gayest state in the U.S. | Opinion

Late Friday, the Williams Institute at UCLA issued an apology for a data error that said Kentucky had the highest rate of LGBTQ adults in the nation.

“We made a mistake, and we apologize to Kentucky and to you,” the release said. “We know there is a growing and thriving LGBTQ community in the Bluegrass State. But our report issued earlier this month incorrectly stated that Kentucky had the highest percentage of people identifying as LGBTQ. That percentage is 4.9 percent instead of 10.5 percent and in line with the national average of 5.6 percent.”

The apology said the Williams Institute researchers had used Centers for Disease Control data that had been corrected in July, but the correction had not been incorporated into the data. The study’s co-authors are Andrew Flores and Kerith Conron.

I also owe my readers an apology for taking data that seemed like good news and writing about it without enough due diligence. We have often cited Williams Institute data on LGBTQ data, and I can assure you that will not happen again.

But I should have waited to see what the fallout was from the unlikely result of the study. I thought the results were strange and should have listened to my gut. I was too quick to take the word of researchers at face value.

Many folks criticized me for that on social media, and it turns out they were right.

That said, I still think Kentucky should celebrate its LGBTQ residents of whatever number, and that politicians should stop using them as punching bags. I think we should continue to pass fairness ordinances and celebrate diversity.

And I’ll keep writing that whenever I get the chance.