The U.S. Senate on Tuesday blocked a measure that would have allowed gays to openly serve in the U.S. military.
California gay men and women have historically -- but clandestinely -- served in military, even before "don't ask, don't tell."
Almost 20,000 Californians in 2008 were living with unmarried partners of the same sex, and were military veterans, according to U.S. Census figures. That represents about 1 percent of the state's veterans. There's likely considerably more gay veterans not living with a domestic partner.
This chart shows Californians who are living with unmarried partners of the same sex, and who are military veterans, broken down by period of military service.
Note: The Census Bureau does not ask people if they are gay. It does ask them their gender, and whether they are living with "unmarried partners." "Unmarried partners" are "those who share living quarters and who also have a close personal relationship with each other." They are not roommates, housemates or relatives, all of whom are identified separately by the census.
Source: 2006-2008 U.S. Census American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata