The number of same-sex households in the United States is on the rise, and Gainesville is no exception, according to 2010 census data released Tuesday.

About 650,000 same-sex couples reported living together. Of those, 131,729 same-sex couples reported that they were married.

The total number of same-sex couples who reported living together is nearly double what it was in 2000, according to the Associated Press.

The growth in results shows that society is becoming more accepting, said Terry Fleming, co-president of the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida.

"It's important to recognize that LGBT folks live in every corner of every county in the country," Fleming said. "And that's reflected in the census data."

Because Massachusetts first legalized gay marriage in 2004, the 2010 census was the first time same-sex couples could mark themselves married and be counted as so.

Florida's number of same-sex households has grown 60 percent since 2000, according to a Sun-Sentinel article. Gainesville recorded 367 same-sex partner households in 2010, up from 226 in 2000, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's U.S. Census database.

Because the general population is still not completely accepting of LGBT communities, people often misreport their situations, Fleming said.

"Many people are afraid to identify - even on an anonymous form - as gay or lesbian," Fleming said.

Gainesville Community Alliance founder Joseph Antonelli said people will not respond honestly until they know they're protected.

Although the census data shows about 131,000 same-sex married couples, the number of legally recognized gay partnerships is much lower, Gary Gates, a UCLA demographer and Census Bureau consultant, told the Associated Press.

Couples reported themselves married because they feel that way, Antonelli said.

"If you've been with somebody for 15, 25 or 50 years, would you not consider yourself married?" he said.

Fleming, who has been with his partner for 14 years, marked "married" on his form.

"If I tell you that I'm married, you know what that means," Fleming said.