Census To Count Same-Sex "Marriages"
Special Report - March 11, 2010
Forms for the 2010 Census are scheduled to begin arriving in mailboxes next week, and the government is promoting it as “one of the shortest and simplest in U.S. History.” But what really distinguishes the 2010 Census from every other Census in U.S. history is that for the first time, homosexuals who identify themselves as “husband or wife” on the form will be counted as “married,” regardless of whether or not they are legally wed. Igor Alves, a Census Bureau media specialist is quoted in the New Jersey Star-Ledger as stating, “We have a policy of self-identification…We basically want to tally what they select.”
In the 2000 Census, under a policy decision by the Bush administration, any same-sex couples who identified as “husband or wife” on the forms were categorized as “unmarried partners.” The Bush administration policy was based on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman, and gives states the power to not recognize the same-sex “marriages” of other states.” Since 2004, five states plus DC have redefined marriage to include same-sex couples, a fact that homosexual advocacy groups have used to leverage support for counting same-sex unions in the Census. In June 2009, the Commerce Department under the Obama administration announced a reversal of the Bush policy, contending that the federal DOMA does not prevent the government from collecting data on the number of same-sex “marriages.”
The change represents a major victory for homosexual rights activists. According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), it “played a key role getting the U.S. Census to report the number of married same-sex couples,” meeting privately with President Obama and members of his administration shortly after he took office. “This is an important step forward,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the NGLTF, in a statement in July 2009, “and one we hope signals the federal government's burgeoning commitment to including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in data and reporting on a broad spectrum of critical matters, such as those related to our community's health, economic issues, safety and life circumstances.”
The Census Bureau will release a report on the number of same-sex couples who identify as “married” in the 2010 Census sometime in 2011.
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