Monday, March 9, 2009
2010 Census To Ignore Married Gays
All you legally gay-married folks will not be counted in the 2010 U.S. census.
Census takers will ask same-sex couples who live together to define themselves as "unmarried partners," as they did in 2000 before some states - currently only Connecticut and Massachusetts - allowed gay marriage. "This is all about the numbers. This not about lifestyle or anything else," says U.S. Census spokeswoman Cynthia Endo. The omission of gay marriage and sexuality questions on the census bothers some gays and lesbians, who argue that a proper accounting would give them the same visibility as minorities, who gain political power when their numbers increase. "I am a sociologist and census data is very important to our existence, and I don't like it when they leave things out, it causes an undercount," says Sharon Raphael, 67, who teaches gerontology at Cal State Dominguez Hills. "Certain numbers of us are not out, and when they hide us under these general descriptions ... it just makes us more invisible."
"By law, Congress cannot change census questions within two years of the count, making it too late to update the form (not that conservatives would allow that to happen). The government is asking tens of thousands of legally married gay couples to lie to census takers."