2010 Census will recognize same-sex marriage

2010 Census will recognize same-sex marriage

Census2010_Red_smThe LGBT community is anxiously awaiting the 2010 U.S. Census. The Census has had a difficult time the past twenty years deciding how to recognize the relationship of same-sex couples living together.

In 1990, if same-sex couples identified themselves as married, the data readers would alter the sex of one of the persons in the couple. In 2000, if same-sex couples identified themselves as married, the data readers would change their status to unmarried.

The 2010 Census will make no such alterations and will report the relationship of all same-sex couples as they report it. The LGBT community is encouraging all couples to report their relationships as they view them. This means if they view themselves as husband and wife, whether or not legally married, they are encouraged to report themselves as such.

Why is this of concern?

First of all, many conservative groups are claiming it is a violation of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which establishes that marriage is between a man and a woman under federal law. By recognizing non-legal same-sex marriages, the 2010 Census will violate this federal law.

More importantly, however, the Census will validate non-legal same-sex marriages by giving them federal recognition and greater visibility. This validation translates into more federal funding and more political power for the LGBT community, which translates into a greater threat for traditional marriage.

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