Obama wants gay couples counted in 2010 Census

Posted on 19 Jun 2009 at 2:07pm

I just got this press release from the office of U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the only out lesbian in Congress:

Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Steven Israel (D-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA) and Jared Polis (D-CO), today applauded Thursday’s announcement that the Obama Administration is seeking ways to include same-sex marriages, unions, and partnerships in 2010 Census data.

The administration is also seeking ways to update software so that same-sex marriage data can be released early in 2011 along with other census data.

This marks a signal change in policy and recognition of same-sex couples.

Last summer, citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Bush Administration announced that lawfully married same-sex couples that truthfully mark “married” on their census forms would have their answers switched to “unmarried partners.”

In May of this year, Reps. Baldwin, Israel, Frank and Polis, joined by 47 colleagues, sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orszag asking that the 2010 Census fairly count same-sex married couples.

In a joint statement today, Reps. Baldwin, Israel, Frank and Polis said, “We applaud President Obama for taking this action, further demonstrating his commitment to LGBT equality. This decision strengthens the integrity of the national census, a vital tool of our democracy.  It is welcome recognition that same-sex legally married couples and all LGBT couples and their families are integral to the American fabric.”

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