Sounds like you can check 'Husband or wife' on the 2010 Census

Posted on 18 Sep 2009 at 2:34pm

Back in June, we mentioned Obama wanted the census to include LGBT couples. I saw a sample preview of the 2010 Census Dallas questionnaire and got a little nervous. I was a bit unclear on how they translated gay couples into their options. The options for Persons 2 and up, living with Person 1 were “Husband or wife,” “Roomer or boarder,” “Housemate or roommate,” “Unmarried partner,” and “Other nonrelative” minus familial terms like parents, children, etc.

I asked Richard Hill, the senior public information officer of Marketing and Media Relations at the city of Dallas, what would same-sex couples living together check here. His response referred me to the Census Bureau and admittedly, I thought “runaround.”

But I was gladdened by Jenna Steormann Arnold’s official response. She’s the media specialist over at the Dallas Regional Census Center. This was her response:

The 2010 Census’ portrayal of household relationship must accurately represent existing circumstances brought about by societal, cultural, and in some cases, legal changes. ┬áThe General Counsel of the Department of Commerce recently reached a legal conclusion that reversed the policy of the previous Administration and clarified how the Census Bureau can report the growing number of same sex marriages in the United States. ┬áThe Census Bureau will release the raw relationship data from the 2010 Census that will not recode same-sex marriage as unmarried partners.

In Instant Tea’s previous post, Tammye Nash mentioned “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.’” Arnold’s response clearly says things have changed.

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