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. The 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. The 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.