View Full Version : Census Bureau Will Count Self-Identified Same-Sex Couples as ‘Married’

03-14-2010, 12:50 PM
The U.S. Census Bureau has changed its interpretation of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to allow it to tabulate same-sex couples who self-identify their union as a marriage, even though DOMA prohibits any federal agency from recognizing same-sex unions as marriages.

Prior to the Obama administration, the Census Bureau said that DOMA prohibited the Bureau from tallying homosexual couples as being married. The Bureau plans to issue a report on its same-sex married data that is separate from its nationwide census report.

“What we agreed to do in 2010 is that since some people are answering that they are a same-sex couple who considered themselves to be husband and, and married and the same gender, we will produce a report that shows how many people checked off that box,” Burton Reist, assistant director for communications at the Census Bureau, told CNSNews.com.

The DOMA, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws, and says that states need not recognize a marriage from another state if it is between persons of the same sex.

Through the 2000 Census, if two individuals of the same gender checked off that they were married, the Bureau would edit their response and designate them unmarried partners for the “purposes of federal statistics,” which, according to Reist, will continue to be the norm because DOMA remains the law of the land.

Nevertheless, Reist said that for the 2010 count, the Census will produce a separate report comprised of the unedited data of homosexual couples who self-identify themselves as married, which is contrary to the Bureau’s original interpretation of DOMA.

According to the Associated Press, then-Census Bureau Director Steven Murdock on July 17, 2008, said the agency was unable to count same-sex couples as married because it was “restricted” by DOMA.

That same day, The Washington Post reported that Census Bureau Spokesman Stephen Buckner told them in an e-mail that the marriage law “requires all federal agencies to recognize only opposite-sex marriages for the purposes of administering federal programs.”

Reist said that a separate report on same-sex couples is a result of “the fact that throughout the history of the Census Bureau the way we tabulate data, the way we ask questions, has evolved to accurately reflect changing social norms.”


03-14-2010, 01:27 PM
no surprise with this admin...they haven't abided by laws/rules when it comes to anything else, why this?

03-14-2010, 01:42 PM
Perhaps I'll change the classification of the census questionnaire to junk mail.

03-14-2010, 01:52 PM
Now that six states recognize it, you have to wonder where the "tipping point" is.

03-14-2010, 01:56 PM
Now that six states recognize it, you have to wonder where the "tipping point" is.

I have been wondering what happens when a same sex couple moves to a state with an income tax that doesn't recognize their marriage. It just seem so odd to me that a person can be married here but not over there.

03-14-2010, 02:00 PM
We may have a chance to find out where the tipping point is. States were gradually legalizing abortion in the 1960s and early '70s before the Supreme Court stepped in and federated the process. It would probably have been legal nationwide within another decade, because it simply wouldn't have made sense to have a majority of states recognize it, with other pockets not doing so. The same may well happen in this case.