« Task Force: Affix pink 'Queer the Census' sticker to backs of Census return envelopes | Main | Gay former professional wrestler Chris Kanyon found dead in NYC »

Census: Gay couples should check 'married' if that's how they view relationship, transgender people should choose the sex they identify with

Gays Census NYSC102

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Wanting a more accurate count of sexual minorities in the United States, national gay rights leaders have launched a campaign to "Queer the Census."

Even the U.S. Census Bureau is on board, releasing videos Monday that advise same-sex couples to choose "married'' status if that's how they view their relationships, and tell transgender people to check off the sex they identify with -- not necessarily their legal or birth genders.

Gays Census NYSC103 "We've been very public about our interaction with the gay community," said Timothy P. Olson, assistant division chief for the Census' field division. "I'm a gay man and I head up the overall program."

The Census quietly began asking unmarried partner status 20 years ago and "a small number'' of same-sex couples came forward, Olson said.

In 2000, "There were same-sex couples found in 97 percent of all counties in the United States. That's a remarkable number because in 2000 there was very little, if any, awareness or outreach to the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community," he said.

Even though the numbers were collected, the Census wasn't allowed to fully report it, Olson said.

"The [George W. Bush] administration was very firm that the Defense of Marriage Act prohibited the Census Bureau from releasing any information about same-sex couples," he said. "The new administration reversed that."

Gays Census NYSC104 In a news conference Monday, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a lesbian, said she and other gay leaders would begin lobbying Congress to include sexual orientation on the 2020 Census.

"We want to be seen and heard, and filling out the Census form is the first step in making that happen," Quinn said.

Olson said that all 4,000 Census outreach workers throughout the United States have been trained to collect data on LGBT people.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is one of 200 Census group participants and last week launched its "Queer the Census'' campaign, encouraging gay people and their allies to send back Census forms with special pink stickers affixed to the backs of return envelopes.

Also, the Census has posted a half-dozen videos from gay community leaders, including one in Spanish, on its website and on YouTube.

Star Trek's Mr. Sulu is part of the campaign. Actor George Takei, who two years ago married longtime partner Brad Altman in California, said at the news conference Monday that they sent back their form "as husbands and husbands."

They have done their own Census video, in which Takei wears his old Star Trek uniform and Altman has a "silly'' foil cap on his head.

"We wanted to do our PSA in a way that would reach as many people as possible," Takei said. "We want to help Americans go where they've never gone before: to full equality for the LGBT community."

Top photo: Actor George Takei, right and his husband Brad Altman speak at a news conference Monday in New York.

Center photo: Timothy P. Olson

Bottom photo:  Christine Quinn

AP Photo by Stephen Chernin

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e20133ec7b0f41970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Census: Gay couples should check 'married' if that's how they view relationship, transgender people should choose the sex they identify with:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sorry nevada del rio but we're here, we're queer and won't be dying anytime soon... so you better start loving they gaybor

This is the "CHANGE" the marxist democrats were promising, to turn 95% of the US population into homosexuals?

I think it is great that gay Americans now feel accepted enough in our nation to be able to reveal who they really are to the government and the census. This will allow the country to really see how many LGBT people are in the US and perhaps allow legislation to be passed to be more accepting of them.

This link has an article and videos addressed to LGBT members about how to fill out the census for this year in order to assist with getting a better count of their population.

Two things I don't feel good about in these instructions include:
1) They claim the census is completely anonymous- which it is not because your name is on the form. There are no supportive statements made about HOW confidentiality is maintained. LGBT people often fear social stigmatization, so I think there should be a better statement about how confidentiality is maintained.
2) Transgender people are instructed to mark the gender they identify with and use the name they are comfortable with. How then will the transgender population actually be counted? This population is profoundly underserved because they are underrepresented. If we truly want to live up to the promise of our constitution then equality must be provided for all.
“These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit” (Obama, 2009).

They ought to identify people by whether they are drinkers or non-drinkers, drivers or non-drivers, artists, poets, musicians, thinkers, deer hunters or deer lovers, etc, ad infinitum.

While they're at it, why not add human and animal marriages? Yeah baby!

What is wrong with people? First of all you can't marry an animal, duh...and drinking, driving, writing poetry, performing music, etc. are all activities that one performs, a far cry from being gay. A person is gay a person doesn't do gay. And why do you care if we know how many gays there are in the U.S.??? Scared it will "make you gay"? I think we should have a box for ignoramuses on the Census, that way we would know how many Republicans will be voting in the next election.

People are genetically black, white, etc. We can prove this via their DNA.

Homosexuals are people who engage in same-gender sexual BEHAVIOR.

Find the big "G" and/or little "g" gene and then we can talk.

Just another reason our Country is going down the drain.

Get it through you head, being gay is a sexual preference, not a sex, religion, gender, etc.. Gays want you to think they are victims and have played that card to get their way. Despite all the gay situational comedies, nobody wants your disgusting lifestyle.

Hey, why not just count chickens and goats why they're at it. I mean, hell lets just give farm animals welfare and the whole 9 yards. Screw it.

you gays are an abomination, the sooner you accept it the better off the world will be. Oh I know, call me all the names and make fun. It's your only defense I suppose. What a waste of time.

I am confused. I thought the census was about counting the number of people living in the USA. the information asked for is for age,gender married or single and had nothing to do with sexual orientation. Why can't same sex couples fill in the form the way the rest of us do?

This is totally rediculous! The U.S. Census has no authority to ask anything more than how many people live in any abode- THAT'S IT! You answer anything more and you do so voluntarily, you don't have to tell them your name or race or gender or status of any kind-- STOP BEING DUMB SHEEPLE! The Census is only supposed to be for determining how many congresspersons and congressional districts are needed. Like I did last time ten years ago, I simply answered the first question in this latest form and only that one- how many live in my home.

Our government and our nation are under attack from within by some of the same nations and types of people that could never overpower us in War. But so many of you seen so eager to allow the gradual destruction of the Family and the principals that this Nation was founded on and the Morality that went with those principals. Mr Morgan is correct in his statement that the only info You should supply is How Many People Live in the domicile. Not what strange or otherwise disgusting sexual likes or dislikes they may or may not have. Keep it in the Closet there are young children about.

Reading some of these replies just proves how many pathetic people live in this world. Instead of loving each other for who we are instead some choose to spew their vile hatred on each other. Like I said, Pathetic!

ok, so im almost 18 and honestly every writing assignment i have had to do i wrote about gays and gay rights, im straight but hey im all for it, but counting "yall" in the census, i mean maybe its fro eduational purposes, at this moment i came to this website hoping to find the number of gays,lesbians,transgender there are adopting children, i have nothing against you guys but its eduational. come on, as you want people to have an open mind on your sexual preference, have an open mind to their understanding.

I will not be surprised if time comes that 1/3 of the population in US is gay.

you gays are an abomination, the sooner you accept it the better off the world will be. Oh I know, call me all the names and make fun. It's your only defense I suppose. What a waste of time.

The comments to this entry are closed.