When I read in Friday's NY Times that the "Census Will not Record Same-Sex Marriages," I asked myself a question:
Why won't the 2010 Census count legally married gay couples?
--Perplexed in NYC
Dear Perplexed in NYC:
Remember the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)? The one Bill Clinton signed into law in the middle of the night in September 1996? That's the bill that was passed by Congress by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate and 342-67 in the House of Representatives.
Well, as the Census Bureau explained, the Defense of Marriage Act bars the [federal] agency from recognizing same-sex marriages. Doesn't matter if there are two states where gay couples can legally marry. Doesn't matter if the couple is legally married, because in the eyes of United States government, they're not.
So if you're a gay couple and legally married and answer honestly on your census form that you're married, the Census Bureau will reclassify you as "unmarried, same-sex partners."
The good news is if you're a same-sex couple with children who are related to the head of the household, you'll be classified as a family. No kids? Not a family.
It's good to know that our federal government is hard at work defending marriage and the American family. I'm sure I'll sleep better tonight.
But just in case you're not sleeping better, you may want to sign on to a petition sponsored by People for the American Way.