John M. Becker

U.S. Census Will Now Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Filed By John M. Becker | May 27, 2014 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Census Bureau, erasure, LGBT, LGBT families, same-sex couples, same-sex families, U.S. Census

us-census-bureau.jpgGreat news: after ten years of legal same-gender marriage in America, the United States Census Bureau is finally catching up with reality and acknowledging the existence of same-sex families.

The Washington Post reports:

The Census Bureau, which struggles to keep up with the rapid changes in American life, is about to start categorizing same-sex married couples as families.

The 2013 American Community Survey results, which will be reported in September, will mark the first time the census integrates an estimated 180,000 same-sex married couples with statistics concerning the nation's 56 million families. Until now, they had been categorized as unmarried partners, even when couples reported themselves as spouses.

Because of the large disparity between the number of gay and straight married households, combining the two is not expected to have a significant effect on the statistics that scholars and planners use to analyze how families are changing. Its significance is largely symbolic of the growing acceptance of gays in American society.

The Post adds that the Census Bureau has been counting same-sex couples for nearly ten years now, but until now, they hadn't been included in the data on families, but segregated into a separate data set instead.

It's about damn time that families consisting of and/or headed by same-gender couples are recognized by the Census Bureau for what they are. We deserve to be counted.

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