Census Bureau to study how best to count same-sex couples
July 31, 2009
Ed. Note: This blog post is from HRC's Ché Ruddell-Tabisola, who attended today’s Census Bureau meeting at the U.S. Department of Commerce:
Census Bureau officials said today they are planning to study how best to ask same-sex couples their relationship status. Census staff along with officials from the Department of Commerce met with representatives from HRC and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force as a first step to inviting members of the LGBT community to participate in the research project. HRC and Task Force are both members of Our Families Count, a public education campaign encouraging LGBT people to participate in the 2010 Census. It’s not uncommon for the Census Bureau to research how to best ask a question. In the 1990s Census researchers conducted a multi-phase study to determine how to ask questions about race and ethnicity. Census officials have been thinking about the need to study relationship status questions for several months. In May they presented a working paper about the challenges of enumerating same-sex relationships at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America. Commerce officials today also officially announced they would release raw data of married same-sex couples following next year’s census.