Recognizing Same-Sex Couples on the Census

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Christine Quinn, New York City Council Speaker, talks about the push for same-sex couples to check off "married" on their Census forms.

Are you in a same-sex partnership? Did you check off the "married" box on the Census? Tell us how it felt. Comment below!

Visit the 10 Questions that Count home page for all our Census coverage!

Comments [18]

Kevin from Manhattan

Voter Brooklyn : didn't you read my post? Surgery does not alter your sex. There are men and women that have no body below the abdomen, does that negate their gender or their traditional sexual fuctioning only? Biological sex is about your CHROMOSONES. There is no way to change your cellular make up YET. Until then, any other attempt to equate what is ONLY cosmetic surgery with actual biological gender reassignment is like saying I am a dolphin if you relocate my nose to my neck and give me a blowhole and flippers for feet.

Apr. 08 2010 01:46 PM
Jean Marc Roc from Soho

I think the census should stick to basic population issues. No matter how people seem to try to sell it, sexual orientation is about your romantic and sexual life. This has no relevance to the census. I am straight, and I prefer multiple partners and all sorts of other thing s in my sex life. To tell me I am "wrong" and to NOT allow myself to be defined this way without being criticized is the equivalent of telling gay people that they cannot tell people about their sexual and romantic orientation. Look at the way Tiger Woods is treated. The whole "sex addiction" farce is as bad as sending gay people to evangelical straight camps. This diversion in topic is exactly why the census should not get into these issues, no matter the respondent is gay, straight or what ever sexual orientation humanity creates.

Apr. 08 2010 12:40 PM

I'm a transsexual male and would gladly have put so on the census, although I live stealth in everyday life.

Apr. 08 2010 12:16 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

J Reilly, The Census is confidential and census workers I think can face both a fine and minor jail time for disclosing someone’s answers on the census; however, the census records do become public after 72 years. In other words, it’s private enough to encourage honesty.
Ryan from BK, the census form asked what the relationship to the first person on the form (head of household) is for the following 11 or so slots. So #2 is the spouse of, #3 is the roommate of, #4 is the child of, etc…
Kevin from Manhattan, There is no state or federally recognized way to surgically reassign your age after a full psychological exam, there is for gender. If there were, we’d never know how old women really are.

Apr. 08 2010 11:57 AM

HJS - you can have mine!

Apr. 08 2010 11:48 AM
Dan from Manhattan

I don't know what "totally confidential" means, but census data becomes public after 72 years:

"In keeping with the Census Bureau's commitment to confidentiality, the Census Bureau information collected in the Decennial Census of Population and Housing on individuals does not become available to the public until after 72 years."

Apr. 08 2010 11:48 AM

It is just torture to listen to Christine Quinn. She has the most shrill voice. I have to tune out.

Apr. 08 2010 11:48 AM
Kevin from Manhattan

I think it is a BAD idea for gender to be left up to how some one "identifies " it. I am 55 but I identify with being 35. I would like to change my age as easily as the LGBT community is able to assume and change with regards to gender issues.. but for statistical purposes this is not accurate. Male means XY chromosomes and Female XX. I should not have to make the following statement, but because of the shrillness around these issues I feel I have to state that I am for equal rights for people in ALL communities and their right to form unions as they conceive them. This applies to people who are heterosexual as well as homosexual.

Apr. 08 2010 11:46 AM
Ryan from Brooklyn

I am confused. When I filled out my census form, there NOTHING at all about whether I was married or not. No place to check off anything. The form was only about my age and my ethnicity. Nothing about marital status or couple status or income or anything. Did I get some kind of short form. I kind of felt cheated.

Apr. 08 2010 11:46 AM
J Reilly from Bellmore, LI

I don't understand, how can the census be totally confidential? The census should serve as a historical record of the population for future researchers as previous census records have done.

Apr. 08 2010 11:44 AM

Sorry, still no such thing as a marriage between two human beings of the same sex in Georgia, even if you check it off on a census form.

Apr. 08 2010 11:44 AM
Carl Ian Schwartz from Paterson, New Jersey

My husband and I had lived together for 20 years and married in Connecticut the day after Thanksgiving, 2008.

While we could not have married in New York, our marriage is recognized in New York.

We live in New Jersey, where we still have second-class status as a "civil union."

I'm glad Census 2010 asks these questions. We answered them as MARRIED.

Apr. 08 2010 11:42 AM
Avid Listener from West Village

Hi Brian,

Thanks for covering this. Could you do a shout out for me for the gay Center. 208 West 13th Street.

There is a LGBTQ Immigration Fair on Tuesday, April 20th from 4-7pm. Anyone LGBTQ and undocumented are welcomed. There is an action group to help these people seeking asylum and assistance.

Apr. 08 2010 11:40 AM
michael from brooklyn

yeah i filled it out early and wasn't hearing all this push for "married" until after that. We're just listed as "unmarried partners"

Apr. 08 2010 11:39 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Matt from Brooklyn, the push is oddly late, seem like the PSA would have come out before the forms were mailed.
HJS, that's odd... I've gotten two. The original census and a follow-up census if I didn't return the first one. I also got a pre-census notification the census was coming and I seem to recall a census postcard.

Apr. 08 2010 11:39 AM

how are foster children counted? (sorry, perhaps you've covered this and I missed it)

Apr. 08 2010 10:25 AM
hjs from 11211

i still have not gotten my form. on the other hand i have the worst post office in the city maybe it's still in the mail.

Apr. 08 2010 09:23 AM
Matt from Brooklyn, NY

I filled out my census immediately upon receipt and mailed it back the same day. The push to encourage same-sex couples didn't make news until well after I mailed my census back, so my partner and I are listed as unmarried partners. Why the delay? I'd call this a missed opportunity.

Apr. 08 2010 08:35 AM

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