Deb Price writes a weekly syndicated column about gay issues for, well, for straight people, I guess. I usually can't finish reading one, but this week her column is about gay families and the census, and I couldn't resist the statistics.
I remember the 1990 census, when we wrote down answers claiming our housemates as domestic partners or whatever the word was back then. I have no idea what good we thought that would do in Santa Cruz, except simply add to the national total. No one would be surprised.
In 2000, since I'm married, we just answered truthfully. Deb Price says that the census shows that there are gay people who answered that way in 99% of the counties in the country.
Price invites us to look for ourselves at census.gov but I couldn't find the link she pointed to ("Married-Couple and Unmarried-Partner Households") and gave up.
Most of her story is from the Human Rights Campaign anyway, the gay rights organization for straight and gay people who don't want gay literature mailed to their homes.
The HRC press releases on the census includes this one on how the census bureau warns us not to compare same-sex partner data from 1990 to 2000, because they messed with the results, and changed the sex of one of the same-sex partners if the other one said they were "married." Dang. If only it were that easy.
In an earlier story that DID compare 1990 to 2000 data, the HRC tell us that there are 400% more self-reported same-sex households in Ohio and 659% more in Alabama. There's some other good stuff in there too. I don't the little data-shifting caused by one partner checking "married" would amount to much. These are actual people feeling better about marking down the status of their family. We have never felt safe enough to do this before, ever, in history.
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