Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The LGBT Community and the 2010 Census

In March 2010, everyone in the U.S. will be asked to fill out a Census questionnaire. The results of the data collected will directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation, and much more. In addition, the census is used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, to redistrict state legislatures,

The Census does not ask if the respondent is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. To help the LGBT community complete the form, the Human Rights Campaign has listed “10 things to know about the 2010 Census” on its website (

Among the suggestions:
• LGBT couples who are married should check “husband” or “wife.” Other same-sex couples should check “unmarried partner.”
• Transgender people should identify with whichever sex on the census form they feel best applies to them.
• LGBT people of color in bi-racial relationships should consider identifying as head of household.

HRC also notes that the Obama administration has directed the Census Bureau to determine what changes need to be made in tabulation software to include married same-sex couples in census reports. Hopefully, this can be done so that everyone’s marriage will be treated with equal respect.

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