Census Asks LGBT Partners To Tell The Truth

April 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm 48 comments

by Brian Leubitz

Well, it’s more than the rest of the government is doing.  The Census is asking partners to check the married box if that’s what they consider themselves.  It’s a really positive first step.

Wanting a more accurate count of sexual minorities in the United States, national gay rights leaders have launched a campaign to “Queer the Census.”

Even the U.S. Census Bureau is on board, releasing videos Monday that advise same-sex couples to choose “married” status if that’s how they view their relationships, and tell transgender people to check off the sex they identify with — not necessarily their legal or birth genders.

“We’ve been very public about our interaction with the gay community,” said Timothy P. Olson, assistant division chief for the Census’ field division. “I’m a gay man and I head up the overall program.”(Miami Herald)

Several organizations have been telling folks to fill out the census honestly.  And some are making fun videos, like Star Trek’s George Takei:

Be sure you fill out your census form right away, and this time, feel free to tell the truth.

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48 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kathleen  |  April 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    I just rec’d my “queer the census” sticker in the mail today. I was afraid I was going to have to send in my census without it.

  • 2. Nick  |  April 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Oh, my!

  • 3. eDee  |  April 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Oh this is going to upset some people!
    GOOD! lol

  • 4. Mrs. R A-W  |  April 5, 2010 at 4:53 pm


    Please provide a link, preferably to the US Census Bureau or other ‘government’ source / link supporting your message quoted below:

    > Well, it’s more than the rest of the government is > doing. The Census is asking partners to check the > married box if that’s what they consider themselves. > It’s a really positive first step.

    > Wanting a more accurate count of sexual minorities > in the United States, national gay rights leaders have > launched a campaign to “Queer the Census.”

    > Even the U.S. Census Bureau is on board, releasing > videos Monday that advise same-sex couples to > choose “married” status if that’s how they view their > relationships, and tell transgender people to check off > the sex they identify with — not necessarily their legal > or birth genders.

    THANKS for all you do!

    Mrs. R A-W

  • 8. Ronnie  |  April 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I sent mine in with the pink queer the census sticker and so did my mom and all of her co-workers over 20 people……hahahaha…..world domination……<3….Ronnie

  • 9. Mrs. R A-W  |  April 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm


    Clicked ‘Submit’ too soon. We marked the ‘appropriate’ gender for, but alas we thought we should mark / check the “Unmarried Partner”and of course we mailed it in over a week ago.

    If you know, since we received a second census form, might there be some way – means of marking this one as follow up – corrected etc.?

  • 10. Ronnie  |  April 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm


    Posted on Advocate.com April 05, 2010
    Gay Protections Take Effect in Salt Lake City
    By Advocate.com Editors

    In a first for Utah, an ordinance protecting gays from discrimination in housing and employment took effect in Salt Lake City on Friday.

    Salt Lake City’s Democratic mayor Ralph Becker attended a ceremony on Friday to celebrate the new law. Becker was joined by John Bennett, the gay nephew of Utah junior senator Bob Bennett.

    “This is truly a good Friday,” Bennett, said, according to the Associated Press. “Today I’m ecstatic.”

    Gay rights advocates are pushing for similar gay protections in 10 other Utah cities or counties.

    (me) were’s the LDS?……The Hateros are losing ground……hahahahahahaha (sinister laugh)……<3….Ronnie

    • 11. Santa Barbara Mom  |  April 5, 2010 at 9:07 pm

      Ronnie, did you miss the newspaper article someone shared weeks ago regarding the LDS church? It came out of Salt Lake City: The LDS Church supports all rights for the gay community, except that of marriage.

      • 12. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm

        Now, if the LDS (and other churches) would take the next logical step and quit spending huge amounts of money to prevent other churches and civil institutions from performing same-sex marriages, everything would be copacetic!

      • 13. Bob  |  April 5, 2010 at 10:45 pm

        well, that’s a typical, love the sinner hate the sin, kind of statement, kinda right but not totally, and if you tried to question it, you’d get lost in a quagmire.

        Obviously they do not support all rights, if they exclude one.

        But I applaud the effort, hudge brave step for creationists.

        Does that include ending the discriminatory court case they presently are waging against us. Maybe we could work out a deal, while we’re sitting around waiting for futher discoveries. That would make a good use of time, Are they having second thoughts about the do do they’re in?

        Really though I welcome this outpouring of common decency.

      • 14. Kathleen  |  April 5, 2010 at 11:01 pm

        I’d love to see that newspaper article. I don’t believe they support all rights except marriage. Outlawing discrimination in employment and housing is a loooooong way from granting “all” rights except marriage.

        BTW, I couldn’t tell from the Advocate article. Is this a law that applies throughout the state of Utah, or is it specific to Salt Lake City?

      • 15. Ronnie  |  April 6, 2010 at 7:04 am

        Kathleen..I think the law only applies to SLC….but there are other cites trying to do the same….it’s confusing…but whatever…rights given are rights given…and a move in the right direction….<3….Ronnie

      • 16. fiona64  |  April 6, 2010 at 8:51 am

        When they supported this ordinance, the LDS specified that their own entities (church-owned universities, apartment complexes, etc.) were exempted for religious reasons.


      • 17. Kathleen  |  April 6, 2010 at 3:06 pm

        The law not only exempts religious organizations, but also businesses with 15 or fewer employees. And it applies only to landlords with four or more units.

        It’s obviously a step in the right direction, but given its broad exceptions (especially considering how much is owned by the Mormon church in SLC), it’s a teensy, tiny baby step.

      • 18. K!r!lleXXI  |  April 6, 2010 at 3:47 pm

        I don’t believe they support all rights except marriage. (by Kathleen)

        I don’t believe that either! How about that story in Salt Lake City when two guys were kissing in front of LDS church and were practically kicked out, and punches were thrown… The official explanation was the Church decided it didn’t want to see people kissing on their property (weird, but that street there belongs to LDS). But when later the heterosexual couple was doing the same thing pretty much in the same place, they “overlooked” it even though they were staring at that couple dead on… How’s that sound? Does it have anything to do with marriage? No. It’s a pure discrimination.


  • 19. Chrys  |  April 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Sadly, we already sent ours in, having marked unmarried partner. But if they look at the both of us being female, maybe it’ll mean something. Likely not, but one can always hope.

  • 20. Papa Foma  |  April 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    We did our part to be counted in the Census! PF

  • 21. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Yes, and finally we will have the opportunity to be counted honestly.

  • 22. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    We sent our census form in after filling it out and checking married. Our Queer the Census sticker had not arrived yet (we finally got it the other day), but since I had the link to print one off, I did that and used wide, USPS approved sealing tape to cover it so that it did not get damaged. We are going to request one under my husband’s email and when it comes in, we are going to put one on Sulu Suzuki (my SX4 crossover) and one on Daniel Dodge (BZ’s Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab pickup truck). Guess they will know how we feel when they are behind our cars, won’t they?

  • 23. Ronnie  |  April 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    A public service announcement……”WE ALL COUNT!!!”……<3…..Ronnie:

  • 24. Mrs. R A-W  |  April 5, 2010 at 7:08 pm


    Thank you for the link(s)! I’ve read and re read the LGBT Fact Sheet and held the 2nd census form next to the monitor screen ‘n STILL don’t get the part:
    > The person filling out the form (Person 1) is asked to > identify how all other individuals in the household > are related to him or her.

    But the ONLY ‘relationship’ i.e. husband or wife is in/on the Person 2 section, NOT Person 1?

    Hopefully someone will ‘know’ and be able to advise if it will do any ‘good’ (or even if there is a provision) to mail the 2nd census questionnaire marked revised / updated / whatever.

    BTW, Bob, the letters are initials. >S<

    All be WELL 'n be SAFE!

    Mrs. R A-W

    • 25. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 5, 2010 at 7:31 pm

      That is because normally, when filling out a census form, the second person listed on the form when there are at least two adults in the household would be the one Person number 1 would list as his or her spouse. And it definitely would not be on the section for person #1, because the first person is related as “self”. Persons #3 and thereafter are usually children or aged parents, possibly siblings who have no other place to go for whatever reason. The only reason I know this is the fact that I was both an Electronic Data Processing Batch Control Lead Clerk and Non-Response Field Enumerator out of the Charleston, West Virginia, Census Bureau Office during the 1990 Census.
      Also, the onlyinformatin you are absolutely required by law to give on the census form is how many people are living in your house, the gender of each individual, and how they are related. You are not required to answer any questons about your income, bank accounts, size of house and/or number of rooms, or any other financial and/or career questions. And your answers can only be released in the aggregate (in a statistical group, with NO identifying information given) for the next 72 years.
      That said, please, everybody, fill out your census forms, check the married box when you consider yourself married (even if you live in a state that does not LEGALLY recognize ssm), and eiter plaster the sticker on the back or print off the PDF version and tape it to your census envelope. Let them see all of us!

      • 26. Kathleen  |  April 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm

        I’m kind of sad to see all the detailed information disappearing from the census forms. I do a lot of genealogy research and there used to be a wealth of information in the old census forms — where you were born, where your parents were born, occupation, value of house or farm, year of immigration/naturalization, etc.

        As you mention, the detailed forms aren’t available for 72 years. So the most recent ones now available are for 1930. The 1940 census will be released in about 2 years. I’m always thrilled when a new batch gets released.

    • 27. Kathleen  |  April 5, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      Yes. The census is kind of structured so that every residence has a “head of household” (though they no longer call it that) – that’s assumed to be person number 1.

      So, person number 1 fills out his/her information (decide who is first). Then, for each subsequent person you list, you define the relationship of that person to person 1.

      So, let’s say you’re person number 1. You fill out the information asked for.

      Then, fill out the information for person number 2 (your spouse). List the relationship of person number 2 to YOU, i.e., “husband or wife”

      If there are other people living in your house, you fill out that person’s relationship to YOU (person no.1) in each subsequent listing.

      Let me know if that doesn’t clear it up for you.

      • 28. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm

        Also, in this year’s census, “Head of Household” for person #1 has been replaced by “owner” meaning the person whose name is on the deed, mortgage, or lease agreement. I guess in the case where both are listed on those papers, you could go in alphabetical order.

    • 29. Bob  |  April 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      cool, I have a friend who uses that handle, but not with the spaces, just checking

  • 30. Mrs. R A-W  |  April 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Richard ‘n Kathleen,

    Figuring out the wording in/on the Fact Sheet was hard to wrap my brain around, but between my clearing my brain and your explanations I got it since Person 1 even if married to someone outside the home wouldn’t ‘count’ in the census tally.

    No one has addressed my second question. Possibly because no one (here) ‘knows’ the answer.

    > Will do any ‘good’ (or even if there is a provision) to mail the 2nd census questionnaire marked revised / updated / whatever?


    Be WELL ‘n be SAFE!

    Mrs. R A-W

    • 31. Kathleen  |  April 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm

      I don’t know the answer to your second question. You might try contacting the Williams Institute at UCLA (contact info should be at their website). They might know.

    • 32. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 5, 2010 at 7:52 pm

      I don’t know if there is a provision to do that, but there should be a toll-free number to call and find out. Granted, since you are dealing with bureaucrats, you will probably have toexplain your situation at a second-grade level (or less, based on the preschoolers up to junior high students I know) so that they can understand what you are talking about and be able to find out what the current policy is.

  • 33. K!r!lleXXI  |  April 6, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Oh, so this is where my angel got the idea… OK…

    On the topic… When these rules about GLBT people in Census were published? Only now? If so, it is really upsetting… Or P8TT only now decided to tell us about that? Half of all people already sent the papers back to the government… not knowing they could tell whatever they feel like, not whatever their papers can prove… I only hope that people at least used those pink stickers… Anyway, it’s the good news… I bet by the next Census in 2020 we won’t even have to talk about it at all… I bet my happiness on that!


    • 34. rf  |  April 6, 2010 at 3:56 am

      I emailed P8TT the weekend before the census was mailed out asking for a quick story on how to fill out the thing if you want to get lgbt counted. there was a story in the New Jersey paper about this a few weeks earlier so my partner and I did declare husband and wife. The Jersey article also went into a little history about how they treated SS couples who checked husband/wife or unmarried partners last decade (which we did).

      I was also wondering about those stickers–seems to me the mailman who is worried about losing his job and the machines that open the mail are the only one’s who actually see those stickers, so whats the point?

      • 35. rf  |  April 6, 2010 at 3:57 am

        husband OR wife, that is…

  • 36. Ronnie  |  April 6, 2010 at 6:27 am

    I hate to sound redundant…but Maggie G and PUGno…. who are the ones being attacked?……


    Posted on Advocate.com April 06, 2010
    Antigay Attack Reported in Missoula, Montana
    By Julie Bolcer

    A 32-year-old man said that he was assaulted early Saturday morning by a group of attackers who shouted an antigay slur outside the AmVets club, the only gay bar in downtown Missoula, Montana.

    (me) ummm….it certainly aint no straight people who are getting attacked…..

    According to the Missoulian, police say “there were between eight and 10 aggressors present during the assault, which occurred shortly after midnight outside the bar at 225 Ryman St. However, it’s unclear how many men actually participated in the attack, and police say some of the men were yelling and jeering at the victim but not hitting him.”

    The victim reported the assault Saturday night, after he was treated and released from the hospital without serious injuries. The attackers remain at large.

    (me) wait for it…..

    Police are investigating the incident as a robbery, Sgt. Bob Bouchee told the Missoulian, because personal items of an unspecified nature were stolen during the attack.

    (me) it was a fu<king a HATE CRIME…..you bigot cops…

    “Bouchee said investigators have not yet determined if the man was targeted because he is homosexual, or if the discriminatory term was being used flippantly as a crude insult.”

    (me) Lets see…it was outside a known gay bar and the shouted anti-gay slurs at him….nooooo…. he wasn't targeted for being homosexual….are you fu<king kidding me with this shite?!…..keyboard meet face…..BOAW!!!….BOAW!!!…..BOAW!!!…..<3…Ronnie

  • 37. David Kimble  |  April 6, 2010 at 6:53 am

    My book, “ON THE PLANET PARADOR” will be available at amazon.com in about a week, so look for it! I just got the latest proof copy and I am so excited!
    BTW, I have been away from here for a while – a variety of explanations, everything from helping my brother get his yards (he has 4 houses) to not feeling well. I hope everyone had a great Easter!
    I was so nerved, my mother did the census, I told her I wanted to add some input to the census, yet she conveniently did it and mailed it back! I even had my “queer” input for the census!
    <3 David

    • 38. Bob  |  April 6, 2010 at 9:02 am

      Congratulations David, great title, guess it just might be my first sci fi, , either that or on of Carvel’s, another benefit of the site, I enjoy a read if I feel I have some connection to the Author, even as limited as this, Congrats

    • 39. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 6, 2010 at 10:21 am

      MAZEL TOV on your book, David! And I understand you are also working on book # 2, so I will be watching for that one also.

  • 40. Pam  |  April 6, 2010 at 11:14 am

    But not all WILL be counted, will they? What about singles? If you don’t have a second person in the household you consider yourself married to, then you are just another (assumed) straight person, right? We will get a (more) accurate count of gay couples this year, but that’s it.
    We will be counted as a married couple. I’m looking forward to seeing the stats when this is over.

    • 41. Kathleen  |  April 6, 2010 at 11:20 am

      You’re absolutely right, Pam. This only counts couples.

      And to rf, it’s true the “queer the census” sticker is just a small gesture, but like all gestures, you jut never know how much of an impact it will have. Maybe just one person who handles mail will notice this recurring pink sticker showing up, wonder what it’s about, and become just that much more aware of how a minority population in the USA feels invisible, except when singled out for oppression. You never know what the impact of enlightening one individual might be.

    • 42. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 6, 2010 at 11:53 am

      That is why the Queer the Census stickers and downloads are so important. Please, everybody, if you have not yet mailed in your census form because you are waiting for the sticker, if you still have the email from CREDO with the link to the PDF, print it off and using clear sealing tape to stick it to your census envelope. Then when your sticker arrives, put it on your car.

  • 43. dieter  |  April 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    My mailman has always delivered my mail right to my front door. He always knocks, and then says hi to my dog.

    since I placed my “queer the census” pink sticker on my census envelope, and placed it out in my mailbox to be picked up and mailed….

    My mailman not only does not bring the mail to the door, he barely slows down his mailtruck while he shoves my mail in the streetside mailbox.

    I know whats going on….unfortunately my dog does not.
    she doesnt understand why the mailman wont come say hi to her anymore.

  • 44. rf  |  April 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Well I would have supported putting the stickers on cars, notebooks, facebook and other places that would start conversations/provide weblinks, but on the actual census envelop that gets processed by computers? Still think its a waste of paper.

    Much better would have been a campaign to educate everyone how gay couples were going to be counted this time (or how you can claim you’re gay on the census if you live with a SS roommate and check ‘married’)– apparently this counting of SS couples was decided last summer yet few knew about it until last month. and apparently many still don’t know.

    Or even a write in campaign to put “gay” in the race field. I know many people did that. Most likely worthless but at least thats something the census is going to read–even if they discard it, unlike the envelope.

  • 45. Rowdy  |  April 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I really wish I had heard of this or known this before my husband and I completed our census form and selected “un-married partners” I didn’t know… and I consider myself fairly informed, but I did not know about this particular issue.


  • 46. Kathleen  |  April 7, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Doesn’t this seem a bit too late? Though I had known about the census counting ss-couples as married, judging by a lot of the reactions around here, it would seem the word hasn’t gotten out in time.

    For all those people who found out about this AFTER they sent in their census forms and would have answered otherwise if they’d know, I if it would do any good to call Barney Frank’s office and let him know just how many people weren’t informed in time.

  • 47. Cat  |  April 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    It would be great if they had included this information in their US Census TV add campaign. I was getting tired of that guy in his jammies stepping out of the house. They could have shown a gay couple stepping out of the closet and be counted… And Ellen DeGeneres could have been there handing them a free toaster, courtesy of the Census Bureau!

    We already filled out our census form, but feeling slightly recalcitrant we ticked the ‘married’ box. Because that’s what we are! Out with DOMA!

  • 48. Scott  |  April 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    That’s funny, I already did this before they ever told us to go ahead. I figured I’d get a phone call sometime asking why the form has two male names listed as married. That’s actually a little disappointing, heh.


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