While only five states and the District of Columbia officially recognize same-sex marriage, homosexual partners are being encouraged by the Census Bureau to identify themselves as “married” if that is how they view their relationships. Pro-family groups say the move amounts to a slap in the face to states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, as well as a challenge to states that have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.
The move also represents a direct contradiction to the Census Bureau’s statement in July 2008 that same-sex couples would not be counted in the 2010 census. Back then Census Bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner explained, “The U.S. Census Bureau procedures used to count and tabulate relationship data are guided by and comply with legal requirements of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 [DOMA], which requires all federal agencies to recognize only opposite-sex marriages for the purposes of administering federal programs.” He added that anyone marking a person of the same gender as “husband” or “wife” on the 2010 census form would be automatically classified as an “unmarried partner.”
In the 2000 census, homosexual couples that identified themselves as “married” were re-categorized as “un-married,” a move in keeping with the Bush administration’s belief that counting same-sex couples as married would have been a violation of DOMA. But last year the Obama administration reversed that policy, and as this year’s census has proceeded, the Bureau has become increasingly blatant in its invitation for same-sex partners to count themselves as married when filling out the census.
A fact sheet from the Census Bureau said that data it gathers is based “on how individuals self identify and how couples think of themselves. Same-sex couples who are married, or consider themselves to be spouses, can identify one other adult as a ‘husband or wife.’”
In addition to encouraging homosexual couples to identify themselves as married, the fact sheet encourages individuals who consider themselves “transgendered” to select “the sex with which they identify” when filling out the census.
While census forms do not actually inquire directly about a respondent’s sexual orientation, homosexual activists are pushing for that to change on the next census. As a precursor, one homosexual group initiated a campaign called “Queering the Census” for 2010, complete with stickers that respondents can attach to their census forms identifying themselves as homosexual, transgender, or bisexual.
Data gathered by the U.S. Census are used to apportion congressional seats, as well as to distribute more than $400 billion in taxpayer dollars among state and local governments for a veritable treasure trove of federal programs.
Several conservative and pro-family spokesmen have pointed out that the Census Bureau seems willing to violate the intrinsic meaning of DOMA and sacrifice one of the foundations of stable society in order to advance a destructive social agenda. “The law should count for something when the Census Bureau counts America’s population, but apparently it doesn’t on President Obama’s watch,” said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. “The President’s Commerce Department is actively encouraging people to ignore U.S. marriage law and invent new definitions for their relationships. What kind of government actively lobbies citizens to lie on their forms?”
Referring to a promotional video the Census Bureau recently released encouraging homosexual couples to identify themselves as “married,” Perkins said, “When it comes to advancing the extreme homosexual agenda, this White House has no limits, not even the facts. The Defense of Marriage Act forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex relationships as ‘marriages.’ If this video were honest, it would state, ‘If you are a same-sex couple, you should mark the box that says “unmarried partner,” even if you are legally married according to the laws of the state in which you reside.’”
Noting that homosexuals should be counted in the census just like all Americans, Perkins added, “But only Congress — not homosexual activists, not the Census Bureau, and not President Obama and his appointees acting unilaterally — can change federal law.”
Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality speculated that one of the reasons for the move by the Census Bureau is to try to inflate the statistics on homosexuals in American society. “This dates way back in the gay movement,” he said. “There was a time when homosexual activists just lied and said that ten percent of the public was gay…. It took decades to finally disprove that lie, but here again we see them calling themselves married because they want to be called married. Well, that’s not what the law says.”
Gary Randall of the Faith and Freedom Network agreed, predicting that the number of homosexual Americans will be inflated by a “you decide what you are” policy. “This policy shift is another attempt to confuse the discussion about marriage by creating a problem of sorts, then providing a solution that advances the homosexual agenda of redefining marriage,” he said.
Photo: AP Images