Saturday, July 12, 2008

US Census Bureau won't count same-sex couples as being married

The lead story on Page 1 of the San Jose newspaper reports:
Tens of thousands of same-sex couples are expected to marry legally in California by 2010, if a constitutional ban on gay marriage doesn't pass at the polls in November.

But no matter what the voters decide, the official government count of the number of married same-sex couples in California is not in doubt. It will be zero. ...

Critics say the census plan will mask the records of legal, same-sex, married couples and therefore degrade the quality of the government's demographic data.
No, it is just true (in this context) that we'll have thousands of legally married same-sex couples. The California Supreme Court said that same-sex couples could register and call themselves married under California law, but everyone agrees that they will not be married under federal law or under the laws of nearly all the other states.

It is incorrect to call a couple "legally married" unless there is a marriage that is recognized under the applicable laws. In the USA, a California same-sex couple can have a marriage recognized under some laws, but not others. The US Census is doing the correct thing.

1 comment:

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