Per DOMA, U.S. Census Bureau Won’t Be Counting Gay Marriages

As of now, plans for the 2010 U.S. Census do not include recognizing the thousands of same-sex couples that are expected to be legally married in California and Massachusetts by that date:

Countymap“The U.S. Census Bureau, reacting to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and other mandates, plans to edit the 2010 census responses of same-sex couples who marry legally in California, Massachusetts or any other state. They will be reported as “unmarried partners,” rather than married spouses, in census tabulations – a policy that will likely draw the ire of gay rights groups. The Census Bureau followed the same procedure for the 2000 census, and it does not plan to change in 2010 even though courts in Massachusetts and now California have ruled gay men and lesbians can marry lawfully… 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. ‘I just think it’s bad form for the census to change a legal response to an incorrect response,’ said Gary Gates of the Williams Institute, a think tank at the University of California-Los Angeles law school that studies gay-related public policy issues. ‘That goes against everything the census stands for.'”

They have the data but they’re just ‘dutiful’ followers: “‘This has been a question we’ve been looking at for quite a long time,’ said Martin O’Connell, chief of the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch. ‘It’s not something the bureau could arbitrarily or casually decide to change on a whim, because our data is used by virtually every federal agency.’ The Census Bureau is not falsifying people’s responses, O’Connell said, because the bureau will retain people’s original census responses. ‘We’re not destroying data; we are keeping that data,’ O’Connell said. ‘We are just showing the data published in a way that is consistent with the way every other agency publishes their data.'”