This upcoming census may be crucial to LGBT Americans, reports 365gay.com.
The U.S. census count determines not only how many seats a state gets in the House of Representatives, but also how $400 billion of federal funding will be distributed.
“Without data, you have no community portrait, and without a portrait, you have no needs, you have no identity, you have no funding; the census has always had a civil rights component to it,” said Jaime Grant, the director of the Policy Institute at The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
It was not until 1990 that the government became interested in unmarried individuals, forcing LGBT partners to define themselves as “unmarried partners.” Their sexual orientation was then shown by checking corresponding boxes to gender.
In 2000, 600,000 same-sex couples came out on their census forms, showing 250,000 children being raised in same-sex households.
“Same-sex couples certainly look a lot like married (heterosexual) couples. They’re raising kids, they don’t all live in urban areas, they own homes, and they serve in the military,” said Gary Gates, the senior demographer at the Williams Institute. “The big impact the census data have had is to undermine many of the stereotypes in the political discourse that often work against LGBT people.”
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