New York City With strong backing from the Census Bureau, gay-rights activists are urging maximum participation by their community in the first U.S. census that will tally same-sex couples who say they’re married — even those without a marriage license.
The move has drawn fire from conservatives, who complain that it’s another step toward redefining marriage.
For the first time, the bureau has deployed a team of professional field workers — about two dozen strong — to reach out to gays and lesbians. On Monday, the bureau unveiled its first public-service videos encouraging gay Americans to mail in their census forms.
Only the District of Columbia and five states have legalized gay marriages. But the Census Bureau says same-sex couples in any state who consider themselves spouses should feel free to check the “husband” or “wife” boxes on the census form, rather than “unmarried partner.”