Census Bureau Now Categorizes Same-Sex Marriage Couples as “Families”
New census data released Thursday made a simple but substantial change in categorizing same-sex married couples: They now are considered families.
In prior years, the U.S. Census Bureau counted such couples as “unmarried partners,” even if they were legally married. But now, starting with the new annual American Community Survey, they are in among the family totals.
Same-sex couples who live together but are not married are still counted as “unmarried partners,” the same designation for unmarried opposite-sex couples. The Census Bureau has counted same-sex couples since 1990.
The change in handling same-sex married couples followed the June 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, said Rose Kreider, chief of the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch. Gay married couples in states where that practice is legal must receive the same federal benefits that other married couples receive, the court ruled.
“The (census) change makes sense given the Supreme Court decision,” Kreider said.
Richmond, Virginia Makes Appeal Towards LGBT Couples
The organization, known as Richmond Region Tourism, is declaring that Richmond, Va., is “coming out” as a city where L.G.B.T. tourists will feel comfortable. A campaign that began this month includes a microsite, or special website, with the address RichmondIsOut.com. The campaign presupposes that potential visitors have images of Richmond derived from its history or heritage, or perhaps because Virginia is a state where same-sex marriage is illegal and there are no statewide protections for L.G.B.T. employees in their workplaces. Those attitudes are, according to Richmond Region Tourism and the campaign, obsolete and at variance with how tolerant the city is today.
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U.S. appeals court to review gay marriage bans in three states
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco is scheduled to hear arguments on whether judges in Nevada and Hawaii were correct to uphold those states’ gay marriage bans. Hawaii’s legislature subsequently voted to allow same-sex nuptials, while a federal judge struck down Idaho’s gay marriage prohibition. Stephen Reinhardt, the 9th Circuit judge who previously struck down California’s gay marriage ban in 2012, will be one of three judges to hear arguments in the latest cases on Monday. The other two 9th Circuit judges, Marsha Berzon and Ronald Gould, were both appointed by President Bill Clinton.
National Organization for Marriage continues legal battle against Oregon’s gay marriage decision
Despite a string of legal defeats, the National Organization for Marriage is continuing its battle against the May 19 federal court decision overturning Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Two weeks after a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the group’s attempt to intervene in the case, the National Organization for Marriage on Wednesday asked the full Ninth Circuit Court to reconsider the decision.
The group — which has waged a legal battle against same-sex marriages throughout the country — had earlier lost several attempts to insert itself in the Oregon case. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by NOM to halt same-sex marriages in Oregon, which began after U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled that the ban unconstitutionally discriminated against gay and lesbian couples.
Indiana and Wisconsin Officials Take Marriage Cases to Supreme Court
Officials in Indiana and Wisconsin on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to hear their respective state’s appeal in defense of each state’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages.
The petitions are the sixth and seventh petitions seeking a writ of certiorari, which is the technical way the Supreme Court announces that it is taking a case.
Indiana presents a somewhat different case in practical terms — although it has not, thus far, made a difference in the legal analysis — in that the state has no constitutional ban on such marriages. It only has a state law banning them.
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