Lesbian and Gay Marriage Equality Campaign Works for Accurate 2010 U.S. Census Count

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Visibility is an affirmation for same-sex couples at I Am the Face of Marriage Equality © and the U. S. Census.

For the first time in United States history, the U. S. Census Bureau will be counting same-sex partners and their families. Many LGBT marriage equality groups are promoting this opportunity for gay and lesbian couples to be included in the citizenry data for the country. The 10,000 Couples campaign, I Am the Face of Marriage Equality ©, is at the forefront. This online magazine celebrates the lives of same gender couples and offers a format for all lesbian and gay partners to become involved in the fight for marriage equality via the 10,000 Inspiring Couples Gallery.

10,000 Couples was launched in October 2009 and is dedicated to celebrating healthy same-sex relationships, homes, families, and community living around the globe. “With more visibility, those who discriminate against gay and lesbian individuals and couples will not be able to do it blindly; pretending they do not know who it is affecting,” state Valley Sawyer and Belinda Early, members of the I Am the Face of Marriage Equality © campaign. The once-per-decade 2010 Census is about visibility for the LGBT community.

Delena Wilkerson, publisher of 10,000 Couples, states, “Visibility is a lot to ask of some same gender couples…’hate’ is still prevalent and discrimination against the LGBT community is codified.” Dr. Gary Gates, expert demographer and Williams Institute Research Fellow, adds, “Americans have many misconceptions about the LGBT community that the Census data have allowed us to correct.” He continues, “Although the 2010 Census does not include questions on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Census count of same-sex partners and their families provides vital information for and about the LGBT community.”

On the topic of visibility, Robert Nakatani, Senior Strategist for the ACLU’s LGBT and AIDS Project, ranks sharing gay and lesbian stories as the “single greatest factor in the rise of public support for LGBT equality.” He states, “It’s been the stories of everyday LGBT Americans that have mattered. Some of these have been the basis of LGBT rights litigation or have been the essence of legislative testimony on LGBT rights bills, but most of them have been shared one-on-one over the phone, in cafes, and around the family dinner table in all parts of the country.”

Nakatani’s findings illustrate the concepts for the establishment of I Am the Face of Marriage Equality © campaign and the utilization of this venue for improving the accuracy of the 2010 Census. Nakatani states, “Recent social science evidence has documented that people in mainstream America who are most likely to support marriage for same-sex couples are also the people who have heard the story of an LGBT person close to them.” Therefore, visibility data gathered by the 2010 Census and visibility commitments at I Am the Face of Marriage Equality © are the next steps of affirmation for the gay and lesbian community.

For additional information on this I Am the Face of Marriage Equality© Campaign, contact Delena Wilkerson or visit http://www.10thousandcouples.com.

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Delena Wilkerson
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