New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1873-2009    Version: Name: Federal government to recognize legally married same-sex couples in the 2010 census, and to begin counting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in other federal surveys.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on General Welfare
On agenda: 3/24/2009
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the federal government to recognize legally married same-sex couples in the 2010 census, and to begin counting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in other federal surveys.
Sponsors: Bill De Blasio, Rosie Mendez, Betsy Gotbaum, Tony Avella, Gale A. Brewer, Inez E. Dickens, Letitia James, G. Oliver Koppell, John C. Liu, Annabel Palma, Larry B. Seabrook, Kendall Stewart, David I. Weprin, Alan J. Gerson, Robert Jackson
Council Member Sponsors: 15
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 1873 - 3/24/09

Proposed Res. No. 1873-A

 

Resolution calling upon the federal government to recognize legally married same-sex couples in the 2010 census, and to begin counting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in other federal surveys.

 

By Council Members de Blasio, Mendez, the Public Advocate (Ms. Gotbaum) and Council Members Avella., Brewer, Dickens, James, Koppell, Liu, Palma, Seabrook, Stewart, Weprin, Gerson and Jackson

 

Whereas, The Constitution of the United States requires that a nationwide census be taken every ten years in order to efficiently fund government programs, apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, redistrict state legislatures, and correctly plan for community-based services; and

Whereas, The upcoming 2010 census contains no questions on sexual orientation and fails to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed in and/or recognized by the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, California, New York and Rhode Island; and

Whereas, Same-sex couples who are legally married in their home state will be listed as unmarried partners for the purpose of 2010 census; and

Whereas, Denied the classification of “family” that is granted to married opposite-sex couples, married same-sex couples with children related to only one member of the household are incorrectly counted as single-parent households; and

Whereas, Counting married same-sex couples with children as single-parent households will invalidate the census results, particularly with respect to policies concerning child-care as well as community-specific programs; and

Whereas, An accurate count of married same-sex couples is necessary to estimate the tax revenues that could be generated once same-sex unions are recognized by the federal government; and

Whereas, Allowing old biases to produce inaccurate tax revenue projections and misinformed public policy decisions is both unfair and detrimental to all citizens of the United States, regardless of sexual orientation; and

Whereas, Since the 2010 census provides the data upon which federally-funded nutrition and education programs are based, the use of incorrect population data does a significant disservice to the citizens who rely on these programs and the taxpayers who fund them; and

Whereas, Claiming, as some have, that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) precludes the Census Bureau and other federal agencies from maintaining statistics on same-sex married couples is an inaccurate and unnecessarily narrow interpretation of the law; and

Whereas, It would be beneficial to begin recording information on same-sex married couples in the likely event that DOMA is overturned by the next census in 2020; and

Whereas, While recording the existence of same-sex married couples is vital, it is equally important that the federal government begins collecting data on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) population, a population on which there is no regularly administered data collection effort; and

Whereas, In addition to the census, the Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation must be adapted to recognize LGBT individuals in order to help the government make informed policy decisions; and

Whereas, Failure to maintain statistical census data on those who identify as LGBT will result in the inability of the government to provide essential programs and services to a population that continues to face unique challenges; and

Whereas, Excluding recognition of the LGBT population from federal surveys is discriminatory at best, and harmful to their physical and socioeconomic well-being at worst; now, therefore, be if

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the federal government to recognize legally married same-sex couples in the 2010 census, and to begin counting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in other federal surveys.

 

DMB

LS# 7207

3/4/09