Every 10 years, the federal government conducts an in-depth review of the composition of its current residents. In the past, it did not include any specific questions directed toward gathering more information for same-sex families. However, the upcoming census will have questions that may provide New York and all other states with more detailed information regarding the numbers and needs of same-sex households.

With the improved census questions, respondents will have the opportunity to identify themselves as being in a same-sex relationship — whether married or not. Even though the 2015 Supreme Court ruling granted equal rights to same-sex marriages, it did not automatically pave the way to acceptance for many of these families. As a result, there are still pockets of resistance in the nation where the needs of these couples are not provided for through community programs.

The previous administration had requested that the census include more identifying questions so that government funding and programs could be geared toward the needs of all residents. Unfortunately, the current administration has repelled that request and has not made any further provisions in order for this segment of the population to be more fairly represented in programs or funding that could benefit them. It is believed by many in Congress that more data can ensure that the needs of the LGBT community can be better provided for and that the improved census is a good start.

A greater understanding of this community’s demographics could help dispel some  misconceptions and ensure that their rights are afforded greater protections. New York already has many laws in place that ensure that same-sex families are entitled to the same rights as any other family, including laws that pertain to marriage and divorce. Residents who have encountered any difficulties with family law matters are assured of the right to seek assistance from an experienced family law attorney.

Source: theconversation.com, “The census will officially count same-sex couples for the first time ever — but that’s not enough“, Akiesha Anderson, April 23, 2018