The 2010 Census will not count same-sex unions in its marriage count. Instead, gay couples living in the same home will be asked to identify as “unmarried partners”—-even if they are legally married in their state.

The Census has also prepared for those crafty gays who try to get around the rule by checking “married” anyway. “If two people of the same sex identify as husband and husband or wife and wife, the census will retain that answer, but when results are released those people will be counted as unmarried partners.”

Beyond the downgraded “unmarried partner” record, the Census won’t count gays at all: “Sexual orientation” is still not a category in the Census’ data collection.

Why? Well, the Census says it can’t be bothered with recording every single person’s particular “lifestyle”:

This is all about the numbers. This not about lifestyle or anything else,” Census spokeswoman Cynthia Endo explained.

Yeah, I’m sick of recording minute data about everybody’s lifestyle, too—-how old they are, what ethnicity they identify with, whether or not they hold legal marriage certificates, etc. That’s why I don’t conduct a nationwide quiz every ten years forcing people to tell me these things, while slyly writing the categories to inform certain minority groups that their legal relationship statuses are not recognized by the government.

If only the Census could edit other pesky “lifestyle” choices out of our responses, like un-marrying interracial couples, or deleting babies from the responses of unmarried mothers. Clearly, our information-gatherers have assumed the burden of covering for our society’s ills; the least they could do is be consistent.

Photo by solar ikon