Sunday, April 11, 2010

Inclusion of LGBT in census will be complicated, military stats could matter

Chris Johnson has an important and detailed story on p 8 of the April 9 DCAgenda, “Advocates push for greater LGBT inclusion in Census”, link (web url) here.

2010 makes the first time the Census will enumerate same-sex married couples. But the article explains many complications in getting a realistic (and helpful) count. The census is a survey of households, not individuals, and depends on how the household “chief” fills it out.

The article suggests that the Census could shed light on gays and lesbians in the military serving covertly under “don’t ask don’t tell”, and that comports with the idea that Census (that is, its employees) is not allowed to give information to anyone, including any other federal agency (even the military or law enforcement to prevent a terror incident) by a lifetime oath. Census uses complicated data suppression techniques in published data to prevent accidental disclosure of private information of small subpopulations, and this could be a challenging issue after the data is collected this year.

Other news stories in the media report that some immigrant minorities are afraid to answer the Census because they do not “trust” it and fear deportation. As of early April, 2010, about 50% of forms had been returned.

Chris Johnson also has a story on p 9, “’Don’t ask’ experts assail Obama’s Justice Department; Claim administration misrepresented views in new legal brief”. There have been a lot of arguments about the old Nunn-Moskis concerns about the lack of “privacy” of heterosexual soldiers back during the 1993 “debate”, answered in part now by saying that an individual surrenders some expectation of privacy by enlisting in the Armed Forces.

Changing the subject – last night, I found that the Cobalt DC was really hopping again, with the small dance floor packed by 11:30 PM. Placing another dance stand on the floor (like those in the Saloon in Minneapolis) helped. I still notice a statistically improbable appearance of very tall men (over 6’6”, say) in gay discos. I wonder if there is some accidental biological correlation of genetic factors to height. I wouldn't want to be the tallest man on the dance floor, but mathematics tells us exactly one person has to be.

Update: April 14

The Washington Times has a Commentary article by Peter Sprigg, "Public Disservice Announcement: Marriage law doesn't count at Census Bureau; Obama administration scofflaws put agenda first," link here, claiming that DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996) would still prohibit the federal government from counting same-sex couples as married.

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