The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is aiming to “queer the census” by handing out stickers Americans can paste onto the outside of their census envelopes to indicate their sex preference and gender identity. “We’re here. We’re queer and we want to be counted” goes the campaign slogan.
For Christian conservative Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is both a census hater and a gay basher, this is a clear message from either god or the devil.
Mindy Barton, legal director for the GLBT Community Center of Colorado, told the Public News Service that there’s no sex preference and gender ID boxes to check on the census, which leaves off important information.
“Our hope is that with these stickers, there would be an attempt to show the government it’s time to ask sexual orientation on the census to make sure that there is an accurate count,” she said.
Barton said that acknowledging the presence of gay people would clearly strengthen their voice and their impact in the public sphere. The government also of course distributes hundreds of billions of dollars based on census data and gay people deserve their cut.
Bachmann believes the census is nothing less than scary government intrusion. She has said that census data was used to round up the Japanese who were placed in internment camps during World War II. In that case, maybe getting full data on the gays will make her love the census?
Barton said a recent survey demonstrated that there are self-identifying gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people living in 62 of Colorado’s 64 counties. The significant information to take away from that survey is that there are two counties in the state where people don’t feel comfortable talking about who they are.
You have a teacher talking about his gayness. (The elementary school student) goes home then and says “Mom! What’s gayness? We had a teacher talking about this today.” The mother says “Well, that’s when a man likes other men, and they don’t like girls.” The boy’s eight. He’s thinking, “Hmm. I don’t like girls. I like boys. Maybe I’m gay.” And you think, “Oh, that’s, that’s way out there. The kid isn’t gonna think that.” Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You don’t think that this is intentional, the message that’s being given to these kids? That’s child abuse.” — Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.
“And what a bizarre time we’re in, when a judge will say to little children that you can’t say the pledge of allegiance but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it.” — Bachmann appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.