OurFamiliesCount.org Officially Launches

LGBT Community Bilingual Public Education Campaign for Accurate 2010 U.S. Census

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, joined leaders and advocates among the LGBT community today in the launch of Our Families Count (www.ourfamiliescount.org) — a new voluntary public education initiative promoting LGBT visibility and participation in next year’s U.S. Census.

“It is vital that every LGBT person participate in the Census,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Census data allows LGBT families to be visible in a way like no other, and that is why HRC is a proud member of the Our Families Count partnership.”

The new 2010 Census education project is a truly collaborative and unique strategy to unite disparate populations across the entire LGBT spectrum. The outreach effort is designed to educate all about the importance of responding to the once-a-decade Census.

The new website is found at www.ourfamiliescount.org and will be formally launched today in both English and in Spanish language versions.

In alphabetical order, the community, business and academic leadership groups to date that have endorsed the project and its education mission include:

Community Leaders:

Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee (BAYMEC)

American Institute of Bisexuality

Bialogue

The Bilerico Project

BiNet USA

Bisexual Resource Center

California Faith for Equality

Colage

Delaware Valley Legacy Fund

Equality Across America

Equality California

Equality Federation

Family Equality Council

Freedom to Marry

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada

Georgia Equality

HONOR PAC

Human Rights Campaign

LA Bi Center

Lambda Legal

MEGA Family Project

Mi Familia Vota

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

National Sexuality Resource Center

New York Area Bisexual Network (NYABN)

One Iowa

Palm Beach County (Fla.) Human Rights Council

PFLAG National

Safe Schools Coalition

Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)

Transgender American Veterans Association

Unid@s

Youth Pride

Business Leaders

Dancenow Productions, Inc.

Echelon Magazine

MZM Farm, LLP

Renna Communications

Savvyplanners.com

Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.

Academic Leaders

National Sexuality Resource Center

The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law

Why LGBT Communities and Leaders Care about the 2010 Census

Expert demographer and Williams Institute Research Fellow Dr. Gary Gates described why the 2010 Census matters to the LGBT community especially, “Reliable information on LGBT people is hard to come by and the need for accurate knowledge is real. Census statistics guide many key government decisions. For LGBT citizens especially, statewide organizations and local community centers need information for planning services, while advocacy groups need to know more about the LGBT population as they lobby for resources.”

Gates also noted that, “Americans have many misconceptions about the LGBT community that Census data have allowed us to correct. For example, among those in same-sex couples: one in six lives in a rural area, one in four is a person of color, one in five is raising children (two in five among people of color). Although the 2010 Census does not include questions on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Census count of same-sex partners and their families provides vital information for and about the LGBT community.”

It also is important to emphasize that Census information is never shared with other U.S. government agencies for the purpose of law enforcement or compliance with immigration laws. The Census is used only and confidentially to find out more about all American households and the U.S. population, and is never used to violate any person’s privacy. The Our Families Count campaign also takes no position on specific policy issues or questions.

For additional information generally on the 2010 Census: visit www.census.gov

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.