Census Bureau urges same-sex couples to be counted

(AP) - With strong backing from the Census Bureau, gay-rights activists are urging maximum participation by their community in the first U.S. census that will tally same-sex couples who say they're married - even those without a marriage license.

For the first time, the bureau has deployed a team of professional field workers to reach out to gays and lesbians. The bureau has unveiled its first public-service videos encouraging gay Americans to mail in their census forms.

Only the District of Columbia and five states have legalized gay marriages. But the Census Bureau says same-sex couples in any state who consider themselves spouses should feel free to check the "husband" or "wife" boxes on the census form, rather than "unmarried partner."

Some conservatives have complained that the eventual count of same-sex unions will be legally inaccurate while serving as ammunition for gay-marriage advocates.

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