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SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. Census Bureau officials said Friday that married same-sex couples will be counted as such in the 2010 national tally, reversing an earlier decision made under the Bush administration.
Steve Jost, a spokesman for the Census Bureau, said officials already were identifying the technical changes needed to ensure the reliability of the information, but remained committed to providing an accurate tally of gay spouses.
"The president and the administration are committed to a fair and accurate count of all Americans," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. "We're in the midst of determining the best way to ensure that gay and lesbian couples are accurately counted."
Enumerating married gay couples will not require any immediate changes in the census forms, which includes boxes for the genders of people living in a household and their self-reported relationships as "husband," "wife" or "unmarried partner," according to Jost.
Since President Barack Obama took office, his administration has been under pressure from gay rights activists to take a fresh look at the issue. The White House on Friday announced that its interpretation of the act, known as DOMA, did not prohibit gathering the information. Gay marriage is now legal in six states.
``Sec. 7. Definition of `marriage' and `spouse'
``In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.''.