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Jobs Report Finally Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages as Marriages

Why Same-Sex Couples Must Be Honest to Their Kids About Their Origins

The January report marks the first time same-sex couples were classified with other married couples.

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The nation's jobs report has finally recognized marriage equality.

The report that came out Friday morning, on job growth in January, included same-sex couples in its count of married couples, the first time that the report has done so.

"Prior to January 2020, these estimates [of married people] referred only to those in opposite-sex marriages," says the report from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Persons with a same-sex spouse were previously classified in other marital status categories, such as 'women who maintain families.'" The report does not offer separate data on people in same-sex and opposite-sex marriages.

Overall, the report showed the economy gaining 225,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in January. That's well above the 158,000 predicted by economists surveyed by Dow Jones, CNBC reports, crediting mild weather as one reason for the strong job market. The unemployment rate, 3.6 percent, represented a slight uptick from December, but that was because more people were looking for jobs. This is initial data that is often adjusted later.

The report shows 46, 257 people in the category "married men, spouse present," with an unemployment rate of 1.7 percent in January, and 36,869 as "married women, spouse present," with an unemployment rate of 2.1 percent for the month.

The inclusion of same-sex couples with other married couples in the report is significant, activists said, although they urged the gathering of more data on LGBTQ people.

"We're very excited about the new data," Meghan Maury, policy director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, told CNN. But it would be helpful for this and other federal government reports to include separate information on LGBTQ people, she said.

"We know that LGBTQ folks are more likely to be living in poverty," Maury noted, adding, "We're still missing so much of that community. The real next step is to collect data on gender and sexual orientation in all surveys."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.