Column One:
Eye on Unmarried America

August 13,  2007  



National group to host 'singles week' events

By Thomas F. Coleman

The Alternatives to Marriage Project (AtMP) has announced that it will sponsor several events in California next month to celebrate Unmarried and Single Americans Week.

AtMP is a national nonprofit organization advocating for equality and fairness for unmarried people, including people who are single, who choose not to marry, who cannot marry, or who live together before marriage.

"National Singles Week," as it was formerly known, originated with a local group for single people in Ohio in the mid-1980s.  When that group fizzled out a few years later, the promotion of "singles week" was done by the editor of a singles' publication in Arizona.

The American Association for Single People became the prime sponsor of the week in 2002 and the following year expanded the name of the occasion to "Unmarried and Single Americans Week" to acknowledge the broad spectrum of unmarried people -- single, divorced, and widowed, whether solo or partnered -- who comprise this large and growing segment of the American population.

A few years ago, Unmarried and Single Americans Week gained the attention of the news media throughout the nation when the Census Bureau issued its first press release about the occasion. 

The breakthrough with the Census Bureau did not happen automatically or come easily.

It took some perseverance on my part, with prodding for three years, but the Public Information Officer of the Census Bureau finally concluded that Unmarried and Single Americans Week was a legitimate way to recognize this special population, just as other commemorative weeks, months, and days, recognize other segments of American society.  I am pleased that my educational outreach to this federal agency paid off and that each year a press release is now sent by the Census Bureau to thousands of media outlets with information about unmarried and single Americans.

This year's release by the Census Bureau notes that in 2006 there were 92 million unmarried adults living in the United States.

The Alternatives to Marriage Project, under the leadership of executive director Nicky Grist, has assumed primary responsibility to promote the commemorative week this year. 

The group is sponsoring three events in California during the week of September 16 - 22.  Two are in Northern California and one will occur in Los Angeles.

The Southern California gathering will occur at the home of Nancy Bauck and Rajiv Garg in Venice, California on Sunday, September 16, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Bella DePaulo, author of Singled Out will speak at the event. 

For more information about these gatherings, e-mail the group at

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Unmarried America 2007

Thomas F. Coleman, Executive Director of Unmarried America, is an attorney with 33 years of experience in singles' rights, family diversity, domestic partner benefits, and marital status discrimination.  Each week he adds a new commentary to Column One: Eye on Unmarried America. E-mail: Unmarried America is a nonprofit information service for unmarried employees, consumers, taxpayers, and voters.