According to the Census Bureau, the 2020 census will not include questions related to sexual orientation or identity.
Originally the Bureau had released a list of proposed subjects for the next census and both “sexual orientation and gender identity” were included on the list. However, hours later they released an updated list striking out the sexual orientation proposal.
“The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix,” the bureau said in a statement. “This topic is not being proposed to Congress for the 2020 Census or American Community Survey.”
Criminal and economic justice project director at the National LGBTQ Task Force Meghan Maury said to erase the option was “yet another step to deny LGBTQ people freedom, justice and equity.”
“Information from these surveys helps the government to enforce federal laws like the Violence Against Women Act and the Fair Housing Act and to determine how to allocate resources like housing supports and food stamps,” Maury said. “If the government doesn’t know how many LGBTQ people live in a community, how can it do its job to ensure we’re getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need?”
Law and policy director at Lambda Legal, Jennifer C. Pizer, said that without this data, social science researchers, health professionals, educators etc., will be unable to have population-based data about serious challenges LGBTQ face such as elevated poverty rates.
“This is an assault on science as well as on a uniquely vulnerable group of Americans,” Pizer said. “It only strengthens our determination to be visible and counted in our communities, in town halls, in the streets, and in the courtrooms nationwide. We number in the millions and we aren’t going back.”
While same-sex unmarried partners have been tallied by the census since 1990, there has yet to be a question to identify LGBT individuals.
The bureau delivers census subjects to Congress three years before Census Day, taking place April 1, 2020. Congress will be given the actual questions by March 31, 2018.
“By erasing LGBTQ Americans from the 2020 U.S. Census, the Trump administration is adding a disgusting entry to a long list of tactics they’ve adopted to legally deny services and legitimacy to hard-working LGBTQ Americans,” Sarah Ellis, CEO of GLAAD said in a statement. “The Trump administration is trying hard to erase the LGBTQ community from the fabric of America, but visibility has always been one of the LGBTQ community’s greatest strengths.”
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