Every 10 years, the US government attempts to count the number of its citizens (it’s a requirement of the Constitution). In the next calculating, held in 2020, there might be an attempt to officially count members of the LGBT community.
As reported by Buzzfeed, the Census Bureau announced the formation of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations. The 32 member committee will offer the governmental agency advice ‘on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race and ethnicity, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other populations.’
‘We expect that the expertise of this committee will help us meet emerging challenges the Census Bureau faces in producing statistics about our diverse nation,’ Thomas Mesenbourg, the Bureau’s acting director, said in a press release. ‘By helping us better understand a variety of issues that affect statistical measurement, this committee will help ensure that the Census Bureau continues to provide relevant and timely statistics used by federal, state and local governments as well as business and industry in an increasingly technologically oriented society.’
It’s not certain there will be specific LGBT questions on upcoming census forms, but this is the first advisory committee to examine how LGBT communities can be part of the agency’s mission.
Joining the committee will be Shane Snowdon, the head the LGBT Health and Aging Program of the Human Rights Campaign (the largest LGBT civil rights organization in the US). Previously, she was the founding director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Center for LGBT Health and Equity.
‘Shane Snowdon’s experience with data collection and engaging the LGBT community will make her a valuable asset to the Census Bureau,’ Fred Sainz, HRC’s vice president of communications, said to Buzzfeed. ‘We are proud that she will be serving on this committee and ensuring that our families are counted.’