LGBTI advocates have reacted at anger to the news that the next US census will not include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity.
They have been campaigning for some years for the ten-year survey to include such questions. They argue that doing so will better equip lawmakers when drawing up legislation that impacts on LGBTI people.
Yesterday, Out.com said that hopes were raised and then quickly dashed after the U.S Census admitted that it had ‘inadvertently’ included ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’ in a report outlining new categories for the survey.
The actual report now submitted does not include either category. This means it will be at least 2030 before LGBTI questions may be included.
At the moment, the only questions relating to gay people are those around marital status and household members, but this gives only a partial picture.
‘The Trump Administration is trying hard to erase the LGBTQ community’
‘By erasing LGBTQ Americans from the 2020 US 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,’ said Sarah Ellis, President of GLAAD.
‘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.’
Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, said in a statement, ‘Today, the Trump Administration has taken yet another step to deny LGBTQ people freedom, justice, and equity, by choosing to exclude us from the 2020 Census and American Community Survey.
‘LGBTQ people are not counted on the Census—no data is collected on sexual orientation or gender identity. 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.
‘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?’
Human Rights Campaign has filed a FOIA request with the Department of Commerce for communications to seek further clarification on why the Trump Administration’s has brushed aside recommendations to include ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ questions.
HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement, ‘The Trump Administration has launched a deliberate campaign to erase LGBTQ people from federal data used to inform budgets and policies across the government. Their intent is clear: by denying we exist, the Trump Administration hopes to deny us equality. It won’t work.’
Chelsea Clinton was among those to express dismay on social media. She said, ‘This is outrageous. No one should be invisible in America.’
This is outrageous. No one should be invisible in America https://t.co/IOaCit7dg2
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 29, 2017
The Trump Administration is erasing “sexual orientation” & “gender identity” from the 2020 census — but they #CantEraseUs 1/4
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) March 29, 2017