- Views & Opinions
The Trump administration has submitted to Congress a report of the list of categories of data it plans to collect for the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey.
The administration’s report excluded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the list of “planned subjects” for the nation’s decennial census and longer form survey.
“Sexual orientation” and “gender identity” were included as “proposed” subjects in the appendix, indicating that data collection on these categories may have been in the works in an earlier version, according to the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Last year, a number of federal agencies urged the U.S. Census Bureau to collect sexual orientation and gender identity data, explaining that the information was critical to their ability to carry out and enforce the law.
“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,” said Meghan Maury, criminal and economic justice project director for the task force.
Maury continued, “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?”
The task force said there are a series of administration directives to remove sexual orientation and gender identity questions from federal surveys and also to stall assessment of programs targeting the LGBTQ community.
The census does collect data on same-sex couples through its “relationship to householder” question.
“We call on President Trump and his administration to begin collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data on the American Community Survey as soon as possible and urge Congress to conduct oversight hearings to reveal why the Administration made the last-minute decision not to collect data on LGBTQ people,” Maury said.
For more than a decade, the task force has encouraged the federal government to collect data and improve data collection to accurately show the country’s population of LGBTQ people
In 2010, the task force launched the “Queer the Census” campaign, calling on LGBTQ people to urge the Census Bureau to count them.
More than 100,000 LGBTQ people placed a “Queer the Census” sticker on their 2010 Census envelopes.