The Trump Administration has submitted the list of data categories the Census and American Community Survey (ACS) will collect in 2020. Originally, on Tuesday morning the Census Bureau had released a list of proposed subjects that included “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”. Hours later, they released an updated version where these two categories have been omitted.
“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,” a statement from the Bureau claims. “The report has been corrected.”
A spokesperson from the Census Bureau said they had asked congress questions about the categories, but came to the decision there isn’t a federal need to collect this information.
The current Census only represents a small margin of same-sex households. Last year, Democrats in congress urged a more in-depth Census to get an accurate count on LGBT+ people living in the United States so they could further ensure legislation to protect and better the lives of LGBT+.
Collecting information on LGBT+ living in the United Sates helps the government accurately improve legislation to protect LGBT+ and ensure them equal rights. If they don’t know how many of us there are, they can’t properly construct legislation around us because they simply don’t know what we need or how many of us need it.
Essentially, we’ve been erased and have taken—once again—another step backward.
Meghan Maury, the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director, released the following 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? 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.