There will not be questions concerning sexual orientation on the 2020 U.S. Census.
On Tuesday, the Census Bureau released questions they plan to ask in around three years. Soon after, reports surfaced that proposed questions about LGBTQ people have been cut.
The National LGBTQ Task Force released this graphic displaying the difference between the originally planned questions released and the modified plan released March 28:
Credit: National LGBTQ Task Force
According to LGBTQ source, Washington Blade, the U.S. Census and American Community Survey have never included questions about the LGBTQ community.
"Our goal is a complete and accurate census," Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said in a released statement. "In planning for the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau has focused on improving its address list by using imagery, finding ways to increase household self-response, leveraging resources inside and outside the government, and making it easier and more efficient for census takers to complete their work. Furthermore, for the first time ever, the decennial will offer an online response option with the ultimate goal of improving question design and data quality while addressing community concerns."
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In a statement provided by the Washington Blade, though, the Bureau said the LGBTQ questions should not have been included: "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," it said. "The report has been corrected."
The decision has received backlash from the LGBTQ community. The Task Force released a breaking statement regarding the Census. "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," said Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force, in the statement.
"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," she continued. "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?"
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Maury and The Task Force call on the president to reverse the decision and collect data on sexual orientation and transgender people. Activists such as transgender woman and actress Laverne Cox spoke out on social media:
I have been talking about the importance of data collection and LGBTQ folks for years. We just want to be counted. https://t.co/eMB6DBRGmP
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 29, 2017
A Twitter hashtag, #CantEraseUs, started on Tuesday to urge the Trump administration to collect the data as well.