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LGBTQ Individuals Excluded from Census

June 19th, 2017

Numerous Congress members recently urged the Trump administration to include statistics about how many LGBTQ individuals live in the United States when the government conducts its next census. In a letter that was sent to the Trump administration, these members of Congress asked that the administration clarify the reasons behind the decision to leave this information out of the next census including justification for its claim that this information is not needed.

Census Bureau’s Mistake

This recent debate over whether LGBTQ individuals should be included in the next census of the United States comes after the United States Census Bureau mistakenly proposed including LGBTQ individuals in the next census. The retraction of this proposal occurred the day after the Census Bureau sent its proposals for the 2020 census to Congress. Although in April of 2016, 75 members of Congress proposed that sexual orientation and gender identity be included in the 2020 census, the US Census Bureau cited no reason for finding such a potential addition. Gay rights advocates have argued that these LGBTQ questions should be included in the 2020 census because with more specific questions the government will be able to better improve the lives of LGBTQ individuals. The exact reasons why the census initially included this information and why a quick revisions was made are uncertain.

Reasons for the Recommendation

This recommendation was made because the government has expressed an intent to perform a “complete and accurate census” but has declined to include details about the LGBTQ population in the census. The government has cited that the rationale for excluding LGBTQ individuals from the census is that there is no federal need for this type of information. In addition to this recommendation, the letter asks about the American Community Survey.

Previous Censuses in the United States

A survey of the United States has been conducted every ten years since 1790. Censuses over the previous decade have not asked individuals about sexual orientation or gender identity. The next census, however, will ask about the marital status of same sex couples due to a 2013 decision by former president Obama. Some individuals have responded about this perceived omission of LGBTQ individuals from the 2020 census as not the result of omission on the part of the Trump Administration but instead a result of appointments made by Obama. Many gay rights advocates have argued that while LGBTQ information has never been included on a survey, being omitted from the survey is denying LGBTQ individuals recognition by the government as a unique and important group.

Why You Should Read the Universal Life Church’s Blog

Gay rights groups have argued that not including information about sexual orientation or gender identity in the 2020 census has the potential to deny some government service to LGBTQ individuals in the United States. This recent census debate represents just one of the many recent issues regarding the struggle for legal rights by LGBTQ individuals. The Universal Life Church’s blog strives to explain issues to readers in an informative but easy to understand manner. By reading our blog, individuals can remain up to date with the most recent issues affecting LGBTQ individuals.

(image courtesy of Alexander Dimitrov)

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