Trump Administration has ‘Corrected’ 2020 Census form by removing proposed inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity
Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, every 10 years the federal government conducts the U.S. Census. In addition to determining the number of people living in America, the Census determines population by race and gender. It asks questions about employment, how long it takes you to get to work. How many people live in your household. If any of them are disabled. If you have a computer and access to the internet. If a woman has had a child in the past year. How much you pay a month in rent, or the value of your home. And more.
Every federal department and agency uses these data in a wide variety of ways, all with the goal of being better able to serve the American people, tailor their focus and programs to how people actually live, and work to create a more equal nation.
Under the Obama administration, many federal agencies requested the 2020 Census include sexual orientation and gender identity. Under the Trump administration, as the National LGBTQ Task Force first noted, those were proposed subjects in the Trump Administration’s report submitted to Congress on Tuesday, and on the same day, removed.
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
The Task Force notes the Trump administration’s report already “conspicuously excluded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) people on the list of ‘planned subjects.’” The Washington Blade reports, “Trump’s U.S. Census proposes, immediately cuts LGBT survey questions.” The Blade notes the U.S. Census Bureau issued a statement “indicating the report was corrected because the initial appendix ‘inadvertently’ included LGBT categories.” “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,” the statement says. “The report has been corrected.”
— The Task Force (@TheTaskForce) March 28, 2017
The Task Force does not see the latest version as corrected, however.
“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,” says Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, in a 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,” Maury adds. ”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?”
Indeed, here’s why that’s so very true.
Last year The Daily Beast’s Samantha Allen noted, “the Census Bureau could easily produce a crystal-clear figure if it asked about sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Transgender women of color face horrific levels of violence and homicide. But how many of them are there? Census data shows that 36.3 percent of all women in the country are women of color but there’s no way of knowing how many of them identify as transgender—especially when the best estimate of the trans population has doubled in the last five years.
Allen spoke with Laura Durso, senior director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress:
“When we can’t say things about who LGBT people are and what they need, we’re unable to develop public policies that serve them appropriately,” Durso told The Daily Beast. “It really kills me that we’re having these consequential policy debates and I can’t put a number on how many people are affected.”
At the intersection of politics, religion, law, social justice, and civil rights, The New Civil Rights Movement is a broadly cited media organization delivering news and opinion dedicated to the wide interests of the progressive and LGBT communities.
“As long as Trump holds office, his band of mostly old white men (GBT seniors excluded) will make moves to ignore and marginalize.”March 22, 2017
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