The Census will no longer include LGBT questions — here’s why that’s dangerous
For years, LGBT advocates have lobbied for the national Census to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity — so it was considered a major victory when an initial proposal of the 2020 Census included these queries for the very first time. However, it was short-lived — the final report was delivered to Congress today, and the Census no longer includes LGBT questions.
"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 report has been corrected," the U.S. Census Bureau said in a statement obtained by The Washington Blade.
The use of the word “corrected” is merely a cowardly way of sending the loud and clear message that only straight and cisgender lives matter.
One of the key purposes of the national Census is to determine how and where to allocate resources — so the erasure of the LGBT and gender identity questions puts the queer community at risk.
"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," Meghan Maury, criminal and economic justice project director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, wrote in a statement released by the organization. "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?"
There has been a rise in anti-LGBT legislation since Trump’s inauguration — like the reversal of the transgender bathroom bill put in place by Obama, and a number of states have already proposed anti-trans bathroom bills. On top of that, anti-LGBT hate crimes are on the rise.
The government needs to make the allocation of resources to this community a priority, and that’s not possible if the Census doesn’t even acknowledge that these individuals exist.