The next census won’t have questions regarding gender identity and sexual orientation, according to The Huffington Post. A draft of the next survey for the year 2020 at first did include these topics, however, the final report delivered to congress last week did not.
The Huffington Post noted that The Washington Blade noted the census- a yearly effort to track population demographics- never did include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. In 1990 the census did tally “same-sex unmarried partners,” however.
But never had questions to identify LGBT individuals. The Census Bureau said the draft including these questions was publicized “inadvertently” and was “corrected” before it was sent to Congress, said The Blade according to The Huffington Post. This decision to remove gender identity and sexual orientation has drawn heavy opposition from civil rights groups that have fought for the LGBT community to be included in the survey.
The article by Nick Visser quotes Meghan Maury, criminal and economic justice project director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, saying that this was yet another move that denies the LGBT community “freedom, justice and equity.”
She believes this information is crucial to enforce federal laws.
“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 said.
“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?”
Other points of view in the article include Jennifer C. Pizer, law and policy director at Lambda Legal, who said including such questions helps in many ways outside of law enforcement.
“Social science researchers, health professionals, educators, and so many others striving to meet the needs of our communities for years have been decrying the lack of population-based data about who and where we are, the elevated rates of poverty we endure, and other serious challenges,” Pizer said.