The 2020 United States census will not be recording data on LGBTQ Americans. LGBTQ Americans have been campaigning for years to instill questions about sexual orientation on the 2020 census.
On the initial release of a draft of the 2020 census: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people were included. The LGBTQ community was elated by this news, however a day later the United States Census Bureau removed the line of questioning, and stated that the inclusion was a mistake.
“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 U.S. Census Bureau said in a statement to NBC News. “This topic is not being proposed to Congress for the 2020 Census or American Community Survey. The report has been corrected.”
The LGBTQ community has responded with utter outrage, and rightfully so. The census records data on everything from your race and ethnicity, to how long your commute is to work and the type of plumbing in your house. However, there’s no questions regarding one’s sexual orientation. This is vitally important because the census provides the government with hard data on the size of different communities to support them and answer to their needs. Without data on the size of the community, how will they be supported?
It doesn’t make any sense why the LGBTQ community and a line of questioning for identifying its members hasn’t already been added to the 2020 census.
According to NBCNews, “No previous U.S. Census has ever included LGBTQ Americans, which makes it challenging for federal agencies and researchers to accurately track the size, demographics and needs of the community.”
The Census Bureau has since responded that the initial inclusion of the LGBTQ community into the census was a mistake, and they would not be appealing to congress to make any additions to the survey. They have also stated that there is no federal need to have this data. The way they achieve that verdict is unclear.
On the original draft of the Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census that the Census Bureau made, there was a perfectly clear explanation for the inclusion of a line of questioning regarding the LGBTQ community. Acquired by NPR under the Freedom of Information Act request to the Census Bureau, the original draft says:
“Sexual orientation and gender identity questions are being evaluated and may be proposed to aid in planning and funding government programs and in evaluating other government programs and policies to ensure they fairly and equitably serve the needs of all people. These statistics could be used to enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination in society.”
This information is clearly pertinent to the 2020 Census and would serve the interests of a large community within America that is growing. The written description of why their inclusion is necessary came straight from the bureau and was later cut out on a basis we aren’t aware of. It is confirmed that the LGBTQ community will not be included on the 2020 Census.