Trump Administration Omits LGBT from 2020 Census
It seems to be a war on the gays day after day. In todays news the Trump Administration submitted to Congress a report of the list of categories of data it plans to collect for the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). This version of the Administration’s report conspicuously excluded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) people on the list of “planned subjects” for the nation’s decennial census and longer form survey. “Sexual orientation” and “Gender identity” were included as proposed subjects in the appendix—indicating that data collection on these categories may have been in the works in an earlier version.
Last year, a number of federal agencies urged the Census Bureau to collect sexual orientation and gender identity data, explaining that the information was critical to their ability to implement and enforce the law according to National LGBTQ Task Force.
“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. 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. 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?” said Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force.
This decision is part of a string of actions by the Trump Administration to remove sexual orientation and gender identity questions from federal surveys and to stall assessment of programs targeting the LGBTQ community. The Census does collect data on same-sex couples through its “relationship to householder” question; this results in a very narrow depiction of the needs and experiences of our community.