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Trump Administration Erases LGBT People from 2020 Census

30 March 2017

Questions about sexual orientation and gender identity have never appeared in the census or American Community Survey.

Today his administration submitted the list of data categories the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey would collect - and has dropped questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

A Census Bureau spokesperson told the Washington Times the questions were included "inadvertently". And by "corrected" they really mean "edited so that we don't have to pay attention to anyone not straight or cis".

Initially the draft proposal for the 2020 census had included a question about sexual orientation and gender identity, but in the finalized report delivered to Congress this week, the questions had been removed.

The thinking is that more data would help the government "to enforce federal laws like the Violence Against Women Act and the Fair Housing Act" and with "how to allocate resources like housing supports and food stamps", according to a statement by the National LGBTQ Task Force.

"Our goal is a complete and accurate census", Census Bureau Director John Thompson said in a statement. However, the National LGBTQ Task Force reports that "a number of federal agencies" have "urged" the Census Bureau to add questions collecting data on LGBTQ citizens in order to improve law enforcement relations with the LGBTQ community and to draft legislation that would aid queer citizens.

Further, the "sexual orientation" and "gender Identity" are only proposed subjects in this new index and relegated to the "appendix", an indication that these assignments were in the planning stages of being included in the past.

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The Census Bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Thomas Russell holds a census form while working his route in 2010.

The National LGBTQ Task Force has downloaded and published an unredacted copy of the report and posted on its website an image of the initial report and the redacted one that followed.

About three years from now, the USA government is going to start asking some personal questions. Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services dropped LGBTQ-related questions from two critical surveys.

Gay, lesbian, and transgender rights advocates have for years pushed for sexual orientation and gender identity to become part of the census. Census data is ultimately used by lawmakers and the government to inform how existing laws are enforced and how new policies are developed and money is allocated to meet the demographic needs of USA citizens.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was among those expressing discontent with the redaction of LGBT data from the report, calling it a "malicious move" in a statement and the latest in a series of Trump administration actions against LGBT people.

HRC President Chad Griffin said, "The Trump Administration has launched a deliberate campaign to erase LGBTQ people from federal data used to inform budgets and policies across the government".

Trump Administration Erases LGBT People from 2020 Census