Trump administration strips LGBTQ questions from 2020 Census, prompting outrage

Census Bureau Submits Subjects for 2020 Census to Congress

"This topic is not being proposed to Congress for the 2020 Census or American Community Survey", the bureau said in a statement.

Knowing how many Americans identify as gay, lesbian, transgendered or otherwise helps to target how taxpayer dollars should be spent, he said: "Without that information it's much easier for a Republican administration such as Trump's to argue that gay people are a marginal small group and that nothing needs to be done".

Still, Census experts created a foundation to ask such questions if the bureau chose to approve the new additions.

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

The category had been sought by gay rights advocates.

"We carefully considered this thoughtful request and again worked with federal agencies and the OMB Interagency Working Group on Measuring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to determine if there was a legislative mandate to collect this data", Thompson said. A U.S. Census with questions on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people would also confirm how many LGBTQ Americans now live in the country, giving both federal and local governments an accurate picture of LGBTQ life in the United States.

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. 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 US citizens. On a second HHS-sponsored survey, the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living, revised draft posted four days after Trump's inauguration included a question on sexual orientation. Congress Democrats have pushed for more in-depth questions to improve census results. The U.S. Census issued a notice shortly afterward indicating the report was corrected because the initial appendix "inadvertently" included LGBT categories.

Some activists said the move was an attempt to "erase" the community.

In 2009, the National LGBTQ Task Force launched a campaign encouraging LGBTQ people to place "Queer the Census" stickers on their survey packets when they mailed them back to the government. Maury called on Congress "to conduct oversight hearings to reveal why the Administration made the last-minute decision not to collect data on LGBTQ people".

"The Trump administration is trying hard to erase the LGBTQ community from the fabric of America, but visibility has always been one of the LGBTQ community's greatest strengths".

The mistake was more than just a gaffe, as advocates have been stressing the need for the Census to acknowledge the gender and sexuality of those from whom its collecting data to ensure that LGBT people are getting equal access to the rights and protections granted to heterosexual and cisgender individuals.

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