The 2020 Census Won't Include LGBT Questions

Valuable data that could lead to more protections for the LGBT community won't be collected.

Marie Claire Logo
(Image credit: Future)

The national Census is an important tool for how and where we allocate resources, and an initial proposal (opens in new tab) for the next Census in 2020 included, for the first time, questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. However, those questions were removed from the final report (opens in new tab) delivered to Congress yesterday, which many are taking as a sign of erasure of the LGBT community.

"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 report has been corrected," said a statement from the U.S. Census Bureau obtained by the Washington Blade (opens in new tab). And by "corrected" they really mean "edited so that we don't have to pay attention to anyone not straight or cis."

See more
See more

LGBT advocates have been advocating for questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to be included on the Census, and in OUT (opens in new tab), GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis called the move a "systematic effort on behalf of the Trump administration to erase LGBT people."

Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force, also released a statement (opens in new tab), saying, "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?"

The Census currently collects information on same-sex couples by asking "relationship to householder," but that only results in data about married or co-habitating same-sex couples, rather than wider information about the LGBT community. And considering the rise in anti-LGBT legislation (notably the 16 states that have considered (opens in new tab) anti-trans "bathroom bills"), this sort of information could be really useful in addressing just how many people are affected, and where.

Follow Marie Claire on Facebook (opens in new tab) for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.

Jaya Saxena
Jaya Saxena

I'm a writer and author from New York City who covers everything from sex to culture to witchcraft. I'm a big fan of jumpsuits and Bud Light Lime-A-Ritas, and eat as much cheese as I can despite being lactose intolerant.