WASHINGTON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) reintroduced the LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act. The bill would require federal surveys to include data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity on a voluntary basis, which would ensure lawmakers and agencies have robust information to adequately address LGBTQ issues.
“As we celebrate Pride Month, it’s critical that our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are visible and counted in all federal surveys—including the U.S. Census,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Without a clear knowledge of the size and needs of the LGBTQ community, its members remain marginalized and left out of many critical policy making decisions. This legislation remedies this in a voluntary and confidential way and ensures that lawmakers have the information we need to serve our LGBTQ constituents.”
“Despite the growing number of Americans who recognize that their LGBTQ family members, friends and neighbors deserve to be treated like everyone else in the United States, LGBTQ Americans still face discrimination in many facets of everyday life such as employment, housing and even in the justice system,” said Senator Baldwin. “The LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act will help ensure that policy makers and community leaders have the information they need to help better understand the full extent of such discrimination and better serve the communities they represent. This bicameral legislation will be a step forward in the march for fairness, freedom and full equality.”
As the Trump Administration continues to roll back important LGBTQ protections and undermine the integrity of the U.S. Census, the legislation would be an important first step toward permanently ensuring LGBTQ representation in all federal surveys.
“At a time when attempts by the Trump-Pence Administration to roll back progress on LGBTQ civil rights may cause people to go back in the closet out of fear of discrimination, the power that data have to make our experiences and needs visible becomes even more valuable. The LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act is a smart and comprehensive way to ensure that federal agencies recognize LGBTQ communities and develop policies and programs that serve everyone effectively. The health and security of LGBTQ people nationwide depends on the information that this bill can provide,” said Dr. Laura E. Durso, Vice President, LGBT Research and Communications Project, Center for American Progress.
“While transgender Americans are more visible in society than ever before, the major health, economic, and other national surveys that help shape public policy still tell us nothing about transgender people’s lives and the challenges they face,” said Harper Jean Tobin, Director of Policy, National Center for Transgender Equality. “The nearly two million Americans who are transgender are part of every community in this country and that should be reflected in the data we collect. We need this bill to make sure transgender Americans count and are counted.”
“LGBTQ youth understand the power of data. By being counted they are seen and served. The Trevor Project works every day to make sure that surveys include demographic data like sexual orientation and gender identity and that these important factors are collected in surveys like the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System and the National Violent Death Reporting System.” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs. “The LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act will expand the number of ways the country serves LGBTQ youth by understanding their needs and their experiences. It’s introduction today is the first step in the important conversation needed in Congress on the power of data in the lives of the LGBTQ community.”
Rep. Grijalva and Senator Baldwin introduced previous versions of the bill in both the 114th and 115th Congress. The current bill is endorsed by 82 Members of Congress and 18 U.S. Senators along with the Center for American Progress, GLSEN, Guttmacher Institute, Human Rights Campaign, NAACP, NALEO Education Fund, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, The Williams Institute, Third Way, Transgender Law Center, True Colors United, and the American Psychological Association.
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