TUCSON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva 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 and ensure that lawmakers and federal agencies have the comprehensive data they need to address LGBTQ issues.
“We know that COVID-19 has adversely affected the lives and livelihoods of LGBTQ people, and we need the robust data that will allow us to address its lingering and long-lasting repercussions,” said Rep. Grijalva. “As we celebrate LGBTQ individuals during Pride Month, it’s critical to close the data gap that often invalidates LGBTQ lives. Our LGBTQ community deserves to be visible and counted so public policy can better reflect their needs. By including voluntary and confidential questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in federal surveys, we can ensure that lawmakers have the data they need to craft policies that remedy the disparities faced by LGBTQ individuals in housing, health, employment, and more.”
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“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.”
“The pandemic has impacted so many Americans, but we still don’t know how LGBTQ+ people were affected by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rep. David Cicilline, Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. “The LGBTQ+ community, especially LGBTQ people of color, historically face high levels of discrimination, unemployment, and housing instability. Congressman Grijalva’s LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act will ensure that all federal surveys collect sexual orientation and gender identity information to make sure the right resources are available in the right places.”
“Requiring federal agencies to collect data on gender identity and sexual orientation improves the visibility of our community and helps us get the full picture on the demographics of the American people,” said Rep. Mark Takano, Co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. “This legislation would help lawmakers at every level of government have access to robust data that would help them inform their policymaking and be better advocates for the communities they represent. LGBTQ people will not be erased.”
“For far too long, LGBTQ+ people have been unseen, unheard, and underrepresented in this country, with federal data collection failing to recognize our existence,” said Congressman Mondaire Jones, Co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. “Without accurate data, we won’t get the support we deserve, and that’s unacceptable. As we close out Pride month, I’m proud to co-sponsor the LGBTQ+ Data Inclusion Act to help ensure that the LGBTQ+ community is seen by the federal government.”
“To better serve the LGBTQ community and address the repercussions of the pandemic, we must have the ability to collect effective and complete data,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres, Co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. “It is crucial we utilize all tools at our disposal to more clearly understand the issues affecting the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. I am proud to join Rep. Grijalva as well as my colleagues in the Democratic and Equality Caucuses to ensure LGBTQ individuals have the resources to recover from the disproportionate effects of COVID-19.”