WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, in response to a notice and request for comment by the Census Bureau for the 2030 Census, Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and Equality Caucus members Representatives Katie Porter (CA-45) and Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03) led 50 of their colleagues in a letter to the U.S. Census Bureau urging the Bureau to engage in research, testing, and development to explicitly include the LGBTQI+ community in the 2030 decennial Census.
During the Obama Administration, several federal agencies asked the Census Bureau to add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to the American Community Survey. The Department of Justice specifically listed numerous legal authorities that supported the necessity for collecting data about the LGBTQI+ population. However, under the Trump Administration, the Department of Justice said it was unable to reaffirm its request for this information, and the Census Bureau consequently stopped evaluating whether to include questions relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Better data leads to better policy, and with more information about the LGBTQI+ Community, we can better draft policies and allocate resources to meet their needs,” said Chair Cicilline. “As the number of openly LGBTQI+ people in this country continues to grow, their voices deserve to be heard. Collecting this data will provide us with a more comprehensive picture of the experiences and challenges of LGBTQI+ people, allow us to do intersectional analyses of the disparities faced across the LGBTQI+ community, and ensure we can better tailor policy solutions to meet their needs.”
“To protect and support the LGBTQI+ community, we need to see the LGBTQI+ community,” said Rep. Porter. “As a member of the House Oversight Committee, I know that a complete and accurate census is essential for governments, businesses, and community organizations to serve the American people. I’m proud to help spearhead this effort that will help connect LGBTQI+ Americans to the resources they need.”
“Lawmakers and agencies need more comprehensive data to craft better policies to remedy and address the disparities faced by LGBTQI+ individuals—particularly people of color—to ensure their needs are met. It’s one of the reasons why we introduced and passed the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act in the House this Congress,” said Rep. Grijalva. “ I join my colleagues in urging the Biden administration and Census Bureau to expand their efforts to include the LGTBQI+ community in future Censuses and guarantee that LGBTQI+ people are heard, seen and counted.”
This past June, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4176, the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act, to require federal surveys to collect voluntary information on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics. However, the Census Bureau does not need to wait for this bill to become law to collect this information on the Census.