US Census removes questions about LGBT Americans

The move has been seen as a further attempt to erase visibility of the minority community

US Census removes questions about LGBT Americans

US advocates holding a rally in Charlotte, North Caroline, encouraging people to fill out their census forms in 2010 [AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek]

While still weathering the political storm over public toilets, America’s LGBTQ are facing further silencing as the US Census Bureau has now scrapped its draft 2020 Census that would have included questions about gender and sexuality for the very first time.

The decision to withdraw the working sample comes from the Census Bureau itself, despite several members of the US Congress asking for their inclusion in the first place.

“The subjects planned for the 2020 Census an American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix,” a Census Bureau spokesperson said.

“This topic is not being proposed to Congress for the 2020 Census or American Community Survey.”

Congressional Democrats had rallied behind a push to add LGBTQIA identifiers to the study as a way of collating more exact figures about the community in an effort to improve decision making.

As it currently stands, the only to estimate the number of people self-identifying as LBGTQIA is through opinion polls, based on smaller sample sizes and not as tightly regulated as a national census.

While there have been critics of the removal, those supporting it have argued that the 2020 Census still contains a question about same-sex households, used to estimate the size of the gay community. This question does not gather any data on trans persons, and also only reflects those who dwell in parts of the US that guarantee housing rights to cohabiting members of the same sex.

The removal of the questions, credited to President Donald Trump’s new conservative administration, comes after the Republican leader signed an executive order that abolishes legal protection for LGBTQ federal employees.

The ‘Fair Pay & Safe Workplace Order’, introduced by President Obama, required federally contracted companies to show how they were following 14 federal laws, the majority of which were introduced to protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Unlike the Irish Census, held every five years, the United States counts its citizens and gathers essential data on them once a decade. In last year’s Irish study, the ‘Current Marital Status’ question was amended for the first time to account for those in civil unions or same-sex marriages.

The 2016 Census also only accounted for two genders, but the Irish Independent reported on the day of the survey that the 2021 Census will likely include transgender as an option.

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