On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau submitted the categories to be included in the 2020 Census to Congress. Both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” categories were omitted.
As OUT reports, the move prevents the recording of population numbers of or means to accurately represent LGBT persons in the United States. The U.S. Supreme court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and ruled in favor of marriage equality in 2015, and this would have been the first time the U.S. Census Bureau may have included LGBT surveying, according to The Washington Blade.
From The Washington Blade:
"With days before its deadline, the U.S. Census delivered to Congress its report on planned subjects for the survey, including gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship and homeownership status. Under law, the report is due three years before Census Day, with the next one is set to occur April 1, 2020."
The initial report allegedly included "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in the appendix, raising the hopes of the LGBT community. However, the report was later "corrected," the U.S. Census Bureau said in the following statement: “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."
OUT reported that Democratic lawmakers and other federal agencies had been pushing for the inclusion of these categories.
People are not happy about this.
Many have voiced their concerns on Twitter, lamenting what a loss this is for queer Americans.
This is outrageous. No one should be invisible in America https://t.co/IOaCit7dg2— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 29, 2017
Because, really, this Administration has already shown it prefers to be ill-informed than well-informed. https://t.co/liInu98hBw— Aaron Hicklin (@Aaronhicklin) March 29, 2017
We exist. We are here to stay. We will not be erased. https://t.co/SSBOLtL6Am— Heather Matarazzo (@HeatherMatarazz) March 29, 2017
The Trump Administration has removed LGBTQ people from the 2020 census.— Raymond Braun (@raymondbraun) March 29, 2017
You cannot erase us.
This thread is a great explanation of why it's a travesty this administration would purposefully skip chance to gather LGBTQIA census data. https://t.co/vvtsYQtzn8— Sarah Pinsker (@SarahPinsker) March 29, 2017
Trump's US Census Bureau: LGBTQ people do not exist. https://t.co/zcxWx6bZqY— RPBP (@rpbp) March 28, 2017
Organizations and politicians working to protect LGBT rights have accordingly expressed outrage.
Hateful step backward. We worked hard to achieve this originally because full/proper census essential for provision of critical services. https://t.co/Yxy5HPlJig— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) March 29, 2017
Trump Admin has stripped previously asked ?s re LGBTQs from Older Americans Act Survey & erased hard-fought-for proposed LGBTQ ?s 4 Census.— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) March 29, 2017
By erasing LGBTQ Americans from the 2020 Census, the administration is adding to a list of tactics they’ve adopted to deny services to us, https://t.co/6rkCzakOXK— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) March 29, 2017
The matter is more complicated than an omission.
Meghan Maury of the National LGBTQ Task Force explained why this is an issue: “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?”
Another sign from the Trump administration?
Despite saying he is a friend of the community, the Trump administration's actions worry the LGBT community.
So in one day the GOP sold our internet privacy, killed environment protection in favor of fossil industry and removed LGBTQ off census?— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) March 29, 2017
Previously, the Trump administration removed protections of transgender students and allegedly drafted a religious freedom executive order that would excuse LGBT discrimination.