The U.S. Census Bureau needs to hear from you — add your name!
The Human Rights Campaign needs your help. The U.S. Census Bureau recently proposed testing questions that would allow it to safely gather quality data on sexual orientation and gender identity — and they need to hear from us that they should proceed.
Through our sustained advocacy, the Census Bureau is now willing to consider our request and begin testing proposed measures. Our perseverance is paying off, and we need your help to get this change over the finish line. Please add your name to HRC’s petition letter to the Bureau:
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We, the undersigned lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQI+) people and their families and allies, write to express our strong support for the Census Bureau’s proposed test of questions measuring sexual orientation and gender identity for the American Community Survey.
The American Community Survey produces high-quality data on the demographics and experiences of the American people that the government relies on when making decisions over the use of trillions of dollars in federal funding. This survey is unique in its ability to combine years of data to allow studies on smaller populations, making it an invaluable tool in the government’s efforts to enforce civil rights laws and advance equity for marginalized groups. However, this survey lacks a consistent way to allow LGBTQ+ people to self-identify as LGBTQ+.
LGBTQ+ people have long reported disparities in their health and well-being when compared to non-LGBTQ+ people. Violence, harassment, and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is currently on the rise in the United States, making it imperative that the government be able to obtain the information it needs to provide evidence-based solutions to the challenges we face. And fortunately, we understand that the data collected through the American Community Survey is subject to the strongest safeguards in federal law and should provide robust protection against potential disclosure or misuse. These protections and the political and legal environment in which LGBTQ+ people and their families are currently living underscore the significance of the Census Bureau proceeding with this test.
Researchers have been studying sexual orientation and gender identity for decades, and we thank the Census Bureau for proposing to test questions that align with their recommendations for asking about these concepts on general population surveys. We also commend the Census Bureau for its proposal to test and develop an evidence base on more inclusive questions that could one day allow even more LGBTQ+ people to self-identify as exactly who they are.
We look forward to seeing the results of the Census Bureau’s testing and remain hopeful for the full implementation of questions measuring sexual orientation and gender identity on the American Community Survey.
(Your name here)