The Human Rights Campaign reported this week that a new piece of legislation would expand and improve data collection on the LGBT community, promoting inclusion of LGBT communities in federal surveys.
According to HRC, Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the legislation. You can read the full Bill here. It is co-sponsored by 94 Members of Congress and endorsed by dozens of civil rights organizations, including the HRC, the LGBT Equality Caucus and others. The reintroduction of the Bill comes in the wake of the #45 administration seeking to eliminate the LGBT community from its data collection across federal agencies.
For instance, the U.S. Census Bureau Collection would be one such agency affected by the move. According to the Bureau’s website, data collection collects data about citizens and economy in the United States, and its data is used not only in drawing legislative districts but also planning services within specific groups, such as the elderly. According to the HRC, inclusive data collection policies are vitally needed to “understand and improve the health and well being of LGBTQ Americans” Currently, no centralized requirement exists in prioritizing the collection of LGBTQ data in federal surveys.
The Atlantic highlighted the controversy surrounding the omission in March, citing the #45 administration as not purposefully removing the LGBTQ community from data collection. However, the HRC submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Commerce, requesting internal communication about the exclusion. While it is not clear whether the HRC ever received the documents it requested, the administration’s departments have continued to remove LGBTQ questions from its surveys. The most recent removal of questions includes the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Health and Human Services.
To find out more about how your representatives and senators will vote on this issue, you can find them here at this directory. Let us know if what you find out! We’ll be happy to disseminate the information widely.