Rep. Maloney and Outraged NYC Advocacy Groups Denounce Administration Reversal of Plan to Add LGBTQ Questions to 2020 Census

Mar 31, 2017
Press Release
Not being counted may affect services and programs for the LGBTQ Community

NEW YORK—Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), co-chair of the House Census Caucus, was joined by LGBT Network CEO David Kilmnick, and LGBTQ advocates to speak out against the Commerce Department’s decision to reverse its plan to add questions to the 2020 census regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. The data collected from these questions are crucial in ensuring that members of the LGBTQ community are accurately counted and have fair and adequate access to the services and protections they need and deserve under the law and U.S. Supreme Court Decisions. The news comes close on the heels of that the Department of Health and Human Services was deleting questions on sexual orientation from two surveys it had conducted.

Rep. Maloney shared a letter she has sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging him to resume the Department’s plans to add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in the final version of coming 2020 decennial census.

“I am deeply troubled by the Trump Administration’s announcement this week that questions pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity will not be included in the 2020 decennial Census and the American Community Survey as initially proposed,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “As a federal lawmaker, I rely on Census data to inform me about the needs of the many populations that make up our diverse nation. The LGBTQ community is a unique demographic with unique concerns related to sexual orientation and gender identity. If we don’t accurately count this population and recognize their needs, we don’t have the data to adequately direct services towards issues that effect this community. Throughout the Presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump pledged to stand with the LGBT community, but this action runs contrary to those statements. The Administration and the Census Bureau must reinstate the proposed questions.”

"The Trump Administration has taken another step in its assault on LGBT families by choosing to exclude the community from the 2020 Census, said David Kilmnick, PhD, LGBT Network, Chief Executive Officer. “LGBT people are not counted on the Census—no data is collected on sexual orientation or gender identity. Information from the Census is critical as it helps the government to enforce federal laws like the Violence Against Women Act and the Fair Housing Act and to determine how to allocate resources. If the government or America doesn’t know how many LGBT people live in a community, it cannot and does not do its job to ensure that the LGBT community is getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need. This is yet another deplorable act by the Trump administration and we urge the reversal of this decision that will wipe LGBT people from all data collected in America. We also strongly urge Congress to conduct oversight hearings to find out and expose why the Trump Administration made the last-minute decision not to collect any data on LGBT people.”