Press

Task Force launches next phase of Queer the Census campaign to ensure LGBT people are counted in federal surveys

Date: 
October 11, 2011

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Inga Sarda-Sorensen
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Campaign includes updated Web site and petition

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is launching the next phase of its "Queer the Census" campaign, which is designed to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are included in a broad swath of federal surveys and data collection efforts. The Task Force is encouraging people to learn more about why federal surveys are important and to get involved through an action center on its www.QueertheCensus.org website.

Despite progress being made in the area of counting married same-sex couples, LGBT individuals still are not counted in the census or hundreds of other federal surveys that are supposed to reflect the diversity of people in the U.S. The census and other data are the basis for how the government spends billions of dollars each year. This data is used by researchers, advocates and policymakers to develop social service programs and make policy decisions affecting issues such as health care and economic stability; it also helps determine national and state funding and policy priorities.

Through the action center on the Task Force's www.QueertheCensus.org Website, participants will be able to sign a petition asking for all federal surveys to count LGBT people, spread the word about the campaign, and stay in touch through social media.

The Task Force played a key role in getting the U.S. Census Bureau to report the number of married same-sex couples in the 2010 census, meeting with White House, Census Bureau and Commerce Department officials for several months. The Task Force also partnered with the Williams Institute to provide officials with research essential to making that change. The first phase of the "Queer the Census" campaign was launched during that time, and people were urged to place a sticker on the back of their 2010 census envelopes asking the U.S. Census Bureau to count us all. More than 140,000 stickers were sent in and more than 30,000 people signed a petition demanding the inclusion of LGBT lives in efforts like the census.

"Without an accurate count, LGBT people are forced to go without funding for real, everyday services and remain virtually nonexistent in the eyes of our government," said National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey. "This is unacceptable. We continue to work with policymakers to ensure LGBT people are included in data collection on a broad spectrum of critical issues, including those involving our health, our families, our economic well-being, our safety and much more."

For more information on how to "Queer the Census," visit www.QueertheCensus.org.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the ground up. The Task Force is the country's premier social justice organization fighting to improve the lives of LGBT people and working to create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. © 2011, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C., 20005. Phone 202.393.2241. TTY 202.393.2284. theTaskForce@theTaskForce.org.