In response to a new FOIA release on Department of Justice influence on the Census, Meghan Maury, Policy Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, released this statement:
(Washington, DC, March 8, 2018) — “The Census should count LGBTQ people because we count. New information uncovered about the Trump administration confirms that the Department of Justice chose to halt the Census Bureau’s progress toward adding sexual orientation and gender identity questions to the Census. The Census controls billions of dollars in federal funding, determines our representation at the state and federal levels, and impacts scores of other programs like how our school districts are drawn.
The addition of sexual orientation and gender identity questions would have had a significant impact on our community’s access to services, democracy, and education, which is why we demand to be counted.
The Civil Rights Division must reverse this course and ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans. The Trump administration appointed John Gore (the attorney who helped defend North Carolina in a federal lawsuit against HB2) to head the Civil Rights Division in 2017. Unfortunately, under the leadership of a champion of anti-LGBTQ legislation, the Division made a decision that betrayed the needs of our community.
On March 7, 2017, the Department of Justice told the Census Bureau it needed time to carefully consider inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity questions on the long-form Census, also known as the American Community Survey (ACS). A year after that date, we call on the Department to reaffirm its request of November 4, 2016 to include these topics on the ACS.
The Trump administration appears to be hellbent on erasing LGBTQ people, but the reality is we are a significant part of the population. We’re here, we’re queer, we’re not going anywhere. We deserve to be counted in the Census.”