Measure Introduced to Increase Data Collection for LGBTQ Community

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) have reintroduced the LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act. This bill would require federal surveys to include data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity on a voluntary basis. Lawmakers argue this data is necessary to ensure agencies are adequately meeting the needs of the LGBTQ community.

The Human Rights Campaign noted in 2017 when the legislation was first introduced, “Inclusive data collection policies are vital in order to understand and improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ Americans. While some federal data on LGBTQ communities is currently collected, there is no centralized requirement prioritizing the collection of LGBTQ data in federal surveys which this bill would address.”

The LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act would give agencies 180 days to ensure that each agency that collects information through a survey that includes demographic data gathers data on sexual orientation and reviews existing data sets to determine if information about sexual orientation and gender identity was included.

“Despite the growing number of Americans who recognize that their LGBTQ family members, friends and neighbors deserve to be treated like everyone else in the United States, LGBTQ Americans still face discrimination in many facets of everyday life such as employment, housing and even in the justice system,” said Senator Baldwin in a statement. “The LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act will help ensure that policy makers and community leaders have the information they need to help better understand the full extent of such discrimination and better serve the communities they represent.”

Harper Jean Tobin, Director of Policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality, noted a lack of data on the transgender community.

“While transgender Americans are more visible in society than ever before, the major health, economic, and other national surveys that help shape public policy still tell us nothing about transgender people's lives and the challenges they face. The nearly two million Americans who are transgender are part of every community in this country and that should be reflected in the data we collect. We need this bill to make sure transgender Americans count and are counted,” Tobin explained in the statement by Baldwin’s office.

This legislation is supported by the Center for American Progress, GLSEN, Guttmacher Institute, Human Rights Campaign, NAACP, NALEO Education Fund, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, The Williams Institute, Third Way, Transgender Law Center, True Colors United, and the American Psychological Association, according to Baldwin’s office.

The legislation currently has 18 cosponsors in the Senate and 86 cosponsors in the House.

Posted in From the Hill



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