Senate-Introduced Bill Wants To Add Questions About Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity To US Census


Zachery Schmidt Contributor
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A Senate-introduced bill wants questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to be on the U.S. Census.

The Census Equality Act (CEA) would add these questions to the census if it becomes law by 2030. Also, the July 31 introduced bill would require the American Community Survey (ACS) to have these questions on it by 2020. These two items are some of the most important ways the U.S. government collects information about its population.

U.S. Census is constitutionally required every 10 years to count how many people reside in America. The census helps determine the number of House of Representatives’ seats in each state. The ACS is a yearly survey that collects information about people’s income, employment and educational levels.

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced the bill with the intention of increasing representation of LGBTQ people.

Harris tweeted, “I’ve just introduced the Census Equality Act to include census questions on sexual orientation & gender identity that were excluded by the Trump Administration. Why it matters: communities that aren’t counted or are undercounted receive less federal resources & representation.”

Carper, too, voiced his support for the bill in a tweet, saying, “Roughly 10 million Americans identify as #LGBTQ. That’s 10 million people who will not be accurately represented on the #2020Census, which should reflect who we are as a society.”

The only gender identifies a person could identify in these two surveys was as either male or female. The 2020 U.S. Census, however, will include questions about how they define their relationship to their partner. People can choose from a variety of categories of same-sex and opposite-sex categories.

The CEA defines gender identity as the “gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the designated sex of the individual at birth,” according to the bill.

The bill’s definition for sexual orientation is “homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.”