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Collecting LGBT Census Data Is ‘Essential’ To Federal Agency, Document Shows

A representation census form is displayed in New York City’s Times Square in 2010.

Mario Tama/Getty Images


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Mario Tama/Getty Images

A representation census form is displayed in New York City’s Times Square in 2010.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S. Census Bureau has never asked Americans about passionate course and gender identity. Last year, though, requests for that information came from some-more than 75 members of Congress and mixed sovereign agencies.

Still, a Census Bureau resolved “there was no sovereign information need” to collect this information, a bureau’s effusive director, John Thompson, wrote in March.

A document performed by NPR by a Freedom of Information Act request, however, reveals that a Department of Housing and Urban Development told a business that there indeed was a need.

“Valid, reliable, and nationally deputy information on passionate course and gender temperament are essential to HUD fulfilling a mission,” former HUD Secretary Julián Castro wrote in a minute to Thompson antiquated Jun 30, 2016.

The minute endorsed adding passionate course and gender temperament questions to a American Community Survey, that a Census Bureau conducts annually with about 3 million households to, in part, establish how to discharge supervision funds.

Many LGBT rights groups have lifted their concerns about a bureau’s conclusion. They contend policymakers need accurate inhabitant information about a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender village in sequence to yield adequate services.

Information about LGBT people, Castro said, would assistance HUD exercise a “Equal Access to Housing” rule, that prohibits landlords who accept sovereign housing supports from cultured opposite LGBT tenants. It also bans debt lenders from denying federally insured mortgages to competent field who are LGBT.

Castro’s minute also argued that LGBT information could assistance coercion of a Fair Housing Act:

“The Fair Housing Act does not privately embody passionate course and gender temperament as taboo bases. However, taste opposite an LGBTQ chairman might be lonesome by a Fair Housing Act if it is formed on objection with gender stereotypes.”

The recover of a HUD minute comes about a month after Democratic Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware and Kamala Harris of California asked Thompson in a minute to yield an reason by Monday about how a Census Bureau motionless to not supplement passionate course and gender temperament as a due subject for a American Community Survey.

As of Monday evening, spokespeople for both senators’ offices pronounced they had not nonetheless perceived a response. Thompson, whose warn retirement was announced by a Commerce Department in May, is set to leave a Census Bureau on Jun 30.

“We entirely intend to respond to this inquiry, and a response will be submitted to a senators once it has been scrupulously reviewed,” says a Census Bureau spokesperson, who declined to yield serve criticism to NPR.

HUD and Castro have not responded to requests for comment.

Carper’s bureau recently posted online letters between lawyers for a Census Bureau and for a Department of Justice about adding passionate course and gender temperament questions to a American Community Survey.

In a minute antiquated Nov. 4, 2016, a Justice Department requested a Census Bureau to “consider a new subject in a [American Community Survey] relating to LGBT populations.” It also supposing a spreadsheet of principle describing a “legal management ancillary a prerequisite for a collection of this information.”

After a Trump administration came into office, however, Justice Department officials contacted a Census Bureau about a “appropriateness” of certain passionate course and gender temperament topics, according to a minute from a Census Bureau antiquated Mar 1, 2017.

Six days later, a Justice Department sent a minute saying that it was “unable to reaffirm” a possess ask from final Nov for information about LGBT populations “because such a ask requires consummate research and clever consideration.”

“As a result, a Census Bureau halted a analysis of either [sexual course and gender identity] should be enclosed in a 2020 Census and [American Community Survey],” Carper and Harris wrote in their new minute to Thompson. “These communications lift concerns about a purpose of a DOJ and a change on supervision information collection.”

The Justice Department did not respond immediately to a ask for comment, though we will refurbish this post with any matter received.

In March, a Census Bureau was held in a debate over a news of designed topics of questions for a 2020 census and a American Community Survey. “Sexual course and gender identity” was creatively listed as a “proposed” subject before it was private in a revised report. Thompson pronounced that inclusion was “due to an error.”

Some advocates see these changes as partial of a array of moves by a Trump administration to stop sovereign agencies from collecting information on a LGBT community.

Questions about passionate course were recently private from breeze questionnaires for a integrate of sovereign surveys about comparison Americans and people with disabilities. These dual surveys by a Department of Health and Human Services are among a dozen sovereign surveys and studies that collect information on passionate course and gender identity, according to a 2016 operative paper by a sovereign interagency organisation convened by a Obama administration to urge how this information is collected by a sovereign government.