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STANDARD DEVIATIONS: U.S. House Approves LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act
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STANDARD DEVIATIONS: U.S. House Approves LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act

Caroline Medina explains the importance of enacting the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act (H.R. 4176) with bipartisan support on a 220 – 201 vote on June 23, 2022. This landmark legislation would require the collection of voluntary, self-disclosed demographic data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and variations in sex characteristics (SOGISC) across federal surveys, while maintaining necessary confidentiality and privacy standards that govern federal statistics.

An overall lack of routine data collection on SOGISC poses a significant barrier for researchers, policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders seeking to understand and address the challenges that LGBTQI+ communities face, including discrimination and resulting inequities. Although some progress has been made in recent years, currently only a limited number of federally-supported surveys collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity, and none include questions that can identify intersex populations. This results in significant gaps. For example, surveys like the American Community Survey, Current Population Survey, and decennial census permit respondents to identify that they are part of a cohabitating same-sex couple. However, by not including specific questions about SOGISC, these surveys do not account for single LGB people or LGB people who are in a relationship but not residing with their partner, while ignoring transgender and intersex people altogether. In fact, it is estimated that only approximately 1 in 6 LGBT adults can be identified from the nonexperimental U.S. Census Bureau data collected today. Eliminating these blind spots is essential to more effectively measure and meaningfully advance equity for LGBTQI+ communities.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Census Project. Click here to view the full blog post.

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