LGBTQ Americans Should Be Included in the 2020 U.S. Census
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You may have heard that questions pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity were recently dropped from the 2020 census. While a president with the queer community's best interests at heart could have pressed for its inclusion, the real tragedy is that LGBTQ Americans have never been counted in the U.S. Census. In deciding how to distribute the $400 billion of federal funds that help keep our communities healthy, safe and politically engaged, Congress has never felt a “statutory or regulatory need” to count us.
The 2010 U.S. Census, the first to tally same-sex married couples, counted 400,000 of them. But even after collecting that data, the U.S. Census Bureau concluded that its questions weren’t specific enough to tell us much about those couples. Of course, in 2010 only five states had legalized same-sex marriage, and one allowed civil unions. A lot has changed since then.
If school districts and police departments don’t know that LGBTQ citizens exist in their borders, professionals won’t receive training on how to handle same-sex families. If we don’t know how much LGBTQ-led families earn, we can’t understand the economic impact that anti-LGBT stigma has on American workplaces, welfare and health care programs. If we can’t see ourselves reflected in national data, we know less about our own lives.
Different polls state that anywhere from 3.8% to 19% of the U.S. population could be LGBT — that’s somewhere between the entire population of Cuba or Italy — but we won’t know if the census doesn't ask. And if we don’t ask in 2020, LGBT people will remain uncounted until 2030.
The current government may accept this ignorance, but we do not. Knowledge is power, so instead of staying invisible, we’re encouraging each and every LGBT individual to stand up and #BeCounted.
Using the power of technology and social media, help Hornet send a powerful message to the U.S. government — and the world — that America’s LGBTQ population is large, productive and growing. We exist nationwide, we raise families everywhere, and we won’t be ignored any longer.
Sign this petition and, please, share it far and wide.
Now is the time for LGBTs across America to stand up and #BeCounted.
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