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Raul Grijalva

07/17/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/17/2017 17:18

Rep. Grijalva & Sen. Baldwin Lead 94 Colleagues On LGBT Data Bill

WASHINGTON D.C.- Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today led 94 Members of Congress in introducing bicameral legislation requiring federal surveys to include data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity. While some federal data on LGBT communities is currently collected, there is no centralized requirement prioritizing the collection of LGBT data in federal surveys which the LGBT Data Inclusion Act addresses. The reintroduction of this bill is timely given recent actions taken by the Trump Administration to undermine LGBT data collection, including the elimination of questions on sexual orientation and gender identity from consideration in the American Community Survey and the 2020 Census, and the removal of LGBT questions from an aging survey at the Department of Health and Human Services which was only partially reversed after public outcry, and continues to exclude questions on gender identity.

'The LGBT Data Inclusion Act will ensure that a marginalized population, the LGBT community, is taken into account for the everyday policy decisions our nation's lawmakers take,' Rep. Grijalva said. 'The current lack of sound data about sexual orientation and gender identity in many federal surveys means we are ill-prepared to meet the needs of this community. We must develop a credible and confidential understanding of these vulnerable populations we currently know too little about.

'As it stands, lawmakers are blindfolded when it comes to allocating funds to address the LGBT community's employment, housing, and health disparities. There is a common sense solution to this issue and it allows all of us to better understand our constituents. As the LGBT community is specifically targeted by the Trump administration and the like in State houses all across the country, we need robust data so that lawmakers are able to make informed policy decisions about people living and working in their districts. Now more than ever, the LGBT community needs to know who has their back. This bill is a step towards achieving full equality.'

Senator Tammy Baldwin led 14 of her colleagues in the U.S. Senate on this bill.

'Despite the growing number of Americans who recognize that their LGBT family members, friends and neighbors deserve to be treated like everyone else in the United States, LGBT Americans still face discrimination in many facets of everyday life such as employment, housing and even in the justice system,' said Senator Baldwin. 'The LGBT 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. This bicameral legislation will be a step forward in the march for fairness, freedom and full equality.'

In March of this year, Congressman Grijlava and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined forced with Adam Schiff (D-CA) in leading 86 Members of Congress in sending a bicameral letter to the U.S. Census Bureau Director John Thompson and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney, expressing strong disapproval of the Census Bureau's decision to remove data collection on LGBT individuals for consideration for the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey (ACS).

The full text of the LGBT Data Inclusion Act is available here.

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The below orgranizations released the following statements in support of the LGBT Data Inclusion Act:

Laura E. Durso, VP of the LGBT Research and Communications Team at the Center for American Progress:

'As the Trump Administration seeks to roll back data collection on LGBTQ Americans, it's more important than ever for Congress to step up and make sure the government represents, reflects, and serves all its people. The LGBT Data Inclusion Act helps fill significant gaps in our understanding of the LGBTQ community and will provide policymakers with the tools they need to end disparities and more effectively serve a population in need. We have fought for our visibility for decades and will continue to demand that LGBTQ people are seen, counted, and valued. For LGBTQ people, that simple message can save lives.'

The LGBT Data Inclusion Act is endorsed by the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and 43 prominent civil rights groups, including:

Center for American Progress, The Williams Institute, Human Rights Campaign, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Center for Transgender Equality, True Colors Fund, Transgender Law Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLSEN, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, National Black Justice Coalition, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Women's Law Center, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Anti-Defamation League, The Trevor Project, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, New York City Anti-Violence Project, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, PFLAG, LULAC, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, NALEO Education Fund, Advocates for Youth, National Coalition for LGBT Health, South Asian American Leading Together (SAALT), Advocates for Children and Youth, Third Way, National Organization for Women, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, American Psychological Association, The Guttmacher Institute, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, National Council of Jewish Women, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, American Association of University Women (AAUW), OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates, Pennsylvania National Organization for Women (PA NOW), Ni-Ta-Nee NOW (Centre County), Children First for Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon