Lawmakers call for gay headcount in census

Lawmakers call for gay headcount in census
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The federal government should measure the population of gay people within the country, lawmakers say.

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The U.S. Census Bureau is facing pressure to survey respondents about their sexual orientation and gender identity. A bipartisan group of lawmakers say the information would help the government identify the size, location, and circumstances in which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people live.

“The Census Bureau should advance plans to expand LGBT data collection in future national surveys,” the lawmakers wrote Tuesday in a letter to the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the bureau.

The letter, signed by 78 lawmakers including Reps. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTop Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence Overnight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Overnight Defense: House to vote on military justice bill spurred by Vanessa Guillén death | Biden courts veterans after Trump's military controversies MORE (D-Calif.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), requests that the subcommittee pressure the Census Bureau into asking more questions about people’s sexual orientation.

Currently, the census only identifies same-sex couples who are married.

The expanded data collection would help lawmakers better serve the LGBT community, they say.

“LGBT Americans — like every American — deserve to be counted and recognized,” the lawmakers wrote. 

“We know little else about the social and economic circumstances of the LGBT population at large,” they added.