Grijalva Bill Would Require Federal Surveys 'to Gather Data on Sexual Orientation'

Penny Starr | June 1, 2016 | 4:14pm EDT
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Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)  (AP) 


( – At the urging of the Obama administration’s inter-agency working group, which is tasked with establishing best practices for collecting data on LGBTs, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced a bill last week that would require federal agencies that conduct demographic surveys to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

“This bill builds on the inter-agency working group’s success by making data collection within this community law,” Grijalva said in a press release distributed at a briefing on the legislation on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.

“Public officials draft and implement policies impacting the lives of everyone living in the United States,” Grijalva said. “It is vital that they have robust information about the diverse communities within our populace, including the LGBT community.”

“The current lack of sound data about sexual orientation and gender identity in federal surveys means we are ill-prepared to meet the needs of these communities,” he said.

A document distributed at the briefing on the LGBT Data Inclusion Act says “the addition of voluntary, self-disclosed information on sexual orientation and gender identity to our federal surveys will bring us to the 21st century in knowing the make-up of our population.”

Homosexual rights advocates at the briefing emphasized that answering the questions about one’s sexual orientation or gender identity would be voluntary.

The homosexual rainbow flag. (AP) 


Currently, the ACS only asks people to say if they are male or female.

All of the 60-plus sponsors of the LGBT Data Inclusion Act are Democrats, with the exception of Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.)

The underlying purpose of the bill, according to activists at the briefing and the documents distributed at the event, is to connect homosexuals to federal benefits.

“Studies show LGBT people face significant disparities in nearly all aspects of life, from employment to health care to homelessness,” according to the documents handed out. “Without an accurate assessment of these disparities, the government cannot adequately address them.”

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