The Census Brouhaha

Meghan Maury, of the Criminal and Economic Justice Project at The LGBTQ Task Force, emails:

The Trump Administration is trying to make us invisible by excluding LGBTQ people from the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). This is yet another attack on LGBTQ people’s freedom, justice, and equity.

Please sign our petition to the Trump Administration to demand that they reverse their decision not to collect data about LGBTQ people and their families.

We cannot allow LGBTQ lives to be erased! If the government doesn’t know how many LGBTQ people live in our country, how can it do its job to ensure we’re getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections, and services we need?

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Gregory T. Angelo, head of the Log Cabin Republicans, emails:

How many more times can the Gay Left cry wolf?

The latest outrage du jour? Word that the 2020 Census will not include a question demanding survey respondents out themselves as gay or transgender.

Nevermind — the fact that outing is always wrong . . .

Nevermind — the fact that the Census has never included any LGBT questions in its history . . .

Nevermind — the fact that the Census recommendations were made by an Obama appointee . . .

In this era of hot takes and fake news, there’s nothing quite like a clickbait headline to set the wheels of The Liberal Outrage Machine™ whirring with breathless exasperations about anything and everything GOP.

It’s possible to have a good-faith debate about the size and scope of the federal Census, but half-truths and a lefty-media blame game in which everything Republicans do is bad and the Democrats are the sole arbiters of good is a disservice to journalism and a disservice to our republic.

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Walter Olson has more:

13 Comments for “The Census Brouhaha”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Although the questions have not been asked in prior dicennial surveys, I can understand the value of getting accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity for government agencies like HHS and HUD, and I can understand why those agencies requested the information.

    In a message to Congress sent Tuesday, the Census Bureau laid out the topics it plans to cover in the 2020 Census, when every American household will be asked to provide data about residents’ gender, race, ethnicity and other topics.
     
    By law, the Census Bureau must inform Congress three years before the decennial survey about the topics it plans to cover. An initial draft published online Tuesday morning showed the agency planned to ask respondents about their sexual orientation and gender identity, among the 51 other categories of questions.
     
    But a final version published Tuesday afternoon did not include the sexual orientation and gender identity questions — SOGI, in Census parlance — among the proposed topics.
     
    Several government agencies, including the departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Justice, asked the Census Bureau to include those questions on forthcoming surveys.

    Census information about sexual orientation and gender identity has long been anathema to the hard-core anti-gay Christian right, of course, and the interesting question, entirely missed in Stephen’s attack on gays and lesbians, is why the questions were in the intial draft Tuesday morning but not in the final version Tuesday afternoon.

    The decision appears to have been rather quick in coming.

    Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      BS Alert. Past census did ask about same-sex couples. Something that was noted in the arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.

      Reply
      • posted by JohnInCA on

        Only sort-of. The 2010 census allowed “unmarried partner” and they counted married same-sex couples for the first time (previously they would treat such an indication as an error and “fix” it on some way), but it was all incidental stuff that the bureau could do with the form that has been finalized before Obama too office.

        Reply
      • posted by TJ on

        in Lawrence, it was mentioned that the census had showed gay couples. It was SOMETHING. Trying to argue that the census never dealt with “icky gays” is pretty silly, when it did try to count gay coupled.

        Reply
  2. posted by Jorge on

    I have two words for these snowflakes: shove it.

    Excuse me, I meant grow up.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Oh, Jorge, you are sooooo manly.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        No way! That’s a quote from Theresa Heinz Kerry.

        Excuse me, I meant from Catwoman in Batman: The Animated Series.

        I just got called manly for being elegant and blunt. Eww-eww-eww!

        Reply
  3. posted by JohnInCA on

    I’m not sure what’s weirder, the “this is a disaster!” cries from folks that think the question should have been included, it the strained defenses of leaving it out.

    Fact is, leaving it out is the status quo. So while it would be good and all if it were included, it’s no worse that is isn’t. A loss, but not a big one.

    But the defenses… Outing is never right? It’s a voluntary answer. The census can’t “out” anyone, and pretending this has anything to so with that is insane.

    All that said, the reason folks on the “right” don’t want this question asked comes from no benign motivation. Look at how they cling to any survey or study that shows we’re somewhere around 1%. If we’re really that rate, they can justify anything they want. If we for census numbers showing 5%? Even in places like Alabama and Texas? Legislation targeting five percent is a lot harder to justify.

    Ignorance makes their jobs easier. And as we’ve seen for decades, when people know how many of us they’re actually are, their jobs are harder.

    *That* is why “the right” wanted the question gone. Trying to dress it up as some benign concern for privacy is dishonest.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      But the defenses …

      My favorite was “Nevermind — the fact that the Census recommendations were made by an Obama appointee . . .”

      Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      A desire to fight ignorance and manipulation and hold people accountable is noble. The big picture is important. Any one defeat or setback isn’t the end of existence and you won’t and shouldn’t get everyone to agree it’s even important.

      The stakes do not speak to me here.

      Reply
  4. posted by Houndentenor on

    This is a one day story tops. There are so much worse things for gay people coming out of the Trump administration and the various state governments at the moment, not that Stephen would ever bother to run a story criticizing a Republican no matter how anti-gay. I hope he’s enjoying his thirty pieces of silver because he like ever other homocon is a traitor to our country.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      We’re not too far removed from the days of Edward Snowden and Private Manning. I don’t think any-con can be a traitor to the country.

      For years every time I’d dump on Snowden and Manning, there’d be some apologist saying “but he had a point, but the government really is corrupt, but he exposed… stuff”. To which I would say you have the power to do what you have to do without relying on such sordid characters.

      But at the end of the day, that’s what they chose to do, even sometimes the ones who agreed that they committed serious crimes. Something else was more important.

      The Republican party will continue to hold President Trump accountable while green-lighting his initiatives. One will win and one will lose, but for a time, both their wills coincide.

      Reply
      • posted by Houndentenor on

        “The Republican party will continue to hold President Trump accountable …”

        Continue? When are they going to start?

        Reply

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