They Want the Feds to Make a List


More. I realize the data is meant to be reported in the aggregate with safeguards to ensure the anonymity of respondents. But of course the census forms are reported with respondents’ names/addresses, and you might think people would now be aware how unsecure protected government data actually is.

There’s a reason the census doesn’t ask about religion, and why religious minorities are quite content that it doesn’t.

Also, it’s not my contention that the information would be misused, but then I’m not among the hoard accusing the Trump administration of being a neo-Nazi regime supplicant to Vlad Putin and deserving an “F” on LGBT issues. No, that would be the left making those accusations—the same folks upset that the administration won’t be collecting information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of all U.S. residents.

A final thought: given the extreme likelihood that a lot of people would not want to share their minority-status sexual orientation with the government, the numbers reported in aggregate for LGB Americans would likely be even less than the 3.5% that many surveys show (with the T number far lower). And that would be helpful to us because….

(Election exit polling, where people are not contacted at their homes and so are completely anonymous, show a higher LGB figure, usually around 5 percent.)

Constitutionally, the census is meant to count the population in order to apportion electoral districts. Arguably, the civil rights statutes pushed the census to include race, so as to ensure that districts aren’t racially biased. All else is extraneous.

18 Comments for “They Want the Feds to Make a List”

  1. posted by Lori Heine on

    Fake progressives are totalitarians. Color me not surprised.

    Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      Fact 1: Previous Cenus Surveys have – directly or otherwise – tried to get a sense of the number of gay people, mostly through questions about gay partnerships. A fact that might have been useful in the 2003 Lawrence case. So, if suddenly the question is removed, its not unreasonable to wonder if this is an effort to keep gay people – or gay couples – invisible.

      Fact 2: I don’t think that gender identity has been asked before. So, it would technically be a new question. If Stephen wants to argue that Trump is actually concerned about discrimination against trans folk (and that’s why he doesn’t want the question), please feel free to turn it into a drinking game.

      Fact 2: Their are several problems with how the census is done, especially in terms of Congressional representation and how effective the census is at accuratly counting people on the lower side of the socio-economic spectrum. I doubt that these problems will get fixed, when they haven’t in the past.

      Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      Putin is ex-KGB. So, linking President Trump to the Soviet (Stalinist Communist) KGB makes more sense – in political street theatre – then trying to link him to Hitler.

      Reply
  2. posted by Jorge on

    “Gay-rights groups suspected political interference by Trump operatives.”

    When did the Obama administration have the new rules written? “it appears the Obama Justice Department asked for the SOGI information in November…” Isn’t that the same month Trump won the election?

    They write the playbook and then they complain when the new owners write in the margins. As usual, progressives have a very hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that they’re not normal.

    Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    From the Census Bureau:
    When did the Obama administration have the new rules written? “it appears the Obama Justice Department asked for the SOGI information in November…” Isn’t that the same month Trump won the election?

    From the Census Bureau blog:

    “In April 2016, more than 75 members of Congress wrote to the Census Bureau to request the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity as a subject for the American Community Survey. We carefully considered this thoughtful request and again worked with federal agencies and the [Office of Management and Budget] Interagency Working Group on Measuring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to determine if there was a legislative mandate to collect this data. Our review concluded there was no federal data need to change the planned census and [American Community Survey] subjects.”

    It isn’t though, as if controversy over counting gays and lesbians in the Census is new under the sun. From IGF:

    Come out, come out. . . except the homosexuals — you guys stay in by David Link on March 24, 2009

    The U.S. Census is gearing up a monumental effort to make sure minorities are counted in 2010.

    But that effort will not apply to homosexuals. As I argued in The Pretenders, the Census folks, far from seeking us out, are doing all they can to make sure we are not counted — at least not our married couples.

    And that is a very clear public policy choice. The government wants, very much, to know how many racial and ethnic minority members we have, so it can make sure their concerns are being addressed. But the government does not want to know how many same-sex couples there are, which frustrates the ability to have our concerns addressed.

    The Census is a very good way of discerning what the government wants to know, and what the government wants to keep hidden. And it is up to us to keep asking why they have an interest in keeping the number of our publicly acknowledged relationships invisible.

    and

    The Pretenders by David Link on March 10, 2009

    The Long Beach Press Telegram reports that the closet is still alive.

    OK, that’s not the headline, but clearly, as Mickey Kaus says, it’s the undernews. If you’re a married same-sex couple, the 2010 Census will put its hands over its face and pretend you’re not there. To be fair, we’ve made a little progress since 1950; you can at least tell the world you’re partners, though you’ll have to check the “unmarried partners” box.

    But there is still this one wall of the closet that hasn’t yet toppled. We kicked down the closet door in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and then public support helped dismantle most of what was left.

    I suppose that remaining wall gives some people comfort. While the rest of us are living our lives out in the world, there are still those who cower behind that standing panel, pretending there’s a closet on the other side. I’m tempted to say, Mr. Bush, tear down this wall. Mr. Benedict, too, and Mr. Perkins and – come to think of it, an awful lot of Misters, including the inventor of the modern rule the Census is relying on, Mr. Clinton.

    But there’s really no need to say anything. There’s no closet left for us to go back into. The recent California Field Poll shows that only about 19% of Californians would vote for same-sex couples to have no rights under the law – a number that’s fallen from its previous low of 27% back in 2006. The 48% who say they would vote to give us full marriage rights isn’t a majority, but full marriage is now within reach. Homosexuality is an issue lesbians and gay men stopped pretending about a long time ago, and the majority of heterosexuals now realize the pretending was getting tiresome. The federal government can continue its fictionalizing, but isn’t that the sort of thing we wanted to abandon when we elected Obama president?

    I can see, unlike Jorge, why accurate information about the size/distibution of gays and lesbians would be useful to a number of federal agencies. And, of course, like David Link, I can see why not gathering such information would be useful, as well.

    As usual, progressives have a very hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that they’re not normal.

    In the current political environment, anyone who thinks that policy should have a factual basis is abnormal. Mostly likely perverted. Possibly even progressive.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with having conservatives think you’re abnormal. Or perverted. Or even progressive.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      I’m not impressed by the Obama administration’s decision to wait until Donald Trump won the election to agree with the request.

      I can see, unlike Jorge, why accurate information about the size/distibution of gays and lesbians would be useful to a number of federal agencies.

      That is not the point.

      If you’re a leader, and you say “No, no, no, no, no, no, no” for years on years, then as soon as you get your walking papers, say “Yes” and leave a bomb on your successor’s desk, and you then express outrage when your successor reverses you, you are not normal, you are not honest, and you are not noble. You are a manipulative and scurrilous thug in a suit and tie.

      Reply
      • posted by TJ on

        Religion is protected by the First Amendment as well as Federal, State and Probably Treaty law as well. That may be why religious groups don’t want to be specificity counted.

        Religion discrimination occurs, but the above mentioned legal system is set up to deal with cases of discrimination and harassment.

        LGBT people have some Constitutional protection, very little Federal protection and the State protection is mixed.

        Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      If you’re a leader, and you say “No, no, no, no, no, no, no” for years on years, then as soon as you get your walking papers, say “Yes” and leave a bomb on your successor’s desk, and you then express outrage when your successor reverses you, you are not normal, you are not honest, and you are not noble. You are a manipulative and scurrilous thug in a suit and tie.

      A better understanding of the Census and process by which questions are developed might help you avoid silliness like this, Jorge.

      For starters, it is Congress, not the President, that has the final say on what questions are asked by the Census, and that can lead to interesting results.

      If you can spare a few moments, you might want to look through the Census Bureau’s database of questions asked during each census. If you do, you’ll see that apart from the basics (who lives where accompanied by basic demographic data) the direction and scope of the questions has changed over time, and the development of short-form, long-form Census questionnaires created additional complications.

      It can be interesting to track the data collected, thinking about the social/economic/political questions driving the questions.

      Marriage and marital status, for example.

      Between 1790 and 1850, no marital data was collected. Beginning in 1850, the question “Was the person married within the last year?” was asked, a question about change in marital status. Starting with the 1880 Census, marital status (“Is the person married?”) was recorded.

      In the 2000 Census, the Census Bureau dropped the marital status question from the short-form questionnaire, which went to all households, but retained it on the long-form questionnaire, which goes to about 5% of households.

      Needless to say, that raised a shit-storm among the “family values” crowd in Congress, and Congress passed a resolution directing the Census Bureau to keep the question on the short-form. Unfortunately, Congress was a day date and a dollar short, and the forms had already been printed when the resolution was enacted.

      The uproar over counting same-sex marriages in the 2010 Census is well documented, as you know but seem to have assbackwards, and social conservatives successfully used DOMA to block any efforts by the Census Bureau to count the number of same-sex marriages, arguing that DOMA prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage for any purpose, including counting.

      Now we are coming up on the 2020 Census, and the uproar this time around is about sexual orientation, and the shitstorm is roaring away at bull blast on IFG and elsewhere. Nobody seems to be asking the relevant question, which is “What value does the information have to government and government policy?”

      As a side note but related to your hissy-fit quoted above, you might want to stop blaming President Obama for everything you don’t like, specifically things over which he had little control, like the questions asked by the Census Bureau. Otherwise we might have to bring back a question from the 1870-era Census: “Is the person deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic?”

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        A better understanding of the Census and process by which questions are developed might help you avoid silliness like this, Jorge.

        It might indeed help a lot of people avoid silliness, but I see nothing in your response that provides an innocent explanation for the decision being made in November.

        Nobody seems to be asking the relevant question, which is “What value does the information have to government and government policy?”

        People are asking that question, Tom. It’s just that they’re not reaching the answers you would like.

        As a side note but related to your hissy-fit quoted above, you might want to stop blaming President Obama for everything you don’t like, specifically things over which he had little control, like the questions asked by the Census Bureau.

        That is a strawman argument that poorly represents my priorities and inclinations. I shall not desist in holding people accountable for their hypocrisy where I must, and that place and time is here and now. You might want to consider that whether or not I find your reasoning persuasive is irrelevant.

        I don’t quite share where Mr. Miller is distrustful of the government (procedures and safeguards and all that mulch are backed up by Constitutional protections and other laws), but if there is one thing that Obama administration and its transition to the Trump administration have taught, it is that the federal bureaucracy has become politicized to the point that it can no longer be trusted to even be arbitrary.

        Reply
  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    They Want the Feds to Make a List

    You would think, offhand, the evil authoritarian progressive fascists would be more interested in making a list of Christians, in order to herd them into boxcars more efficiently.

    Reply
  5. posted by JohnInCA on

    So is Trump the most “LGBT-friendly president ever”, or do we have something to fear from him knowing who’s gay?

    Trying to have it both ways just makes it obvious that you aren’t actually worried about either.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Just hope that President Trump doesn’t get too LGBT-friendly, or we will have to lawyer up.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        Nonsense. What, you think he’s going to go around grabbing everyone’s big hands? Just do the Melania Swat.

        Reply
      • posted by TJ on

        if President Trump treats women, like he treats gay and bisexual men, then their is going be alot of inappropriate touching and screwing.

        Reply
    • posted by JohnInCA on

      Well, the “more” confirms it. He’s just concern trolling and nothing more.

      Reply
  6. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    More. I realize the data is meant to be reported in the aggregate with safeguards to ensure the anonymity of respondents. But of course the census forms are reported with respondents’ names/addresses, and you might think people would now be aware how unsecure protected government data actually is.

    The security/insecurity of protected government data applies across the board to all of the information collected in the Census, and arguing that Census data may be unsecure is not a reason to refrain from collecting data about sexual orientation as opposed to the other individual data (age, race, gender and education, employment, income, residence and so on) collected.

    There’s a reason the census doesn’t ask about religion, and why religious minorities are quite content that it doesn’t.

    Indeed there is — the separation of church and state.

    The Census Bureau, to my knowledge, has never collected data about individual religious affiliation as part of the decennial census, although it did conduct “a census of the religious organizations in the United States rather than of individuals classified according to their religious affiliation” (quoting the 1906 explanation) until 1940 Census.

    The issue of collecting data concerning individual religious affiliation was discussed during the period 1955-1975, but the Census Bureau declined to gather the data, explaining, in a 1976 press release: “The decision not to add this question is based essentially on the fact that asking such a question in the decennial census, in which replies are mandatory, would appear to infringe upon the traditional separation of church and State.” The Census Bureau’s decision was codified by a 1976 law in which Congress prohibited “any mandatory question concerning a person’s “religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body”.

    Also, it’s not my contention that the information would be misused, but then I’m not among the hoard accusing the Trump administration of being a neo-Nazi regime supplicant to Vlad Putin and deserving an “F” on LGBT issues. No, that would be the left making those accusations—the same folks upset that the administration won’t be collecting information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of all U.S. residents.

    Huh? This is confused spew, and nothing but. If you have a point to make, you might consider unpacking this into something more comprehensible.

    A final thought: given the extreme likelihood that a lot of people would not want to share their minority-status sexual orientation with the government, the numbers reported in aggregate for LGB Americans would likely be less than the 2-3% that many surveys show (with the T number far lower). And that would be helpful to us because….

    It would be helpful because incomplete data is better than no data. While gays and lesbians will almost certainly be undercounted by the Census, information concerning the correlations between sexual orientation from those who do report and other data collected by the Census Bureau could help agencies such as the CDC, HUD and so on.

    Reply
  7. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    (Election exit polling, where people are not contacted at their homes and so are completely anonymous, show a higher LGB figure, usually around 5 percent.)

    A quiet note: The most widely accepted, peer-reviewed studies/estimates of the gay/lesbian population put the population at 3-4%, a number that is constant regardless of country/culture. Polling exit data does not measure population percentage, but percentage of voters. The disparity, about a percent, suggests that gays/lesbians vote at a higher rate than the general population, but that is all it suggests.

    Reply

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