July 19, 2017

Wyden, Merkley Join Colleagues in Introducing LGBT Data Inclusion Act

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined their colleagues in introducing legislation requiring federal surveys to include data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity, which would ensure the LGBT community does not face discrimination in federal programs.

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 for 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. 

“This bill will help elected officials better represent the needs of LGBT constituents and tackle discrimination in all aspects of life, including housing, employment and the justice system,” Wyden said. “As the current administration continues to strip essential protections for LGBT Americans, Congress must work harder to ensure that all Americans are treated with equality and dignity.

“Congress must ensure that LGBTQ Americans do not experience hurdles with federal programs and ensure equality and access for every American,” said Merkley. “The door of discrimination has been slammed shut on LGBTQ Americans for far too long.”

Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Tom Carper, D-Del., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Al Franken, D-Minn., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Mazie Hirono, D-HI, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., also cosponsored the legislation.

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