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Baldwin, Grijalva Lead Bill to Include LGBTQ+ Community in Federal Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during Pride Month, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Raúl M. Grijalva reintroduced the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act in both the U.S. House and Senate. The bill would require federal surveys to include data collection on sexual orientation, gender identity, and variations in sex characteristics on a voluntary basis and ensure that lawmakers and federal agencies have the comprehensive data they need to address LGBTQ+ issues.

“Pride is a time to reflect on the progress we’ve made and recommit ourselves to the fight to protect the freedoms and civil rights of every American. As we see ongoing attacks on the LGBTQ+ community across the country, it is more important than ever that we protect our neighbors, friends, and family members. And to do that effectively, we need to better understand the size and experiences of members of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Senator Baldwin. “The LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act will help policymakers and leaders understand the full extent of the discrimination our LGBTQ+ community faces and how to better serve our constituents as we work toward fairness, freedom, and full equality.”

“As we celebrate Pride Month, it’s critical we close the data gap that too often invalidates LGBTQI+ lives,” said Representative Grijalva. “Our LGBTQI+ community deserves to be visible and counted so public policy can better reflect their needs. By including voluntary and confidential questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, and variations in sex characteristics in federal surveys, we can ensure that lawmakers have the robust data they need to craft policies that remedy the disparities faced by LGBTQI+ individuals in housing, health, education, employment, and more.”

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine published a report detailing the need for comprehensive and robust data for the LGBTQI+ community. The legislation has the support from more than 65 civil rights, public health and scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, Center for American Progress, Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project, and Whitman-Walker Institute.

“Comprehensive, meaningful data is foundational when it comes to making policy decisions. That’s why the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act is so important. Without detailed, comprehensive information about the LGBTQI+ community, policy makers and the public lack the information necessary to ensure that solutions are equitable,” said David Stacy, Vice President for Government Affairs at the Human Rights Campaign. “More than 100 federal agencies collect data on a whole host of characteristics, so the implementation of this legislation will not be onerous. This is merely a matter of ensuring that LGBTQI+ people are counted. Thank you to Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) for their leadership on this important legislation.”

“The LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act would meaningfully strengthen the federal government’s ability to collect quality demographic data on LGBTQI+ populations. Doing so is essential to shed light on the experiences, needs, and diversity of LGBTQI+ people across the country. Collecting this information will provide a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the challenges that LGBTQI+ communities face and support the development of effective policy solutions to address disparities and advance equity,” said Kellan Baker, Executive Director of the Whitman-Walker Institute.

“By reintroducing the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act, Sen. Baldwin and Rep. Grijalva have demonstrated their commitments to bringing greater visibility to the experiences and diversity of LGBTQI+ communities. CAP has long pushed for comprehensive, LGBTQI+-inclusive data collection, which will help researchers, policymakers, service providers, and advocates better understand the needs of this growing segment of the U.S. population; identify disparate outcomes; and craft responsive policy solutions that address systemic issues and discriminatory practices,” said Rachael Frumin Eisenberg, Interim Managing Director of Rights and Justice at the Center for American Progress. “Without this bill, LGBTQI+ Americans will continue to be overlooked by federal surveys. This would leave policymakers blind to the needs of the community, and threaten the health of LGBTQI+ people across the nation. We applaud Sen. Baldwin and Rep. Raul Grijalva for championing the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act. Now, we urge Congress to swiftly pass this historic legislation.”

“LGBTQ young people have the right to be counted, just like everyone else in this country. Our current dearth of government-sanctioned data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity severely limits our ability to understand the unique needs and experiences of this community,” said Kasey Suffredini (he/him), Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project.The LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act can help fill this gap in federal data collection, and offers a giant and necessary step toward equipping our nation’s leaders with the robust information they need to address the issues LGBTQ young people face, and to help them lead the happy, healthy lives they deserve.”

Senator Baldwin was joined in introducing this legislation in the Senate by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Alex Padilla (D-CA), John Fetterman (D-PA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

A one-pager on this legislation can be found here. Full text of the legislation can be found here.