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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

MacArthur leads bipartisan letter urging Census Bureau to include LGBT data in census

November 9, 2017
Press Release


Washington D.C. – Congressman MacArthur today urged the Director of the Census Bureau to provide their reasoning for not including demographic questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in the upcoming census and to reconsider that decision.

On March 28, 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau notified Congress what subjects it planned to include in the upcoming surveys. These subjects included the familiar topics: gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship, and homeownership status. Absent from this list of important demographic subjects are sexual orientation and gender identity.

MacArthur was joined by Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Annie Kuster (D-NH), Charles Dent (R-PA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), John Katko (R-NY), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Donald Beyer (D-VA) in this request.

Garden State Equality and American Unity Fund have both expressed support for this letter. “It seems almost too obvious that LGBT data should be included in the census,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “Our community is heavily affected by the policies and programs that go through Congress, and it is unethical for these decisions to be made without knowing the size of sexual orientation and gender identity related demographics. In short, we don’t count unless we are counted. We encourage this push for LGBT inclusion and commend Congressman MacArthur and his fellow representatives for helping to create a more equal nation.”

“As Members of Congress work to improve the lives of their constituents, it’s critical that we have the most accurate data available about our country’s makeup,” said Congressman MacArthur. “Unfortunately, we still don’t have any official data on the size of the American LGBT community. I urge the Census Bureau to include this data in their next census so that Representatives will have a better understanding of how laws and programs will impact LGBT Americans.”

“I’m proud to co-lead this bipartisan letter urging the Census Bureau to include sexual orientation and gender identity as subjects in the 2020 Census and American Community Survey,” said Congresswoman Rice. “The federal government must have accurate, inclusive data on all demographic groups to properly allocate federal resources and best serve LGBTQ Americans. This is a common-sense step that deserves bipartisan support, and I’ll continue working with Congressman MacArthur to make it happen.”


“The census is an important tool to ensure that federal, state, and local governments have accurate data when enacting public policy decisions that will impact the lives of millions of Americans,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “It’s critical that the LGBTQ community is accurately represented in the census so that lawmakers can make decision that will benefit and support all their constituents. I urge the census bureau to reverse its decision to not include sexual orientation in the data it collects in the 2020 census.”