News release from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
WASHINGTON, April 1 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force urges lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to fill out their census forms today on National Census Day, a target date for households to mail back their completed census forms before April 12. The Task Force was instrumental in making sure that this year’s census counts married same-sex couples.
The Task Force also launched the Queer the Census campaign, which has garnered widespread public and media attention. The campaign is designed to ensure that LGBT people are accurately counted in the next census. The campaign asks individuals to place a sticker on the back of the census envelope that asks the U.S. Census Bureau to count us all. To date, more than 100,000 stickers have been ordered from people throughout the United States and the territories.
Tens of thousands have also signed the Task Force’s petition to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and to the U.S. Census Bureau to make sure that LGBT people are counted in the next census and other federal surveys. In addition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper is participating at a congressional briefing today where she is discussing Queer the Census and ways to ensure LGBT people and households are counted.
Statement by Darlene Nipper, Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
“We pushed hard to make it possible for married same-sex couples to be counted in the 2010 census. While that’s an important victory, the census still doesn’t count all of us. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are essentially rendered invisible in the survey that is supposed to reflect the diversity of America’s population — and that’s a big problem. When LGBT people aren’t counted, we also don’t count when it comes to services, resources and programs. Census data is the basis for how the government spends more than $400 billion each year. This data affects everything from local school board funding to health programs to federal policy; without an accurate count of the LGBT community, we lose out on funding for real, everyday services and we largely remain invisible in the eyes of the government.
“That’s why we launched the Queer the Census campaign, to demand that the next U.S. census includes a question that asks if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The data collected affects issues critical to everyone — like our health care, our economic stability and even our safety. Tens of thousands of people are queering the census and telling the federal government that it’s time to count us all.”