July 18, 2017

Cortez Masto Cosponsors LGBT Data Inclusion Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today cosponsored a bicameral legislation led by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), requiring federal surveys to include data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity. 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, removing  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.  

“Federal surveys allow us to better understand the communities we serve, and the LGBT community is no exception,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Because the LGBT community faces unique housing and employment challenges due to ongoing discrimination, this legislation will ensure the LGBT community is accounted for in our federal programs while helping us make more informed decisions to better serve all of our constituents. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and correct outdated practices so that we can work to become more inclusive and achieve full equality.”

Senators 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-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also cosponsored the legislation.

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