House votes to ask for gender identity, sexual orientation on Census

The bill had 128 Democrat co-sponsors and passed 220-201
LGBT couple holds hands, Uruguay, Sept. 29, 2018

House Democrats on Thursday celebrated the passage of the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act, which will ask Americans to declare their gender identity and sexual orientation on federal surveys, such as the Census.

The bill, which has 128 Democratic co-sponsors, passed 220-201, according to the House Press Gallery.

"For our government to work equitably, the data we use to make decisions needs to include LGBTQI+ Americans," Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) tweeted after the bill passed. "Proud to help pass the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act today, which will ensure federal surveys include LGBTQI+ experiences and demographics."

New York Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones, one of the first openly gay black congressmen, said, "For decades, the federal government has knowingly ignored our community—undercounting us and overlooking us. This has been a choice—a choice that the House finally had the courage to correct. So proud to preside over passage of the LGBTQI+ Data Protection Act tonight."

The Census Bureau began collecting gender identity and sexual orientation information in its July 2021 House Pulse Survey.

Last week, the Census revealed through its House Pulse Survey that LGBT adults report roughly twice the number of mental health challenges as cis-heterosexual American adults.