Arizona Democratic congressman Raúl Grijalva announced a bipartisan bill to require that federal surveys such as the Census include data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity to strengthen the LGBT community's access to resources and legislation.
The LGBT Data Inclusion Act would ensure that LGBT individuals have a mechanism to confidentially provide data and information on them and their households in surveys put out by the federal government.
"Public officials draft and implement policies impacting the lives of everyone living in the United States," said Rep. Grijalva in a statement. "It is vital that they have robust information about the diverse communities within our populace, including the LGBT community."
In late April Rep. Grijalva had sent a letter to Census Director John Thompson advocating for more questions pertinent to U.S. LGBT populations, saying the information would "directly influence policy" and the "allocation of federal funds."
"Our lack of sound data about the LGBT community means we are ill-prepared to detect and address threats facing LGBT individuals and the community at large," Grijalva wrote to the Census. "The Census Bureau has been a leader in addressing the needs of the LGBT community by improving the way relationship status is assessed and how the notion of a family is configured."
The bipartisan bill has 68 original cosponsors including Latino Democrats Ruben Gallego (D-TX), Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), José A. Serrano (D-NY), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) and Filemón Vela (D-TX).
New York Republican congressman Richard Hanna is also a co-sponsor.