Rep. Grijalva Announces Bill to Add LGBT Data in Federal Surveys

Image: ay pride flags flying outside the US Supreme Court
(FILES) In this March 27, 2013 file photo, Gay pride flags flying at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Alabama became the 37th US state to allow gay marriagesFebruary 9, 2015 after the US Supreme Court refused to take up an appeal to block them. The southern state had asked the top court to halt the unions until it rules on same-sex marriages nationwide later this year. But the Supreme Court declined to hear the state's case, and probate judges began issuing marriage licenses and officiating weddings. Two of the nine Supreme Court justices dissented from the majority's decision. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER / FILESKAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty ImagesKAREN BLEIER / AFP - Getty Images, file
By Sandra Lilley

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."

RELATED: Rep. Grijalva: More Census Information Would Help LGBTQ 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."

File photo of Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., right, a ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee during a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of the "Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act." Chairman Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. is at left.Susan Walsh / AP

"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.

Follow NBC News Latino on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.