Australian LGBTIQA+ Census Inclusion Campaign

Update:  Just.Equal presented this community statement to the Parliament. The ABS has since committed to counting LGBTIQA+ people in the Census.


The 2021 Census excluded LGBTIQA+ people. This will perpetuate the invisibility of a significant part of the population.

The addition of three simple questions will solve that, allowing problems like stigma, discrimination and lack of services to be better addressed.

Organisations can add their support and individuals can sign this Declaration which we will present to the Government, the Opposition, Parliament and the Australian Bureau of Statistics before Census Day:

We the undersigned call on the federal government to commit to an inclusive Census in 2026.

In the 2026 Census we want to see 

  • A separate question on sexual orientation
  • A separate question on gender identity
  • A separate question on variations of sex characteristics

Our reasons for this are outlined here:

The Australian Census occurs every five years and provides crucial information about the makeup of the population that helps inform how and where services are delivered to the Australian population. No Census has ever asked Australians questions on sexual orientation or variations of sex characteristics or whether they are trans or gender diverse.

Research shows that LGBTIQA+ Australians experience worse social and economic outcomes than other Australians, with members of these communities reporting difficulties in accessing health, employment and other services because of stigma and discrimination.

The 2021 Census was an opportunity to recognise and understand this population for the first time in order for state, territory and federal governments to better meet their needs. This has already occurred in comparable countries like Canada and the UK to the benefit of LGBTIQA+ people, their families and communities.

But the Federal Government decided the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which runs the Census, would not include questions that have been requested by a range of LGBTIQA+ organisations, and that meet the ABS’s own guidelines on the recognition of sex and gender. These questions would have told us the number of LGBTIQA+ Australians, where they live and what their needs are.

Instead, the ABS only included under ‘sex’ an option to also nominate ‘non-binary sex’. The question will not recognise Australians of diverse sexual orientations or sex characteristics and it cannot meaningfully be answered by the many trans and gender diverse people who do not identify as non-binary. It will therefore not produce any meaningful or valid data about the LGBTIQ+ population.

There is also a risk that, because it is likely only a small number of people will answer the question, the results will be used against the trans and gender diverse population by opponents who will cite the small number of responses to justify continuing discrimination against, and underinvestment in services for, this population.

We are also concerned that the Census in its current form renders many lesbian, gay and bisexual Australians invisible. Currently, the Census allows Australians to indicate if they are in a cohabiting same-sex relationship. However, this does not count same-sex attracted Australians who are not in a relationship, not in a cohabiting relationship, and not in a same-sex relationship. While gathering data on same-sex relationships is useful, it is not a surrogate for gathering data on all LGB Australians.

We condemn the 2021 Census for continuing to render LGBTIQA+ Australians invisible and to making it harder to address the stigma, discrimination and lack of services we experience.

We call on the Federal Government to commit to following its own guidelines on recognition of sex and gender by including in the 2026 Census the best practice questions already developed in consultation with the LGBTIQ+ community.

Organisations can join us, The Body Shop, Bi Alliance, Working It Out, Transgender Victoria, Equality Tasmania, PFLAG Capital Region, Queensland Council of LGBT
I Health, ATSAQ & A Gender Agenda, and add their support by emailing us and providing their logo at [email protected]

Individuals can show their support by joining this declaration:

Who's signing

Lloyd Donnelly
A Hoy
Terence Lustig
Liane Tooth
Ross Forbes-Stephen
Fox Smith
Sandra Yates
Shanna Murphy
Tiffany Henderson
Ian Stavert
Katrina Black
Rebecca Dominguez
Philippa Moss
Patricia Moebus
Reagan Graneri
Wayne Penn
David Cundy
Patricia Collins
Scott Campbell
Royce Fox
Deviani Segal
Jeffrey Whitehead
Sweis Meijers
Tony Romanelli
Beth Delbridge
Terence Connolly
Stacey Cross
Naomi Fillmore
Duncan Matthews
Kieran Moran
732 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Lloyd Donnelly
    signed 2022-12-20 10:07:33 +1100
  • A Hoy
    signed 2022-12-20 10:06:54 +1100
  • Terence Lustig
    signed 2022-12-20 09:59:26 +1100
  • Liane Tooth
    signed 2022-12-20 09:47:27 +1100
  • Ross Forbes-Stephen
    signed 2022-12-20 09:34:09 +1100
  • Fox Smith
    signed 2022-12-20 09:27:26 +1100
  • Sandra Yates
    signed 2022-12-20 09:25:39 +1100
  • Shanna Murphy
    signed 2022-12-20 09:24:37 +1100
  • Tiffany Henderson
    signed 2022-12-20 09:22:09 +1100
  • Ian Stavert
    signed 2022-12-20 09:13:17 +1100
  • Katrina Black
    signed via 2022-12-20 09:06:15 +1100
  • Rebecca Dominguez
    signed 2022-12-20 09:00:26 +1100
  • Philippa Moss
    signed 2022-12-20 08:57:09 +1100
  • Patricia Moebus
    signed 2022-12-20 08:28:13 +1100
  • Reagan Graneri
    signed 2022-12-20 08:24:47 +1100
  • Wayne Penn
    signed 2022-12-20 08:23:11 +1100
  • David Cundy
    signed 2022-12-20 08:20:08 +1100
  • Patricia Collins
    signed 2022-12-20 08:19:43 +1100
  • Scott Campbell
    signed via 2022-12-20 07:57:59 +1100
  • Royce Fox
    signed 2022-12-20 07:55:14 +1100
  • Deviani Segal
    signed 2022-12-20 07:52:16 +1100
  • Jeffrey Whitehead
    signed 2022-12-20 07:39:46 +1100
  • Sweis Meijers
    signed 2022-12-20 07:34:16 +1100
  • Tony Romanelli
    signed 2022-12-20 07:16:07 +1100
  • Beth Delbridge
    signed via 2022-12-20 07:13:31 +1100
  • Terence Connolly
    signed 2022-12-20 07:12:23 +1100
  • Stacey Cross
    signed 2022-12-20 07:10:27 +1100
  • Naomi Fillmore
    signed 2022-12-20 07:05:43 +1100
  • Duncan Matthews
    signed 2022-12-20 07:00:45 +1100
  • Kieran Moran
    signed 2022-12-20 06:55:59 +1100

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