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

Victoria Cleary
Jenny Bradley
Matt Croft
Charlotte Alexander
Abigail Gair
Taylor Starow
Anna O
Cristy Reid
Mia Connolly
Josef Garrington
Angela Dwyer
Mira Dib
Claudia Di Munno
Matt Roberts
Felicity Hartley
Hayley Greenhalgh
Gabriela Snead
Adrian McLean
Elly Belfort-Mattos
Dennis Edwards
Taliah Mavey
Evalyn Venture
Belinda Fenney-Walch
Julie Duong
Tess Gould
Reuben Wessob
Emma Thomas
Grace Fieldwick
Elliott Cassar
Stephanie Kadwell
732 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Victoria Cleary
    signed 2023-03-11 11:46:00 +1100
  • Jenny Bradley
    signed 2023-03-11 11:35:37 +1100
  • Matt Croft
    signed 2023-03-11 11:01:05 +1100
  • Charlotte Alexander
    signed 2023-03-11 10:28:29 +1100
  • Abigail Gair
    signed 2023-03-11 09:38:43 +1100
  • Taylor Starow
    signed 2023-03-11 08:53:47 +1100
  • Anna O
    signed 2023-03-10 10:31:45 +1100
  • Cristy Reid
    signed 2023-03-08 20:26:02 +1100
  • Mia Connolly
    signed 2023-03-08 20:24:04 +1100
  • Josef Garrington
    signed 2023-03-08 16:47:31 +1100
  • Angela Dwyer
    signed 2023-03-08 16:18:41 +1100
  • Mira Dib
    signed 2023-03-08 12:34:00 +1100
  • Claudia Di Munno
    signed 2023-03-08 12:33:04 +1100
  • Matt Roberts
    signed via 2023-03-08 09:16:22 +1100
  • Felicity Hartley
    signed 2023-03-07 17:04:19 +1100
  • Hayley Greenhalgh
    signed 2023-03-06 17:59:21 +1100
  • Gabriela Snead
    signed 2023-03-06 17:12:40 +1100
  • Adrian McLean
    signed 2023-03-06 02:13:28 +1100
  • Elly Belfort-Mattos
    signed via 2023-03-05 13:04:32 +1100
  • Dennis Edwards
    signed 2023-03-05 11:03:27 +1100
  • Taliah Mavey
    signed via 2023-03-05 10:44:13 +1100
  • Evalyn Venture
    signed 2023-03-05 08:27:56 +1100
  • Belinda Fenney-Walch
    signed 2023-03-04 18:28:27 +1100
  • Julie Duong
    signed 2023-03-04 11:33:58 +1100
  • Tess Gould
    signed via 2023-03-03 18:27:35 +1100
  • Reuben Wessob
    signed 2023-03-03 18:18:13 +1100
  • Emma Thomas
    signed via 2023-03-03 18:02:34 +1100
  • Grace Fieldwick
    signed 2023-03-03 12:04:09 +1100
  • Elliott Cassar
    signed 2023-03-02 14:49:06 +1100
  • Stephanie Kadwell
    signed 2023-03-02 10:00:19 +1100

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