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

Scott O’Halloran
Stacey Butcherine
Nicollette Raft
Dean Tulissio
Jules Nappa
Cate Tulett
Lars Emery
charlotte mace
elisa hall
Margo Caputa
Selena M
Peta Yaxley
Julia Metselaar
Kimberly New
Robin Roadknight
Sasha Ericsson
claire carroll
Lucas Denny
Róisín Farrell Treacy
Jay Sheridan
Taj Mace
Aeryn Mortensen
Isadora Sachs
Zara Carey
Marieta Vdm
Olivia Zogbee
Nicolás Ortega
Jessie Varde
Sophie powells
732 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Scott O’Halloran
    signed 2023-02-21 20:44:18 +1100
  • Stacey Butcherine
    signed 2023-02-21 20:42:47 +1100
  • Nicollette Raft
    signed 2023-02-21 16:37:48 +1100
  • Dean Tulissio
    signed 2023-02-20 08:56:37 +1100
  • Jules Nappa
    signed 2023-02-19 22:15:34 +1100
  • Cate Tulett
    signed via 2023-02-19 13:47:13 +1100
  • Lars Emery
    signed 2023-02-19 10:01:19 +1100
  • charlotte mace
    signed 2023-02-19 08:51:18 +1100
  • elisa hall
    signed via 2023-02-19 07:08:58 +1100
  • Margo Caputa
    signed 2023-02-19 07:03:06 +1100
  • Selena M
    signed 2023-02-18 23:58:14 +1100
  • Peta Yaxley
    signed via 2023-02-18 22:45:41 +1100
  • Julia Metselaar
    signed 2023-02-18 22:36:18 +1100
  • Kimberly New
    signed 2023-02-18 22:36:09 +1100
  • Robin Roadknight
    signed 2023-02-18 21:07:03 +1100
  • Leela
    signed 2023-02-18 21:05:19 +1100
  • Sasha Ericsson
    signed 2023-02-18 20:47:20 +1100
  • claire carroll
    signed 2023-02-18 20:46:44 +1100
  • Lucas Denny
    signed 2023-02-18 20:40:05 +1100
  • Róisín Farrell Treacy
    signed 2023-02-18 20:35:54 +1100
  • Jay Sheridan
    signed 2023-02-18 20:33:41 +1100
  • Taj Mace
    signed 2023-02-18 20:15:36 +1100
  • Aeryn Mortensen
    signed 2023-02-18 20:12:29 +1100
  • Isadora Sachs
    signed 2023-02-18 20:03:59 +1100
  • Zara Carey
    signed 2023-02-18 20:01:42 +1100
  • Marieta Vdm
    signed 2023-02-18 20:01:04 +1100
  • Olivia Zogbee
    signed 2023-02-18 20:01:03 +1100
  • Nicolás Ortega
    signed 2023-02-18 19:39:36 +1100
  • Jessie Varde
    signed 2023-02-18 19:37:34 +1100
  • Sophie powells
    signed 2023-02-18 19:36:50 +1100

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