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

Jupiter Lawson
mya pockran
Ani Kemmis
Reagan Dummett
Rina Hind
Nea McCombie
Maddie corney
Ryan Georgiadis
Ace Buchanan
Madison Mulhearn
Maria Hoang
Aya Nair
Be O’Leary
Jacklyn MacNaughton
Sienna Humphrey
Ava Gill
Rachel Chillari
Jade Etienne
Ouwais Menzel
Leigh Ekers
Jasmine Yara
Oakley Shepherd
Lily-Jane Dauwalder
Hannah Strong
Jazz Canpanella
Nyx Black
Madison Maloy
Aiden Hardy
Shin Bhone Thant
Jodie Spagnolo
732 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Jupiter Lawson
    signed 2023-02-18 19:36:34 +1100
  • mya pockran
    signed 2023-02-18 19:35:53 +1100
  • Ani Kemmis
    signed 2023-02-18 19:32:08 +1100
  • Reagan Dummett
    signed 2023-02-18 19:32:07 +1100
  • Rina Hind
    signed 2023-02-18 19:24:00 +1100
  • Nea McCombie
    signed 2023-02-18 19:23:50 +1100
  • Maddie corney
    signed 2023-02-18 19:17:28 +1100
  • Ryan Georgiadis
    signed 2023-02-18 19:15:32 +1100
  • Ace Buchanan
    signed 2023-02-18 19:12:55 +1100
  • Madison Mulhearn
    signed 2023-02-18 19:09:22 +1100
  • Maria Hoang
    signed 2023-02-18 19:01:03 +1100
  • Aya Nair
    signed 2023-02-18 18:58:48 +1100
  • Be O’Leary
    signed 2023-02-18 18:51:23 +1100
  • Jacklyn MacNaughton
    signed 2023-02-18 18:50:06 +1100
  • Sienna Humphrey
    signed 2023-02-18 18:50:05 +1100
  • Ava Gill
    signed 2023-02-18 18:49:29 +1100
  • Rachel Chillari
    signed 2023-02-18 18:49:21 +1100
  • Jade Etienne
    signed 2023-02-18 18:45:26 +1100
  • Ouwais Menzel
    signed 2023-02-18 18:42:18 +1100
  • Leigh Ekers
    signed 2023-02-18 18:27:02 +1100
  • Jasmine Yara
    signed 2023-02-18 18:25:13 +1100
  • Oakley Shepherd
    signed 2023-02-18 18:22:32 +1100
  • Lily-Jane Dauwalder
    signed 2023-02-18 18:19:41 +1100
  • Hannah Strong
    signed 2023-02-18 18:08:45 +1100
  • Jazz Canpanella
    signed 2023-02-18 18:07:05 +1100
  • Nyx Black
    signed 2023-02-18 18:01:54 +1100
  • Madison Maloy
    signed 2023-02-18 18:01:41 +1100
  • Aiden Hardy
    signed 2023-02-18 18:00:35 +1100
  • Shin Bhone Thant
    signed 2023-02-18 17:55:59 +1100
  • Jodie Spagnolo
    signed via 2023-02-18 08:41:36 +1100

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