Australian LGBTIQA+ Community Census Declaration

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The 2021 Census will exclude 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 make 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, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, Bi Alliance, Working It Out, Meridian ACT, 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

Hayden McLean
Cameron Beer
John Kilkenny
Eliza Zanuso
Chloe Pelling
Stephanie Parry
Adam Campbell
Cloé Sophia
Nataly Bovopoulos
finley batten
Kirilly Short
Samantha Batchelor
Francesca Groves
Alexander McIntosh
Simone Wood
Amy Levenberg
Wendy Bennett
Amelia Vanderniet
Cleo Venner
Alethea Trigg
Juliet Hanafie
Grace Beattie
Nina Peheim
Sian Dart
Gina Lawrie
Barb Kelly
Chantelle Mcgrath
Macayla Carlow
Rachel Lane
Julian Tan
1,855 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Hayden McLean
    signed 2021-10-14 19:15:24 +1100
  • Cameron Beer
    signed 2021-10-02 16:53:55 +1000
  • John Kilkenny
    signed via 2021-08-29 11:11:25 +1000
  • Eliza Zanuso
    signed 2021-08-28 13:18:10 +1000
  • Chloe Pelling
    signed 2021-08-25 09:08:49 +1000
  • Stephanie Parry
    signed via 2021-08-20 18:50:34 +1000
  • Adam Campbell
    signed via 2021-08-20 09:57:31 +1000
  • Cloé Sophia
    signed 2021-08-18 20:49:20 +1000
  • Nataly Bovopoulos
    signed 2021-08-18 08:52:19 +1000
  • finley batten
    signed via 2021-08-17 00:44:26 +1000
  • Kirilly Short
    signed 2021-08-16 23:36:32 +1000
  • Samantha Batchelor
    signed 2021-08-16 20:10:33 +1000
  • Francesca Groves
    signed 2021-08-16 09:36:10 +1000
  • Alexander McIntosh
    signed 2021-08-16 02:59:18 +1000
  • Simone Wood
    signed 2021-08-15 13:35:47 +1000
  • Amy Levenberg
    signed 2021-08-14 17:07:05 +1000
  • Wendy Bennett
    signed 2021-08-14 13:33:35 +1000
  • Amelia Vanderniet
    signed via 2021-08-14 09:28:52 +1000
  • Cleo Venner
    signed 2021-08-13 22:36:59 +1000
  • Alethea Trigg
    signed 2021-08-13 22:28:17 +1000
  • Juliet Hanafie
    signed 2021-08-13 21:47:59 +1000
  • Grace Beattie
    signed 2021-08-13 15:40:15 +1000
  • Nina Peheim
    signed via 2021-08-13 08:06:22 +1000
  • Sian Dart
    signed 2021-08-12 20:46:19 +1000
  • Gina Lawrie
    signed via 2021-08-12 20:11:58 +1000
  • Barb Kelly
    signed 2021-08-12 20:11:50 +1000
  • Chantelle Mcgrath
    signed via 2021-08-12 17:13:12 +1000
  • Macayla Carlow
    signed via 2021-08-12 17:07:16 +1000
  • Rachel Lane
    signed via 2021-08-12 16:58:09 +1000
  • Julian Tan
    signed 2021-08-12 16:23:09 +1000

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