Australian LGBTIQA+ Community Census Declaration


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

Jazmin Poyser
Cade Smith
Pia Fucile
Amy Blain
Melinda Kelly
Davina Peters
Ryan Griffin
Montanna Hoyes
Chad Ward
Samantha Garden
Laura Ritchie
Adelaide Webster
Natalie Archbold
Ilaria O’Brien
Jordan Bear
Jasper Filshie
Mia Falstein-Rush
Cynthia Paheerathan
Daryl Maunder
Jacqui Carter
Katie Garman
Nina Ashfield-Crook
Clare MacDonald
Al Ohlsen
Charles Xu
Bethia Lord
Iain Wilson
Sarah Rickard
Nicole Johnstone
Kristy Mounsher
1,859 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Jazmin Poyser
    signed via 2021-08-04 09:12:27 +1000
  • Cade Smith
    signed 2021-08-04 08:53:29 +1000
  • Pia Fucile
    signed via 2021-08-04 08:27:58 +1000
  • Amy Blain
    signed 2021-08-04 08:05:18 +1000
  • Melinda Kelly
    signed via 2021-08-04 07:59:57 +1000
  • Davina Peters
    signed 2021-08-04 07:41:21 +1000
  • Ryan Griffin
    signed via 2021-08-04 07:24:54 +1000
  • Montanna Hoyes
    signed 2021-08-04 07:23:26 +1000
  • Chad Ward
    signed via 2021-08-04 07:12:11 +1000
  • Samantha Garden
    signed via 2021-08-04 06:53:29 +1000
  • Laura Ritchie
    signed via 2021-08-04 06:52:47 +1000
  • Adelaide Webster
    signed via 2021-08-04 06:23:31 +1000
  • Natalie Archbold
    signed 2021-08-04 05:04:51 +1000
  • Ilaria O’Brien
    signed via 2021-08-04 03:10:23 +1000
  • Jordan Bear
    signed 2021-08-04 02:39:54 +1000
  • Jasper Filshie
    signed via 2021-08-03 23:26:23 +1000
  • Mia Falstein-Rush
    signed 2021-08-03 23:25:14 +1000
  • Cynthia Paheerathan
    signed via 2021-08-03 23:24:58 +1000
  • Daryl Maunder
    signed 2021-08-03 23:22:04 +1000
  • Jacqui Carter
    signed 2021-08-03 23:19:06 +1000
  • Katie Garman
    signed via 2021-08-03 23:08:32 +1000
  • Nina Ashfield-Crook
    signed 2021-08-03 22:54:03 +1000
  • Clare MacDonald
    signed 2021-08-03 22:46:12 +1000
  • Al Ohlsen
    signed via 2021-08-03 22:45:26 +1000
  • Charles Xu
    signed via 2021-08-03 22:42:48 +1000
  • Bethia Lord
    signed 2021-08-03 22:38:47 +1000
  • Iain Wilson
    signed via 2021-08-03 22:23:30 +1000
  • Sarah Rickard
    signed 2021-08-03 22:19:13 +1000
  • Nicole Johnstone
    signed via 2021-08-03 22:15:04 +1000
  • Kristy Mounsher
    signed 2021-08-03 22:13:31 +1000

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