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

Jennifer Audsley
Amanda Feery-Lawrence
Joshua Hartigan
Belinda Ogden
Judy Lawrence
Kerry Bevan
Danielle Scanlon
James Mchugh
Elise McLellan
Patricia Comazzetto
Jane Etherton
Valerie Vale
Yvette Crozier
Sasha Parissis
Alexandra May
Carol Gordon
Emily Gard
Luke Murphy
Norman Balke
Steven Aquilina
Sarah Rubenach
Caitlin Guy
Andrew Lemaniak
Karen Bohmer
Byron Mathioudakis
Susanne Peroni
Kylie Melrose
Timothy Fox
1,855 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Jennifer Audsley
    signed via 2021-07-31 07:31:39 +1000
  • Amanda Feery-Lawrence
    signed 2021-07-31 07:29:10 +1000
  • Justine
    signed via 2021-07-31 07:24:08 +1000
  • Joshua Hartigan
    signed 2021-07-31 07:21:56 +1000
  • Belinda Ogden
    signed 2021-07-31 07:17:51 +1000
  • Judy Lawrence
    signed 2021-07-31 07:10:23 +1000
  • Kerry Bevan
    signed 2021-07-31 07:00:00 +1000
  • Danielle Scanlon
    signed 2021-07-31 06:53:15 +1000
  • James Mchugh
    signed 2021-07-31 06:50:17 +1000
  • Elise McLellan
    signed via 2021-07-31 06:30:03 +1000
  • Patricia Comazzetto
    signed 2021-07-31 06:28:12 +1000
  • Jane Etherton
    signed 2021-07-31 04:49:14 +1000
  • Valerie Vale
    signed 2021-07-31 04:37:04 +1000
  • Yvette Crozier
    signed 2021-07-31 03:25:37 +1000
  • Sasha Parissis
    signed 2021-07-31 03:19:36 +1000
  • Alexandra May
    signed 2021-07-31 02:24:44 +1000
  • Carol Gordon
    signed 2021-07-31 02:04:18 +1000
  • Emily Gard
    signed 2021-07-31 01:30:23 +1000
  • Luke Murphy
    signed via 2021-07-31 01:25:11 +1000
  • Norman Balke
    signed 2021-07-31 01:21:49 +1000
  • Frankie
    signed 2021-07-31 00:59:38 +1000
  • Steven Aquilina
    signed 2021-07-31 00:52:05 +1000
  • Sarah Rubenach
    signed 2021-07-31 00:48:51 +1000
  • Caitlin Guy
    signed 2021-07-31 00:28:13 +1000
  • Andrew Lemaniak
    signed 2021-07-31 00:22:07 +1000
  • Karen Bohmer
    signed 2021-07-31 00:12:55 +1000
  • Byron Mathioudakis
    signed 2021-07-31 00:03:25 +1000
  • Susanne Peroni
    signed 2021-07-31 00:01:30 +1000
  • Kylie Melrose
    signed 2021-07-30 23:43:56 +1000
  • Timothy Fox
    signed 2021-07-30 23:40:05 +1000

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