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

Ms Gabriella
John Frame
John Geasley
diana de vargas
adam tanazefti
Amber Johnston
Sebastian Strange
Shannaka Houghton
Jo O'Callaghan
Claudia Louis
Clare O'Hanlon
P R K
Alex Foley
Maia Cook
David Perez
Cathryn Restifo
Samantha Whitehead
Stephen Dann
Kim Johnston
Yvonne Samuel
Caitlin Green
Jodi Lancaster
Yvonne Ware
Alex Darlington
Monique Vanderham
Sbannon McKeogh
J Dalziel
David Clark
Sam Woollams
Kirsten Adams
1,853 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Ms Gabriella
    signed 2021-08-09 00:34:55 +1000
  • John Frame
    signed 2021-08-08 23:29:26 +1000
  • John Geasley
    signed 2021-08-08 21:56:06 +1000
  • diana de vargas
    signed 2021-08-08 21:09:37 +1000
  • adam tanazefti
    signed via 2021-08-08 20:40:42 +1000
  • Amber Johnston
    signed via 2021-08-08 19:09:17 +1000
  • Sebastian Strange
    signed 2021-08-08 18:51:05 +1000
  • Shannaka Houghton
    signed 2021-08-08 18:07:55 +1000
  • Jo O'Callaghan
    signed 2021-08-08 18:04:35 +1000
  • Claudia Louis
    signed 2021-08-08 15:45:19 +1000
  • Clare O'Hanlon
    signed 2021-08-08 13:21:42 +1000
  • P R K
    signed 2021-08-08 11:41:46 +1000
  • Alex Foley
    signed via 2021-08-08 11:08:30 +1000
  • Maia Cook
    signed via 2021-08-08 08:19:21 +1000
  • David Perez
    signed via 2021-08-07 23:45:25 +1000
  • Cathryn Restifo
    signed via 2021-08-07 23:22:57 +1000
  • Samantha Whitehead
    signed via 2021-08-07 22:15:30 +1000
  • Stephen Dann
    signed 2021-08-07 21:54:49 +1000
  • Kim Johnston
    signed 2021-08-07 21:23:56 +1000
  • Yvonne Samuel
    signed via 2021-08-07 20:37:06 +1000
  • Caitlin Green
    signed via 2021-08-07 20:36:18 +1000
  • Jodi Lancaster
    signed via 2021-08-07 18:45:15 +1000
  • Yvonne Ware
    signed 2021-08-07 17:44:53 +1000
  • Alex Darlington
    signed via 2021-08-07 17:35:43 +1000
  • Monique Vanderham
    signed via 2021-08-07 16:21:00 +1000
  • Sbannon McKeogh
    signed 2021-08-07 16:11:04 +1000
  • J Dalziel
    signed via 2021-08-07 15:56:36 +1000
  • David Clark
    signed via 2021-08-07 15:35:44 +1000
  • Sam Woollams
    signed via 2021-08-07 14:47:43 +1000
  • Kirsten Adams
    signed via 2021-08-07 12:59:39 +1000

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