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Trump is ‘trying to erase’ us: Gay activists furious that 2020 Census won’t ask about LGBT

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 4, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Gay activists say the Trump administration is trying to "erase" them.

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released a list of categories for 2020 that included an appendix with LGBTQ self-designated status for future consideration. But it was an "inadvertent" mistake, the bureau announced, because it's too late to include a new category for the next census. Such changes take years to work out properly and no census has ever asked a citizen's perceived LGBTQ status.

The bureau gave this official explanation: "The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey (ACS) report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix. This topic is not being proposed to Congress for the 2020 Census or American Community Survey. The report has been corrected."

A U.S. census is taken every 10 years according to Constitutional law. Three years before the census is conducted, the U.S. Census Bureau must issue its list of categories to track data. Through the centuries, the census has become more elaborate to give the government more data on race, ancestry, education, health, and housing to make policy. But in recent decades, attempts have been made to "streamline" the census and make it less cumbersome. 

Immediately, homosexual organizations cried foul.

Meghan Maury of the National LGBTQ Task Force accused the Trump administration of trying “to deny LGBTQ people freedom, justice, and equity.” Sarah Kate Ellis of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) accused the Trump administration of a systematic effort to "erase the LGBTQ community."

Ellis claimed the mistake was an intentional scheme against homosexuals because "visibility has always been one of the LGBTQ community’s greatest strengths.” She noted the Trump administration removed gay-related content from the White House website in January, and has more recently taken LGBTQ questions out of two surveys.

The LGBTQ Task Force is demanding a Congressional oversight hearing.  

Fox News noted irony in the gay outrage. "Not so long ago, the LGBT community probably would have seen such inquiries as an invasion of privacy."

LGBTQ advocate Dr. Gary J. Gates sought to temper gay anger against the Trump administration. He explained in a tweet, "Lots of inaccurate news about U.S. Census #LGBT inclusion. There were never plans for LGBT questions in (the) 2020 Census/ACS." In another tweet, Gates wrote that the "proposal was just to consider questions for (the) future. No decisions were made and way too late to add new sexual orientation/gender identity items to 2020 surveys."

Reason.com's Scott Shackford, a homosexual, called the gay backlash "fake outrage." He says the ulterior motive of gays is government welfare and other federal dole subsidies.  

"This week’s fake outrage confuses welfare spending with equal government protection and blames Trump," Shackford wrote, claiming that the dispute is "less about gay and transgender rights and more about organizations who want a slice of the great federal spending pie."

Maury had argued that without the LGBTQ census questions the government can't "ensure we're getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need."

Shackford considers Maury's argument disingenuous. "There is a deliberately misplaced outrage here that wants to trick LGBT people into thinking that their rights and equal protection under the law is dependent on whether the federal government knows that they're gay or transgender," he wrote.  

"What does demographic inclusion in a study have to do with whether LGBT people are treated equally under the law? Nothing,” Shackford continued. “Rights and freedoms are not based on head counts or a demographic analysis of where people live."

"This isn't about rights. It's about money," Shackford charged. "This is about organizations and activists who are hoping to use this demographic data to get a bigger slice of federal funding."

Shackford explained that a lot of federal tax dollars are distributed based on census data. "This is a clear attempt to try to use demographic-based funding as a replacement for funding mechanisms based on actual customer bases," he wrote.

He used himself as an illustration. Shackford makes enough money not to receive welfare, but if on the census "welfare or health services could include me demographically as a potential customer, then they could lobby for more money," he explained. "That I might never set foot in these places is not relevant."

"Imagine if public schools could get funding based on how many school-age children live in their district instead of actual attendance?" Shackford further illustrated. "They would care less if students even went to school."

Writing for Townhall, gay journalist Guy Benson called the homosexual outrage "absurd." "To pin this week's development on Trump is absurd. He is, without question, the most pro-gay rights Republican president in American history, having recently overruled social conservatives' objections (some of which were reasonable) in keeping Obama-era LGBTQ executive protections in place."

The 2010 census does allow citizens to identify their status as in a same-sex partnership. Other government agencies inquire about sexual orientation and gender identity in their surveys.

The director of the Census Bureau is 2013 Obama nominee John H. Thompson, who was unanimously confirmed by a Democrat-led Senate.

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