Donald Trump's administration torpedoed a push by congressional Democrats on Tuesday to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on the nation's 2020 census—presumably because Republicans didn't really want to hear about all that stuff anyway.
As The Washington Times reports, “sexual orientation and gender identity” were included as new additions to a list of topics released by the Census Bureau this morning. Hours later, an updated list did not include those topics.
In a statement, the bureau said that including the topics was a mistake.
"The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix,” the statement said. “The report has been corrected.”
According to The Washington Blade, an LGBT community newspaper in DC, neither the census nor the American Community Survey have ever included questions about participants' sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Times points out that two other surveys–the National Health Interview Survey and the Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey–do ask about sexual orientation, but census data currently only provides an incomplete snapshot of both the size of the LGBTQ community and same-sex households.
Democrats, led by Arizona Rep. Rep. Raul Grijalva, had pushed for including the questions to better inform federal policies that affect the LGBTQ community.
"To go uncounted is to be unseen in the eyes of policymakers, which is why we must develop a credible and confidential understanding of these vulnerable populations we currently know too little about," Grijalva said in a statement when he announced legislation to collect new information last spring.