just.equal calls on Labor to commit to LGBTIQ inclusion in 2026 census

Anthony Albaese Labor Leader

Equality advocates want a commitment from Labor to counting LGBTIQA+ Australians in the 2026 Census.

just.equal Australia has written to Labor’s shadow assistant treasurer, Stephen Jones, asking for Labor’s position and seeking a commitment to questions about sexual orientation, gender identity and variations of sex characteristics.

The national advocacy group has partnered with a number of LGBTIQA+ and allied organisations in a declaration that outlines the problems with not counting LGBTIQA+ people and the three simple questions that fix the situation.

just.equal Australia spokesperson, Dr Charlie Burton, said the coalition had made it clear they were not interested including LGBTIQA+ people in the census, so the organisation is turning to Labor to ask their position for the next census in 2026.

“The Liberal/National Government has refused to count LGBTIQA+ people in the 2021 Census so we are asking Labor to be the solution by ensuring we are counted in 2026.”

“When LGBTIQA+ people aren’t counted in the Census it is much harder to develop policies and plan services that meet our needs.”

“Keeping LGBTIQA+ people in the data closet effectively says to us and to the rest of the nation that we don’t matter.” Dr Burton said.

“Since we released our Census Declaration last week the number of organisations that have signed on has almost doubled which shows the depth of concern about this problem in the LGBTIQA+ community.”

One group that has signed the Declaration is Intersex Human Rights Australia. Senior project officer, Cody Smith, said it was essential that better information was included.

“The more information we have, the better the policy decisions we can support that improve the day to day lives of people with variations in sex characteristics. Without a complete data set, we are yet to fully understand the extent of social inequality in Australia, including economic and education outcomes.”

Dr Burton urged LGBTIQA+ people to take advantage of the feedback box at the end of the Census which asks for how it can be improved.

“If enough LGBTIQA+ people tell the Bureau of Statistics that we need to be counted, it will help create momentum for change in 2026.”

Improving data about gender and sexuality was proposed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, but the question was not accepted by the government. Data about the number of transgender people in Australia collected in the previous census has been labelled as “unreliable” by the ABS but it is regularly used by conservative commentators in the media.

The Census is held on Tuesday August 10th.

OUTinPerth has contacted Labor’s Stephen Jones and Anthony Albanese for comment.

OIP Staff

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