Sexuality and gender identity info to be taken out of next census

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced the 2021 census will not include any questions about people’s sexuality and gender identity, a move which has drawn criticism for health organisations and LGBTI rights advocacy groups.

A question about whether people are male, female, or non-binary is still under consideration for the census, but the announcement that consideration of information about sexuality and gender identity has drawn a negative response.

Anna Brown, (pictured) the CEO of Equality Australia has criticised the move.

“It is absolutely vital for us to be counted if we are to have the diverse needs of the LGBTIQ community adequately addressed in government policy and programs.” Brown told The Guardian.

“We all know about the mental health and well-being disparities for LGBTIQ Australians,” Brown said. “We need a clearer understanding of the demographics of our communities so we can ensure that funding whether for healthcare, or social services, is directed to where it is most needed.”

Labor’s Shadow Assistant Treasurer said the LGBTI communities had been ignored in health planning for too long and called on the government to include questions about sexuality and gender.

The previous census was the first to give people an option to record if they were transgender, but the information gained has been described as being not reliable.

Despite the Australian Bureau of Statistics releasing the information with a statement saying it was likely to be highly inaccurate, the statistics have been used by critics of transgender people to argue that there are few gender diverse and transgender people in Australia.

OIP Staff