The Australian, Australia
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people should be given voice
in national census
John Masanauskas | Herald Sun | May 01, 2013 12:01AM
GAYS, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people should be given the
chance to "come out" in the national census, the Federal Government
has been told.
Submissions to the Australian Bureau of Statistics have called for the
2016 Census to ask questions on sexual orientation and gender
The City of Darebin, which covers suburbs such as Northcote and
Preston, said the failure to collect representative data on any
population group equated to institutional discrimination.
"Failing to collect 'evidence' on the lives of (lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transexual and intersex) citizens affects policy
development, program implementation, grassroots practice and research
funding," its submission said.
Currently, people can answer only male or female, and there is no
question for sexual orientation, although couples could say they were
in a same-sex relationship in the 2011 Census.
Darebin Council said that the lack of a sexual orientation question
meant data on 11 per cent of the population was not being collected.
"Until there is no social stigma and discrimination against LGBTI
people, it is unlikely that every one of them will be prepared to
'come out' in the Australian Census," it said.
"However, it is essential that they be given the opportunity to do so."
But Monash University demographer Dr Bob Birrell said the council's
stance seemed like a political push and data was obtained by deducing
issues such as the size of the gay population.
Almost 34,000 couples identified as in same-sex relationships in the
last national Census.