National LGBTQ Task Force: Collect Census Data on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Have you ever hoped that the government would seek out to collect and store your most personal information?  If so, then you may be happy with the National LGBTQ Task Force, who released a statement condemning the Trump administration’s decision to mind their own business when it comes to your bedroom in the 2020 Census. You see, the National LGBTQ Task Force wants the government to know your sexual orientation.  Maybe we can offer up our favorite sexual positions to Uncle Sam too, to ensure our government knows everything about us and those who favor certain positions aren’t discriminated against.  

The Argument For Providing This Information 

No information is or ever has been collected on the Census for sexual orientation or gender identity.  This obviously includes the Census during the Obama administration.  Essentially, the National LGBTQ Task Force is arguing that this data should be included because it allows the government to more accurately gauge that the LGBTQ community is getting fair and adequate access to rights, protections, and services.  Meghan Maury, LGBTQ National Task Force Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director, believes the decision was a step to deny LGBTQ people freedom and justice.  How you arrive at this being a denial of freedom or justice because you aren’t asked to reveal your gender identity or sexual orientation on a government Census is unclear.  

The Argument Against Providing This Information

The irony in all of this is that adding this information to the Census would require you to answer those questions, and do so honestly, under the penalty of law.  If you aren’t ready to openly talk about your sexual orientation or gender identity, apparently the National LGBTQ Task Force wants to force you to do so anyway or face the criminal consequences.  So while gay rights groups believe President Trump is reneging on a campaign promise to protect the LGBTQ community, he’s actually protecting many in that community by not forcing them to out themselves.  

The Collection of Big Data

Big data is king in the technology era.  Everything you do is monitored, from what you purchased on Amazon to the websites you visit.  Having that level of information is an enormous responsibility and our individual rights must be carefully protected and not sold to the highest bidder.  Every moment we inch towards our government collecting more personal information is a moment we lose a slight grip of true freedom.  

  The Slippery Slope Effect

If we force Americans to provide information on sexual orientation and gender identity under the penalty of law, where does it end?  What will we be compelled to volunteer next?  Should we be forced to reveal our religion?  Imagine the outrage if President Trump lobbied for that.  

The Solution

I’m firmly for ensuring equal rights and protections for all Americans, including those in the LGBTQ community.  It’s important that we’re tolerant, kind, and respectful to one another.  With that being said, I believe there’s a better way to ensure we act fairly in regards to the LGBTQ community, while limiting government intrusion in our personal lives.  I’ll look for our elected leaders to make that happen.