NGLCC Supports Move Toward LGBT Inclusion in Census

August 1, 2018

Today, NGLCC sent a letter to Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) to thank them for introducing the Census Equality Act, a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity questions to the decennial Census and American Community Survey if passed. Including questions on sexual orientation and gender identity are critical to ensuring that the LGBT economic community is seen and counted.

NGLCC thanks Senator Harris and Senator Carper for introducing this bill and urges all members of Congress to lend their support to this important initiative. 

The entire letter to Senator Harris and Senator Carper from NGLCC can be read below:

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The Honorable Kamala Harris
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Tom Carper
513 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Harris and Carper,

We are writing today on behalf of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of America’s LGBT community, with gratitude for introducing the Census Equality Act, adding sexual orientation and gender identity questions to the decennial Census and American Community Survey (ACS).  

LGBT demographic data by way of the Census is vital in demonstrating that LGBT Americans truly do live and work everywhere, permeate all communities and contribute tremendously to the American economy.  With a correct accounting of America’s LGBT populations, funds and resources to help our communities better access health care, education, small business services and other essential programs can be made readily available to us, especially in localities where LGBT discrimination has forced too many to remain hidden and unable to achieve their full potential.  Continued exclusion from the Census is an attempt to further erase the contributions of America’s thriving LGBT communities and leaves other diverse communities worrying if they may be next in line to be erased from public records.

As one of our NGLCC Certified LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) owners recently said, “Visibility creates awareness. Awareness leads to acceptance. And widespread acceptance ends discrimination. You can’t change hearts, minds, and attitudes if you are invisible.” Because of decades of historic underrepresentation and misconceptions about the LGBT community’s economic impact, NGLCC commissioned the groundbreaking "America’s LGBT Economy" report.  In it, we proved that LGBT-owned businesses in the U.S. add at least $1.7 trillion to the American economy and have created tens of thousands of good-paying jobs from coast to coast.

Simply put: if LGBT Americans are adding so greatly to our GDP every year, how can we possibly justify our government using those very tax dollars to jeopardize their safety and livelihood by attempting to ignore their existence in the Census? Our communities thank you for your support in helping ensure we are counted and respected. Among the tools we have to fight discrimination and defend American ideals is economics-- and nothing is more essential to a strong economy than an accurate count of those who make it thrive.  

Warm Regards,

Justin G. Nelson   
Co-Founder & President 

Chance E. Mitchell
Co-Founder & CEO