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Trump Administration Has ‘Corrected’ 2020 Census Form by Removing Proposed Inclusion of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

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‘Yet Another Step to Deny LGBTQ People Freedom, Justice, and Equity, by Choosing to Exclude Us’

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, every 10 years the federal government conducts the U.S. Census. In addition to determining the number of people living in America, the Census determines population by race and gender. It asks questions about employment, how long it takes you to get to work. How many people live in your household. If any of them are disabled. If you have a computer and access to the internet. If a woman has had a child in the past year. How much you pay a month in rent, or the value of your home. And more.

Every federal department and agency uses these data in a wide variety of ways, all with the goal of being better able to serve the American people, tailor their focus and programs to how people actually live, and work to create a more equal nation.

Under the Obama administration, many federal agencies requested the 2020 Census include sexual orientation and gender identity. Under the Trump administration, as the National LGBTQ Task Force first noted, those were proposed subjects in the Trump Administration’s report submitted to Congress on Tuesday, and on the same day, removed.

The Task Force notes the Trump administration’s report already “conspicuously excluded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) people on the list of ‘planned subjects.'” 

The Washington Blade reports, “Trump’s U.S. Census proposes, immediately cuts LGBT survey questions.” The Blade notes the U.S. Census Bureau issued a statement “indicating the report was corrected because the initial appendix ‘inadvertently’ included LGBT categories.”

“The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix,” the statement says. “The report has been corrected.”

The Task Force does not see the latest version as corrected, however.

“Today, the Trump Administration has taken yet another step to deny LGBTQ people freedom, justice, and equity, by choosing to exclude us from the 2020 Census and American Community Survey,” says Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, in a statement.

“LGBTQ people are not counted on the Census—no data is collected on sexual orientation or gender identity. Information from these surveys helps the government to enforce federal laws like the Violence Against Women Act and the Fair Housing Act and to determine how to allocate resources like housing supports and food stamps,” Maury adds. “If the government doesn’t know how many LGBTQ people live in a community, how can it do its job to ensure we’re getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need?”

Indeed, here’s why that’s so very true.

Last year The Daily Beast’s Samantha Allen noted, “the Census Bureau could easily produce a crystal-clear figure if it asked about sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Transgender women of color face horrific levels of violence and homicide. But how many of them are there? Census data shows that 36.3 percent of all women in the country are women of color but there’s no way of knowing how many of them identify as transgender—especially when the best estimate of the trans population has doubled in the last five years.

Allen spoke with Laura Durso, senior director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress:

“When we can’t say things about who LGBT people are and what they need, we’re unable to develop public policies that serve them appropriately,” Durso told The Daily Beast. “It really kills me that we’re having these consequential policy debates and I can’t put a number on how many people are affected.”

On social media, LGBT activists and allies reacted immediately, united around the hashtag, #CantEraseUs.

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.

Image by jasleen_kaur via Flickr and a CC license 

 

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News

Trump Cabinet Secretary Set Up a $300 Million Offshore Company in the Caymans — While Still in Office

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According to a report from the HuffPost, former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was busy attending to his own financial well-being while serving under Donald Trump — raking in at least $53 million and starting up a new business in the Cayman Islands.

Ross, who was recently accused of creating “an environment of paranoia and retaliation” at Commerce, was working on the taxpayers’ dime while keeping his business deals ongoing during his tenure.

The HuffPost reports, “Ross reported making somewhere between $53 million and $127 million during his four years as head of the Commerce Department. The federal government only requires officials to report broad ranges of outside income,” before adding, “Ross’ many and profitable entanglements with private companies while he was supposed to be looking out for the American taxpayer triggered concern and criticism.”

The report goes on to note that Ross’s Commerce duties didn’t stop him from setting up a new offshore business.

“Ross is already engaged in a new enterprise, a special purpose acquisition company that reportedly attracted $300 million from investors. He established the company in the Cayman Islands in January while he was still in public office, ” the report states.

During his time in the Donald Trump’s cabinet, Ross faced multiple complaints about his business dealings, with CREW accusing him “possible insider trading and other violations when he reportedly shorted Navigator stock after learning that a negative story was coming out in The New York Times about his links to the company,” among other ethical issues.

You can read more here.

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CHURCH POLITICIZING RELIGION

‘I Dare You to Deny Me Communion’: 60 Democrats Blast Bishops for Move to Punish Biden by ‘Weaponizing’ Eucharist

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They were warned.

Before their three-day meeting that culminated Friday with a vote to move toward denying America’s second Catholic President, Joe Biden, communion over his stance of supporting a woman’s right to choose an abortion, the Vatican told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to not politicize communion or other sacraments.

They did it anyway, and now powerful Democrats – and many others – are furious.

“Next time I go to Church, I dare you to deny me Communion,” U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat of California, and a Catholic, with a massive 1.6 million followers on Twitter, threatened the Bishops.

His comments were in response to Friday’s news of the USCCB’s politically-motivated decision, and in response to SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile, who asked if other Catholics will be denied communion over their “sins.” Signorile pointed to Newt Gingrich, whose history includes adultery, divorce, and re-marriage. Gingrich’s wife was President Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the Vatican.

Another California Democrat, Rep. Jared Huffman, suggested the church should lose its tax-exempt status.

Lieu and Huffman were far from the only Democratic lawmakers to speak out against the USCCB’s move toward denying communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

“We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties and best serve our constituents,” 60 House Democrats said in a three-page “Statement of Principles” letter released Friday afternoon.

“The Sacrament of Holy Communion is central to the life of practicing Catholics, and the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of abortion is contradictory.”

And they carefully noted the hypocrisy of the Bishops, who have never even suggested denying communion to Republican lawmakers who support the death penalty or engage if the separation of families at the border and caging of children.

“No elected officials have been threatened with being denied the Eucharist as they support and have supported policies contrary to the Church teachings, including supporting the death penalty, separating migrant children from their parents, denying asylum to those seeking safety in the United States, and denying rights and dignity to immigrants.”

Some other prominent House Democrats who signed on to the letter include Cheri Bustos, Joaquin Castro, Gerry Connolly, Rosa DeLauro, Debbie Dingell, Ruben Gallego, Marie Newman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jackie Speier.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

US Catholic Bishops Move Toward Denying Biden Communion in Political Decision Violating Vatican Direction

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overwhelmingly voted on Friday to move toward chastising President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, for his policies supporting and defending a woman’s right to choose an abortion. It is the first official step toward denying the U.S. President communion. Biden personally opposes abortion but believes it should be a safe, protected, and legal right, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.

The Bishops voted 168-55 to create a “teaching document,” as NBC News reports, to serve as a “rebuke” of Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion. The Roman Catholic Church opposes the move.

“The Vatican has warned conservative American bishops to hit the brakes on their push to deny communion to politicians supportive of abortion rights — including President Biden, a faithful churchgoer and the first Roman Catholic to occupy the Oval Office in 60 years,” The New York Times reported Monday, suggesting the U.S. Bishops’ move is just as much a political gesture as a religious rebuke.

“Some leading bishops, whose priorities clearly aligned with former President Donald J. Trump, now want to reassert the centrality of opposition to abortion in the Catholic faith and lay down a hard line — especially with a liberal Catholic in the Oval Office.”

The Times reports the push to go after President Biden is being led by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles (photo), the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“The focus of this proposed teaching document,” Archbishop Gomez wrote in a memo, “is on how best to help people to understand the beauty and the mystery of the Eucharist as the center of their Christian lives.”

But the Times noted the Vatican does not want “to use access to the Eucharist as a political weapon,” Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit priest and close ally of Francis, said.

Conservative American bishops were demanding “a strong rebuke of Biden,” NBC notes, “because of his recent actions protecting and expanding abortion access, while opponents warned that such action would portray the bishops as a partisan force during a time of bitter political divisions across the country.”

 

Image of USCCB President José Horacio Gómez by Prayitno via Wikimedia and a CC license

 

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