Federal Evidence Agenda on LGBTQI+ Equity

Contributed by White House Office of Public Engagement

The Biden-Harris Administration has released the first-ever Federal Evidence Agenda on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Equity, a roadmap that federal agencies will use to ensure they are collecting the data and evidence they need to improve the lives of LGBTQI+ Americans. This Evidence Agenda delivers on a commitment made by President Biden in a June 2022 Executive Order on LGBTQI+ equality, and is an important step forward in the Administration’s work to expand the federal collection of data about sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics (“SOGI data”), and advance equity for LGTBQI+ Americans.

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The Biden Administration has made important progress to advance full inclusion and equal protection for LGBTQI+ Americans. However, the effectiveness of this work has been limited by incomplete information on the number of LGBTQI+ people in the United States, their experiences engaging with federal agencies, and the disparities they face in their daily lives. The Evidence Agenda released today highlights the opportunities to advance LGBTQI+ equity that increased federal data collection and evidence building would create, and provides a roadmap to guide these efforts. Grounded in evidence, the agenda builds on and continues work taking place across federal agencies and integrates knowledge and expertise from numerous community leaders and technical experts both inside and outside the U.S. government.

The Evidence Agenda includes:

  • An overview of the priority evidence gaps the Biden-Harris Administration has identified where increased SOGI data collection will support more evidence-informed programs and policies;
  • Specific questions that agencies will consider as they seek to build and use evidence to improve the health and well-being of LGBTQI+ people; and
  • Important guidelines for collecting SOGI data on forms, such as benefits applications, including the safeguards agencies might use to enable robust SOGI data collection while protecting individual privacy, security, and civil rights.

The Evidence Agenda builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic progress to advance LGBTQI+ data equity, including:

  • Securing $10 million for 2023 in the bipartisan government funding bill to research adding questions about LGBTQI+ Americans to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, a vital statistical tool, to illuminate disparities LGBTQI+ people continue to face;
  • Releasing one of the largest LGBTQI+ inclusive federal household surveys through the Census Bureau’s Pulse Survey, which provided vital and timely data about the higher rates of economic, housing, and food insecurity that LGBTQI+ households faced during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Releasing a comprehensive consensus study from the Department of Health and Human Services on measuring sexual orientation and gender identity data to inform research on how to best serve LGBTQI+ Americans; and
  • Improving the ability of all Americans to accurately provide personal gender identity information on federal forms, including by offering passports with “X” gender markers for the first time, and removing onerous requirements for updating gender information with the Social Security Administration.
Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine - Issue 43

This article was originally published in the 2023 Winter Issue of Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine, and can be read in its original format here.