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US Census To Ask Questions On Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation For First Time

The United States Census is planning to introduce questions on gender identity and sexual orientation for the first time in its history, according to The Associated Press.

The questions will be sent to 480,000 households and can be answered online, by mail, via phone or during in-person interviews, with only half expected to respond, according to the AP. If approved, the bureau plans to include them in its annual American Community Survey and will ask respondents about their sex assigned at birth and their sexual orientation.

The first question set will ask respondents of any age to divulge whether they were assigned male or female at birth and then follow up for those who are 15 and older on the individual’s current gender identity with options including male, female, transgender, nonbinary or “This person uses a different term,” according to the AP.

The American Community Survey gathers information on “jobs and occupations, educational attainment, veterans, whether people own or rent their homes” as well as other topics, according to the bureau’s website. The bureau asked President Joe Biden’s administration in September if they could test questions on the subject after previously only asking about a person’s biological sex, according to the AP.

The second question set will focus on sexual orientation and reads “Which of the following best represents how Name thinks of themselves,” according to AP. Respondents have a list of possible answers including gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, as well as “This person uses a different term,” and a place for the individual to write their own answer.

The bureau is considering using flash cards when surveying people to protect the privacy of the respondents, according to the AP. The agency is also considering whether or not to use numbered response categories to prevent other members of an individual’s household from knowing their answers.

Census workers are not required to ask respondents whether or not they are U.S. citizens, but GOP senators introduced legislation in January mandating the citizenship question be asked. The bill seeks to ensure that non-citizens are not being counted which affects congressional and electoral apportionments.

“Illegal immigrants and non-citizens can not vote, and they shouldn’t be used as pawns as Democrats redistrict in various states. Our Census of course has to count both Americans and non-Americans, but it should also distinguish between them,” said Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota in a press release.

The U.S. Census Bureau did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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