Tim Teeman at The Daily Beast did a great job of explaining why for many gay people, this felt such a personal assault.
Teeman has nailed how this hits us.
Yet I admit I was skeptical about the report and I certainly hold no brief for the administration. In the 1990s I worked at a think tank that tracked issues of race and public policy. We were very aware of and interested in an emerging debate about whether the Census should offer respondents the option to describe their racial identity as "mixed." On the one hand, a great many people -- being in California lots of them in our office, in fact -- describe themselves that way. On the other hand, allowing such an answer guaranteed statistical chaos. At worst, we might cease to have more than a vague idea of how many people of what "races" were part of the population. The racial categories had changed many times over the country's history. Every change had been fraught. As pressure built for the change, it became obvious that responsible social scientists weren't going to leap into one; changes to Census categories take at least a couple of decades to mellow before they are finalized. (A "mixed" race category was added in 2010.)
So I was a little surprised that a population whose legitimate place is still contested (in over half of states, gay people can get married but we can be fired for being out) was being included so fast. And that skepticism was probably well-founded. Ben Casselman at 538, where they've made it their job to know their data science, interviewed census experts:
If the history of the Census is any guide, It might get there ... perhaps just as a numerically more significant number of people start to identity as neither "male" nor "female," throwing additional categories into statistical chaos.
So something (bad) is happening to data collection on LGBT people under the Trump regime.
Fortunately, scientists foresaw that this vandalism might happen, so much data was preserved during the regime transition.
National March for Science in Washington, April 22
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