By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
Trump administration Continuing to Cut LGBT Ties from HHS
Gay rights advocates are concerned that the Trump administration’s quiet or some might say, sneaky deletion of questions on sexuality from two federal surveys that have been in place for over 3 years.
Not only that, there was also a deletion of another planned survey which evaluated the effectiveness of a homelessness project for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
These stealthy moves by the right wing members of the Trump administration are alarming to LGBTQ watchdogs who are growing more concerned that conservatives are conducting manipulation of government data collected to serve their ideology that has constantly been hostile to the LGBTQ community.
In a time when LGBT rights are a mainstream part of the national discussion, the Trump regime is choosing to not only ignore the LGBTQ community after claiming during his presidential campaign, to support LGBTQ rights, is now attempting to erase our community.
“Trump is attempting to erase us from the discussion,” said Laura Durso, vice president of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, a nonprofit liberal advocacy group. Durso is also concerned that HHS officials might be rolling back all data collection pertaining to LGBT survey questions elsewhere.
According to the Washington Times…”Each year, a survey done by the Department of Health and Human Services gathers data from those receiving transportation, homemaker and meal services, visiting senior centers, or taking part in other programs funded by the Older Americans Act. A draft of this year’s National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, released this month, removes a single query asking whether a respondent is gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual from a battery of demographic questions.
A second HHS-sponsored survey, the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living, gathers feedback on counseling, skills training and other services provided to the disabled. A revised draft posted four days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration included a question on sexual orientation, but the survey was subsequently edited, with the deletion of the sexuality question the only apparent notable change.”
The spokesperson for the Administration for Community Living – HHS division which overseas the two surveys, Kelly Mack, stated on Monday March 20…”The orientation question was included in past surveys as part of a pilot test, but that the sample size was insufficient to be reliable. Advocates reject that explanation, saying the data has already provided some insight into LGBT elders. A draft of the Older Americans Act survey included no other question changes.” said Mack.
Following up on Mack’s excuses to erase the LGBT questions from both surveys, Mack was asked by ‘The Associated Press’ to identify the other questions being deleted. Mack responded with an embarrassing answer by saying that survey respondents’ date of birth was being cut. Now here is the best part, the date of birth is still included on both surveys.
The LGBT question made its debut on the survey in 2014, a major accomplish among gay rights groups because of the dearth of federally-collected data of their communities and the potential to validate programs or identify areas where services may be inadequate for our community.
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