Census 2011

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2006 National LGBT Conference
28 July 2006
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the proposal to include sexual orientation in the data collected by the 2011 Census has been considered by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), receiving support from the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health. The ONS has however indicated that it is not intending to include sexual orientation in the 2011 Census.

Conference notes the view expressed by Press for Change that the inclusion of gender identity in the Census is not warranted at this time.

Conference believes that the potential benefits of including sexual orientation include:

1.It makes clear that Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people are members of all of our communities;

2.Identifying differences in levels of LGB populations may allow Local Authorities and Healthcare providers to target these communities more effectively;

3.Those who seek to maintain that they have no LGB population in their area can be effectively challenged;

4.Census data (even allowing for under-reporting) would provide a baseline, enabling health needs to be identified again allowing targeting to take place through the provision of health data;

Conference acknowledges that concerns remain in a number of areas such as:

A.Under reporting, either of people who aren’t out or of people living in larger households;

B.Concerns about data collected being misused;

C.Concerns that the wrong conclusions might be drawn from the data (e.g. where there are a large number of LGB people who aren’t out because of a higher level of homophobia, inferring that there is less need to act because of a mistaken view there are fewer LGB people).

Conference therefore believes that prior to the inclusion of sexual orientation in the 2011 Census these concerns need to be adequately addressed.

Conference therefore calls on the National LGBT Committee to investigate this area further, including on the use of technology and report back to the 2007 LGBT Conference.

Conference also notes the parallel with the 1911 census when the Women’s Social & Political Union argued a government lacking commitment to women’s empowerment, inclusion and equality had no legitimate need for statistics on the female population. It called on women not to co-operate with the census enumerators.

Conference instructs the National LGBT Committee to consider whether, in the event of ONS not addressing LGBT concerns, it would be feasible to mount a campaign of non-co-operation with the 2011 census.

Conference also instructs the committee to consult Proud, the LGBT group of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which organises at ONS.