Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Equality California Praises Supreme Court Ruling on Trump-Pence Administration’s Attempt to Add Politically Motivated Citizenship Question to 2020 Census
LGBTQ Californians Would Be Disproportionately Harmed by Undercount, More Likely to Live in Poverty and Rely on Federally Funded Social Safety Net Programs
June 27, 2019 at 9:13 am

In This Section


June 27, 2019

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate, Equality California (English) and Beatriz Valenzuela, Equality California (Español)
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court at least temporarily blocked the Trump-Pence Administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census Thursday. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts explained the Administration’s stated reason for adding the citizenship question “seems to have been contrived” and that the Court “cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made [to include the question] and the explanation given [of Voting Rights Act enforcement].” The Court remanded the case back to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for further consideration. The U.S. Census Bureau has previously stated that the agency would have to begin printing census forms July 1, 2019, raising questions about the ability to resolve the matter in before the deadline.

Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Zbur:

“Today’s decision reaffirms the clear ‘disconnect’ between the Trump-Pence Administration’s ‘contrived’ public explanations for the citizenship question and the political motivations they’ve discussed behind closed doors. We are hopeful that with additional time, more evidence of the Administration’s dangerous attempts to undermine a fair and accurate count for political purposes will come to light.

“But regardless of the ultimate outcome of this case, there is too much at stake for the LGBTQ community — and the diverse communities to which we belong — to allow for an unfair, inaccurate count in 2020. We will not be intimidated. We will be counted. And we will continue to resist attempts by the Trump-Pence Administration to target our immigrant communities, communities of color and the LGBTQ community.”

If the Administration is ultimately allowed to add the citizenship question, U.S. Census Bureau experts estimate 6.5 million people living in the United States might not be counted. An undercount caused by the inclusion of an untested and unnecessary citizenship question would have devastating effects on California, which has the highest immigrant population in the country, and on the LGBTQ community in particular, which has been designated as a “hard to count population” by both the U.S. Census Bureau and the California Complete Count Office.

LGBTQ people are also more likely to live in poverty, experience homelessness and food insecurity and thus rely on social programs for which census data determines levels of federal funding, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) commonly known as “food stamps.”

The California Complete Count Office has awarded Equality California Institute a $400,000 grant to lead a statewide outreach effort to encourage LGBTQ Californians to participate in the 2020 census.


Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org

Share This Story