The House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 4176 titled the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act on Thursday by a vote of 220-201. Every Tennessee Republican Representative voted against the bill while both Democratic Representatives from the state, Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) and Jim Cooper (D-TN-05), voted for the bill.
The LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act would require federal agencies that collect information through a survey that includes demographic data (where subjects self-report information or a proxy provides information about the subject or responds for all persons in a household) to review existing data sets to determine in which data sets information about sexual orientation and gender identity is not included, and to assess needed changes in survey methods related to asking questions on sexual orientation and gender identity. Per the bill, agencies that publish reports relying on survey demographic data would be forced to include information on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The bill was introduced to the House on June 25th, 2021 by Arizona Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03) with more than 70 original cosponsors. Earlier this week, the Biden administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy in strong support of the bill, saying in part, “Passage of H.R. 4176 would build on the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to promote inclusive data-collection practices to advance equity.”
The bill now heads to the Senate for debate.
The Democrats want to know if you are gay or not on surveys. It’s not their business and they can’t guarantee your privacy. pic.twitter.com/crixjzCXvT
— Tim Burchett (@timburchett) June 24, 2022
In a video posted to Twitter, Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) explained why he voted against the bill. Burchett said asking about sexual preference on federal forms “is the most unbelievable thing” and does not understand why “the Democrats are pushing it.”
“It is beyond me,” Burchett added.
He then went on to say that the world is “falling down around us,” citing the record high gasoline prices, 40-year high inflation, southern border crisis, and drug crisis in the country.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.