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Australian Bureau of Statistics under fire over ‘non-binary’ question

An ABS spokeswoman mentioned the bureau wouldn’t be together with a non-binary intercourse rely within the first launch of the 2021 census knowledge subsequent Tuesday.

“The info collected from the intercourse query will likely be reported within the 2021 census knowledge releases as ‘Male’ and ‘Feminine’,” the spokeswoman mentioned.

LGBTQI groups want the next census to include questions on gender identity, sexual orientation and intersex status.

LGBTQI teams need the subsequent census to incorporate questions on gender identification, sexual orientation and intersex standing. Credit score:iStock

“Later this yr, the ABS in session with key stakeholders within the LGBTQI+ neighborhood to know the complexities, knowledge high quality and usefulness of the info.”

Roen Meijers, who identifies as non-binary, mentioned the non-binary intercourse query would produce “rubbish knowledge” of extraordinarily little utility.

“I’m very well-educated on questions of gender and sexuality and I had no concept how they wished me to reply that query,” mentioned Meijers, who made historical past in 2019 as the primary particular person in Tasmania to have their beginning certificates listing their gender as one thing aside from male or feminine.


“I’ve considerations about how the info will likely be misunderstood, misconstrued and misused.”

NSW One Nation chief Mark Latham has repeatedly and falsely mentioned the 2016 census confirmed solely 1300 Australians recognized as transgender.

In that census 1260 respondents listed their intercourse or gender as one thing aside from male or feminine whereas an additional 2400 ticked each female and male bins. A separate on-line type was required to file a intercourse aside from male or feminine.

The ABS later acknowledged the figures didn’t precisely measure the variety of individuals in Australia with a intercourse or gender aside from male or feminine.

Cody Smith, senior tasks officer at Intersex Human Rights Australia, mentioned they have been extraordinarily pissed off by the “non-binary” intercourse query.

Cody Smith, who is intersex, said they were extremely frustrated by the phrasing of the census sex question.

Cody Smith, who’s intersex, mentioned they have been extraordinarily pissed off by the phrasing of the census intercourse query.

Smith mentioned the time period non-binary practically at all times refers back to the gender identification of people that don’t determine as completely male or feminine. Intersex, in the meantime, describes individuals whose innate intercourse traits don’t match medical and social norms for feminine or male our bodies.

“Non-binary intercourse is just not language that both group would use for themselves,” mentioned Smith, who’s intersex.

Correct figures have been important when lobbying for extra funding for LGBTQI companies, Smith mentioned.


The 2021 census didn’t embody any particular questions on whether or not individuals determine as homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Anna Brown, chief government of Equality Australia, mentioned the intercourse query was complicated and rendered transgender Australians largely invisible.

“Which means that subsequent week’s census outcomes gained’t replicate the gender variety within the Australian neighborhood – a missed alternative to tell essential selections about what companies are offered to our communities and the place,” she mentioned.

The following census ought to embody separate questions on gender identification in addition to questions on sexual orientation and intersex standing, she mentioned.

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