Sunday, April 08, 2012

Count us in: A Latin American call to include LGBT individuals in the census

In the United States, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has led efforts to push the government to adopt changes to the national census in ways that better reflect the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities through its "Queer the Census" project.

A U.S. House of Representatives panel took up the issue back in March but it still seems like an uphill battle ("House panel hears about adding LGBT to census survey", The Bay Area Reporter, March 15, 2012).  The idea is that with better data about who we are as a community, government will be able to provide better services.

It's a battle being fought in other parts of the American continent as well.  This might not be a comprehensive listing but it's a sample of similar efforts taking place throughout Latin America.
Which brings us to Chile.

The Homosexual Liberation Movement (MOVILH) has worked closely with the current center-right Chilean government of Sebastian Piñera to improve the way the Chilean census reflects the reality of the LGBT community. Although not as progressive as the census changes in Bolivia and Argentina, in 2011 the Chilean government announced that it would survey the number of same-sex partnerships in the country.

Today, the MOVILH launched a national campaign urging same-sex couples to register as such in the 2012 census under the theme of "Acknowledge the other half of your orange" ("Tu media naranja" or "Your half orange" is a common term of endearment used in Latin America to refer to one's partner).

The campaign includes a stand alone interactive site and an amazing Census 2012 video which I have taken the liberty of translating. 

Here it is in full:


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