The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
will no longer collect data on the health of LGBT Americans from a
major federal survey administered by all 50 states, the District of
Columbia and three U.S. territories.
The Williams Institute at the
University of California, Los Angeles released a statement on
Thursday in which it said that a CDC official revealed the decision
during a Denver conference hosted by the American Association for
Public Opinion Research.
According to the Williams Institute,
the official said that starting in 2019 the Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance System (BRFSS) will no longer include an optional module
on sexual orientation and gender identity. The BRFSS surveys
Americans on behavioral risk factors such as car safety, obesity and
exercise. More than 30 states and territories reportedly used the
optional LGBT module.
Kerith J. Conron, research director at
the Williams Institute, criticized the move.
“By removing LGBT measures from the
BRFSS, the federal government is shrinking its responsibility to LGBT
Americans,” Conron said in a statement.
Conron added that the BRFSS provided
the “first representative snapshot of transgender adult health and
“These data showed us that
transgender people are indeed at higher risk of poverty –
confirming what smaller studies conducted in HIV epicenters had
observed,” Conron said.
Adam P. Romero, director of federal
policy at the Williams Institute, said that the rollback “appears
to be part of an alarming trend within the federal government aimed
at limiting our knowledge about LGBT people, despite the fact that
these data are vital to policy making and designing evidence-based
intervention to improve health and well-being.”