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Australia Counts Number Of Same-Sex Marriages For First Time In Census

Almost 24,000 same-sex marriages were reported in the 2021 Australian census.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the first set of results from its 2021 census, revealing that 23,914 same-sex marriages have taken place since marriage equality was legalized in 2017.

Sadly, this is all the data on the LGBTQ+ population Australians can expect.

In August 2021, the star gazer reported that the census would neglect to ask residents about gender identity or sexual orientation.

It was the result of the Scott Morrison-led government refusing to acknowledge calls from LGBTQ+ organizations to add such questions.

According to CB News, the new data has revived calls to better register LGBTQ+ people in the 2026 census, with advocacy groups calling on the new government led by Anthony Albanese to follow the examples of the UK, New Zealand, and Canada.

Equality Australia has always been vocal on this issue. Its CEO, Anna Brown, said: “The release of census data gives us fascinating insight into the diversity of the Australian community – what we believe in, what language we speak at home, rates of chronic disease and other key demographics that will inform crucial decisions. what services are provided to communities, and where.

“But again, lesbian, gay, bi+, transgender, intersex, and queer people are not properly represented in the census data because the ABS and the minister responsible at the time failed to ensure the much needed questions about sexual orientation, gender identity, or variations in sex characteristics have been asked or asked correctly.”

She added: “Until we are counted, we will remain invisible. That’s why – with the first release of 2021 census data – our communities are coming together again to say it’s time for the census to stop excluding LGBTIQ+ people and count us in.”

Australia’s chief statistician, Dr. David Gruen, said the diversity and changing structure of Australian families has also been highlighted by the census.

Gruen said the latest findings “provide fascinating insight into the structure and changing profile of Australian families.”

Although the release provides a brief overview, it does not show the number of unmarried LGBTQ+ couples.

The 1996 ABS census recorded over 10,000 same-sex couples; it was the first time that the number of same-sex relationships had been counted.

By the time of the 2016 census, that number had risen to 46,800 same-sex couples.

Not registering all LGBTQ+ people isn’t the only problem – the language of the census has also been criticized.

For the first time on the Australian census, there was an option to select a nonbinary gender.

However, Brown and other organizations accused the language of being “confusing," noting that it “confused the trans and intersex population, and did not count most trans people who identify simply as male. or a woman.”

“The census has seriously failed transgender, gender-diverse and intersex people. It did not ask questions that captured our true diversity, rendering most transgender and intersex people invisible or unable to accurately answer census questions that made assumptions about gender,” Brown postulated.

Read related myGwork articles here:

Australia says yes to same-sex marriage

Australia Marks One Year Anniversary of Equal Marriage with Same-Sex Traffic Lights

Australia Moves To Scrap ‘Gay Panic’ Defence

Australia: LGBTQ+ Advocates Blast Religious Discrimination Bill

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