The Biden-Harris administration is following through on its promise to advance equality for the LGBTQI+ community with the release of a formal framework to ensure better data collection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex individuals.

The Federal Evidence Agenda on LGBTQI+ Equity, unveiled on Tuesday, is an effort from the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to create the first-ever roadmap that Federal agencies will use to collect accurate data and evidence on LGBTQI+ Americans.

“The Evidence Agenda released today highlights the opportunities to advance LGBTQI+ equity that increased federal data collection and evidence building would create, and provides a roadmap to guide these efforts,” the White House wrote on Jan. 24.

“Grounded in evidence, the agenda builds on and continues work taking place across federal agencies and integrates knowledge and expertise from numerous community leaders and technical experts both inside and outside the U.S. government,” the White House said.

The data collection framework has been in the works since President Biden’s June 2022 Executive Order on LGBTQI+ equality.

The White House said the official release of the agenda “is an important step forward in the Administration’s work to expand the federal collection of data about sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics (SOGI), and advance equity for LGTBQI+ Americans.”

The 49-page agenda – a combined effort from NSTC’s Subcommittees on Equitable Data and SOGI Data – includes:

  • An overview of the priority evidence gaps the Biden-Harris administration has identified where increased SOGI data collection will support more evidence-informed programs and policies;
  • Specific questions that agencies will consider as they seek to build and use evidence to improve the health and well-being of LGBTQI+ people; and
  • Important guidelines for collecting SOGI data on forms, such as benefits applications, including the safeguards agencies might use to enable robust SOGI data collection while protecting individual privacy, security, and civil rights.

The White House said the purpose of this report is “to provide a roadmap for federal agencies as they work to create their own data-driven and measurable SOGI Data Action Plans to help assess, improve, and monitor the health and well-being of LGBTQI+ people over time.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.