Call on Trump Administration to Reinstate Sexual Orientation Question in National Senior Survey

Author: Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Published: Thursday 23rd March 2017 - Updated: Friday 24th April 2020
Summary: HRC criticizes Trump Administration for removing question about sexual orientation from National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP).


The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, lambasted the Trump Administration's Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Community Living (ALC) for removing a question about sexual orientation from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP), an annual national survey of recipients of select services under the Older Americans Act (OAA). Removing this critical question was the only change made to the survey.

"Today, there are an estimated 1.5 million LGBTQ seniors in America. This is an extremely vulnerable population, many of whom will have to face the challenges of advanced age or illness without the traditional support systems and legal protections that other seniors can take for granted," said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy.

"If we do not collect data on LGBTQ seniors, policymakers and advocates can not know the extent of the problems they face. HRC implores the Trump Administration to add this crucial question back to the NSOAAP and expand their questions to include data collection on gender identity."

The survey obtains performance outcome information, identifies service gaps and supports improvements in programs serving older Americans.

For the past three years, ACL has issued the NSOAAP with the question about sexual orientation intact. After previously stating there were no changes to the survey, HHS removed the question on sexual orientation, making it more difficult to track issues senior LGBTQ Americans face.

In addition to this action, two weeks ago, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) withdrew two notices impacting LGBTQ people.

HRC has long advocated for better data collection regarding the LGBTQ population.

Several U.S. agencies have already taken steps to do so including;


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