Almost every article I've read on LGBT rights in the last 24 hours has been mired by the latest news that the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have officially released numbers on the number of gay and lesbian citizens in the United States. I've read multiple figures, including anywhere between 1 and 3.6%. I've even seen 4% in some places. I almost wish everyone would get their facts straight (no pun intended) or just not report it at all.
There are a few things to remember when it comes to government statistics on LGBT persons. The last US Census was conducted in 2010. In 2010, Perry vs. Schwarzenegger happened. It was the first major victory the LGBT community had when it came to overturning unconstitutional bans on marriage equality. It's also important to remember that the Census Bureau probably didn't receive accurate statistics because it doesn't accurately record situations where an individual is a member of the LGBT community. Reason being, people aren't always honest about it, single-member households usually don't report sexual orientation, and there are no markers for bisexuals or trans* persons in the survey itself.
It's also important to recognize that while the CDC's health survey provides a specific question in asking your orientation, in the past, people have refused to provide the information. In the most recent survey, 1.1% of the survey's participants declined to share their sexual orientation.
Political ramifications for these surveys are high. I understand the need for them, especially to identify the needs of our community when comes to specific health issues, but I can understand an individual's reticence in providing data to the CDC. Not because it's the government, but because they understand that it could be used by politicians who are not friendly to the LGBT cause to develop some sort of notion to further ostracize us.