Since 1801 the decennial census has asked us to state our sex. But never before has such a simple question generated such controversy. Yesterday, it ended up before a high court judge. With the 2021 census less than two weeks away, Mr Justice Swift ruled that the guidance accompanying the question should be changed.
The usually dull once-a-decade government counting exercise is at the centre of a row, as members of the gender-identity lobby seek to declare themselves to be whatever they choose. But that would be a missed opportunity for us.
What sex are you? It’s a simple question and one that most of those filling out this year’s census will answer quickly before moving on. But for others, the decision to ask this – rather than allow people to state what gender they think they are – is one laced with controversy.