Overview of the Bill
1 The Census (Return Particulars and Removal of Penalties) Bill provides for voluntary questions on sexual orientation and gender identity to be asked in the England and Wales and Northern Ireland censuses. It does this by removing the criminal penalty for not responding to questions on these matters. It also clarifies the existing law that such questions may be asked. In the case of England and Wales only, this will lead to any such questions being subject to the draft negative Parliamentary procedure in future Census Orders.