FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2011
CONTACT: Jorge Amaro, Equality California
PHONE: (562) 964-3591 EMAIL: jorgeATeqcaDOTorg
Equality California Sponsors First Bill in Nation to Include Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation and Same-Sex Relationship Status in State Government Surveys
Authored by Senator Christine Kehoe, the bill would enable the state to gather vital data about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
Sacramento - Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) has introduced the Survey Data Inclusion Act (SB 416), sponsored by Equality California, which would require the state to add questions about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, domestic partnership status and the gender of a spouse as part of the voluntary demographics sections in California's government surveys. Such data is already collected for other groups.
“The Survey Data Inclusion bill will improve the state's ability to gather essential health and safety data on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, which in-turn will enable LGBT Californians to receive the services they need to take care of their families and to lead healthy lives,” said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California. “Currently the state collects little data on the LGBT community, and this bill would help close the information gap.”
“If California is to meet the needs of the LGBT community, then government agencies, non-profit organizations, and researchers will need more data about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents,” said Senator Kehoe. “This information will be collected voluntarily and will help Californians better understand the lives and concerns of the LGBT community.”
Currently, the state administers a number of statewide surveys that collect data such as the California Health Information Survey (CHIS), the nation's largest state health survey that gives a detailed picture of the health and healthcare needs of California's large and diverse population, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, a federal survey administered by the state that tracks health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States since 1984. These and other statewide surveys collect demographic information such as race/ethnic identity, age, family size, health and safety information, and other data from the Californians. However, data relating to California’s LGBT population is not currently consistently collected by the state or federal government.
For more information on Equality California sponsored legislation, please visit: www.eqca.org/legislation
Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed more than 70 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org