LOS ANGELES — Under the leadership of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and in partnership with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City and County of Los Angeles have begun collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) for all patients who receive a COVID-19 test through the county. The data collection in L.A. City and County is the result of advocacy from LGBTQ+ and allied-serving organizations, led by Equality California, who on April 16, 2020, called on the State of California to collect SOGI data on the 75,000+ Californians who receive a COVID-19 test each day. In May, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced SB 932, which will mandate the collection of SOGI data statewide. Today, SB 932 passed, with an urgency clause, by a unanimous vote in the California Senate Appropriations Committee. Equality California is the lead co-sponsor of the bill.
“LGBT people experience disproportionate rates of underlying illness, poverty, homelessness and discrimination,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “That’s why it’s so important that we capture sexual orientation and gender identity information as people get tested for COVID-19. Knowing how COVID-19 is affecting LGBT populations will allow us to appropriately allocate resources and address needs within the community. I’m very grateful to the many people in government and local nonprofits who worked quickly to make sure we could start this data collection as quickly as possible.”
“We are working closely with Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office as they begin the collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity in Los Angeles City and County,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur. “Los Angeles has been a champion on this issue and we look forward to the California legislature and other counties following their lead by passing and immediately implementing Sen. Wiener’s SB 932. If we don’t begin collecting this data statewide, our LGBTQ+ community will continue to be left behind in the COVID-19 response.”
“I want to thank Los Angeles County for its leadership on collecting SOGI data,” said Senator Scott Wiener. “This is a great first step, but we need action at the state level and need to ensure that all healthcare providers are collecting this data, not just county providers. I look forward to working with Equality California to pass SB 932.”
All residents of Los Angeles City and County may receive a free COVID-19 test through the County of Los Angeles by scheduling an appointment HERE.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org