For Immediate Release:
June 28, 2016
Contact: Matthew Nocella
Grosso Bill Would Improve LGBTQ Health Data
Washington, D.C. — Today, Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) introduced a bill to improve the documentation of health outcomes and behavioral risk factors of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community by the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH).
“Earlier this year, I wrote to the Department of Health to ask why this data was not being collected, and I was told it would cost too much,” said Grosso. “But not collecting data on the District’s LGBTQ community costs us even more as we cannot appropriately respond to critical health issues facing these residents.”
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Health Disparities Documentation Act of 2016, would require the District Department of Health (DOH) to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity through its annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS).
The BRFSS is a cross-sectional telephone survey conducted by state health departments in all 50 states and the District of Columbia with technical and methodological assistance provided by the Center for Disease Control. All levels of government rely on the data when making policy choices to address public health issues.
Additionally, the bill would require that the data collected be used in the annual report on the health of the District’s LGBTQ community, a collaborative effort of the Department of Health and the Office of LGBTQ Affairs.
“We have the highest estimated percentage of LGBTQ residents in the nation living in the District. Not including these questions as part of the annual BRFSS is a missed opportunity and disservice to the community,” said Grosso.