LGBTQ Health Data Collection Amendment Act of 2018
Introduced: June 5, 2018
Co-introducers: Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmembers Robert White, Vincent Gray, Anita Bonds, Brianne Nadeau, Charles Allen, Elissa Silverman, Kenyan McDuffie, Mary Cheh, Brandon Todd, Jack Evans, Trayon White.
Summary: To amend the Department of Health Functions Clarification Act of 2001 to require the Department of Health to collect information on the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of respondents to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System; and to amend the State Education Office Establishment Act of 2000 to require the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to collect information on the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of respondents to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.
Councilmember Grosso's Introduction Statement:
Thank you Mr. Chairman. Today, Councilmember Robert White and I are introducing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Health Data Amendment Act of 2018. We are joined by Councilmembers Vincent Gray, Anita Bonds, Brianne Nadeau, Charles Allen, Elissa Silverman, Kenyan McDuffie, Mary Cheh, and Brandon Todd as co-introducers.
This is a very simple bill—it requires the Department of Health and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to gather demographic data on sexual orientation and gender identity as part of their public health surveys of adults and students, respectively, in D.C.
Some members will recall this issue came up with regards to DOH a few years ago, and I introduced similar legislation then.
The Department did commit to gather the data, but only every other year, and new developments at the federal level threaten the progress that has been made.
This is data that OSSE is, in contrast, already collecting, and I don’t anticipate it causing any problem for them.
Understanding how our students identify and how that relates to their behavior or risk factors enables us to better serve students’ non-academic health needs.
When those needs are met, we know they are better prepared to succeed academically.
At a time when the federal government is retreating from its responsibility to protect everyone’s human rights, we must ensure that D.C. is doing everything it can to ensure those rights.
Part of that is documenting the health disparities that affect our LGBTQ neighbors so that we can target interventions to end those disparities.