Officials in California are set to start tracking how coronavirus is spreading in the LGBT+ community in a groundbreaking move.
The move will help officials better understand the unique challenges the pandemic poses for queer people after months of warnings from LGBT+ organisations that the community has been disproportionately affected.
The move came about after senator Scott Wiener worked with LGBT+ rights organisation Equality California to advocate for the data to be collected.
They introduced legislation in May that would require sexual orientation and gender identity data to be collected in all new coronavirus cases.
California will start collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity in new coronavirus cases.
The bill was recently amended to include all reportable diseases. It was passed by the California senate unanimously on 25 June, paving the way for LGBT+ organisations to better understand the impact COVID-19 is having on the community.ADVERTISING
It will now be referred to the Assembly Committee on Health, where it will be heard on 4 August.
If passed and signed into law, the bill would take immediate effect.
From the beginning of this crisis, we have been clear: If LGBTQ+ people are left out of COVID-19 data, we will be left out of California’s data-driven response.
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Governor Gavin Newsom said the decision was a move in the right direction.
Equality California executive director Rick Chavez Zbur welcomed news that the bill was passed by the state senate.
LGBT+ community will finally understand just how bad coronavirus has hit the community.
“The COVID-19 crisis has devastated the LGBT+ community. But for months, we haven’t had the data to understand how, why or exactly what to do about it,” he said.
“From the beginning of this crisis, we have been clear: If LGBT+ people are left out of COVID-19 data, we will be left out of California’s data-driven response.
“Thanks to governor Newsom’s leadership and his administration’s hard work, we will start to have answers.”
He added: “This data will finally give our government, our public health leaders and our community an understanding of the degree to which this pandemic is devastating LGBT+ people — and what steps need to be taken to save lives.”