SB 957: SOGI Data Collection

Senate Bill 957, introduced by Senator Scott Wiener, would require the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data from third-party entities, including local health jurisdictions, on any forms or electronic data systems unless prohibited by federal or state law. 

The collection of SOGI data provides vital understanding and insight into the health needs and disparities that exist among LGBTQ+ people. 

Existing law, AB 959, required specified state departments, including CDPH, to collect and report voluntarily provided self-identification SOGI data when collecting other demographic data, such as ethnicity, age, and race. 

In the wake of COVID-19, SB 932 required that electronic reporting tools used by local health officers for reporting communicable diseases include the capacity to collect and report SOGI data, and mandated that health care providers in California report SOGI data, if known, for all reportable communicable diseases.

In 2023, the California State Auditor conducted an audit of CDPH and its role in collecting, reporting, and using SOGI data. The audit found that CDPH has been slow to adopt and enforce standardized definitions, guidelines, and training to ensure the consistent collection and reporting of SOGI data, which has limited its ability to identify and address health disparities among LGBTQ+ people.

Failing to collect accurate SOGI data makes the LGBTQ+ community invisible and undermines opportunities to ensure that all Californians receive the care and services they need. This oversight can have significant consequences for LGBTQ+ people, including stigma, misinformation, ineffective services provision, and a delayed response to public health emergencies like COVID-19 and the recent Mpox (previously known as monkeypox) outbreak.

Read more about the bill and ways to get engaged below!

The California LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network is proud to co-sponsor this bill with Equality California. The Network has a strong commitment to ensuring LGBTQ+ Californians are counted and made visible in public health crisis’, and we continue to fight to reduce health-related disparities.