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The City and County of San Francisco is committed to using data to identify the needs of San Franciscans and to evaluate whether the City is effectively and equitably meeting those needs.
However, many City departments and contractors that provide critical public services, such as housing, health care, and public assistance benefits, do not collect information on the sexual orientation or gender identity of the clients they serve. As a result, it is difficult to quantify the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population, to identify programs in which they are underrepresented or underserved, and to track improvement in access to services over time.
Even in the absence of widespread data collection, research suggests that LGBT communities face disproportionately high rates of poverty, suicide, homelessness, isolation, food insecurity, substance abuse, and violence. For example, according to a 2011 report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the homeless youth population includes a disproportionate number of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth.
The IOM report also found that: rates of smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance abuse may be higher among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults than heterosexual youth and adults; LGBT youth report experiencing elevated levels of violence, victimization, and harassment; and, lesbians and bisexual women may use preventive health services less frequently than heterosexual women.
Notwithstanding these preliminary findings, there are significant gaps in research relating to LGBT health and well-being. As a result of these gaps, the 2011 IOM Report concluded that "[m]ore demographic data on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the life course are needed, as are data on LGBT subpopulations."
Collecting demographic data on sexual orientation and gender identity is a necessary first step to understand the extent to which LGBT people are experiencing disparities in health and well-being and whether San Francisco's programs and services are reaching LGBT people in need of care and assistance.
The purpose of this Chapter 104 is to accelerate the collection and analysis of sexual orientation and gender identity data in order to evaluate how City agencies can better serve the needs of LGBT San Franciscans.
(Added by Ord. 159-16, File No. 160362, App. 8/4/2016, Eff. 9/3/2016)