• February 8th, 2023
  • Wednesday, 10:41:50 AM

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NM Advances Sexual-Orientation and Gender-Identity Data Collection


Bridging gaps in services for LGBTQ New Mexicans is the goal of an executive order signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on August 16.

The order directs departments at the state level to begin collecting data about sexual orientation and gender identity on forms and applications when other demographic data is collected.

The group Equality New Mexico championed the executive order after the state Legislature failed to act on similar legislation.

Marshall Martínez, executive director of the group, said the Governor’s order is the first step toward creating a long-overdue database.

 

“We are beyond grateful to Senator [Carrie] Hamblen for championing this issue in the previous session, and appreciative to Governor Lujan Grisham for taking Executive action rather than waiting another year for the Legislature,” said Martínez. “Not only is New México leading the nation with this executive action, but we are finally taking a step to true equity for LGBTQ New Mexicans, starting with the data needed to create better policy.”

Martínez pointed out the move will make New México a national leader in addressing some of the life-or-death issues faced by gay and trans Americans.
Martínez noted the New México Department of Health has been asking questions about sexual orientation and gender identity for decades, in the context of sexually transmitted disease or AIDS prevention and treatment.

He emphasized, like other information provided to the state, LGBTQ self-identification information will be voluntary.

“Just as some people choose not to identify their race, or their age or their annual income, they also don’t have to identify their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Martínez explained.

Martínez hopes successful use of the demographic-analysis tool in New México will encourage other states to follow suit and create better policies for all LGBTQ Americans.

 

By Roz Brown

Roz Brown is a Producer with Public News Service.

 

For More New México News: ELSEMANARIO.US