Governor of New York launches LGBT task force
The Governor of New York has launched a statewide task force to collect sexual orientation data on residents as part of efforts to improve LGBT services.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that eight New York agencies will soon begin collecting the data.
The Democrat said: “By being more inclusive with how state agencies monitor the demographics of those they serve, we can address health and financial disparities, safety concerns, and a myriad of other issues that impact LGBT New Yorkers.
“This is another step forward for an important community in New York, and our administration will continue standing up for all New Yorkers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Residents in the state will be able to give the data on a voluntary basis.
Data will be collected by the Department of Health, Department of Corrections, Office for the Aging, Office of Mental Health, Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Office of Children and Family Services, and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.
Campaign groups have welcomed Mr Cuomo’s move. Glennda Testone, Executive Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Centre in Manhattan, said: “This data will serve as a powerful tool to address substance use – and its connection to HIV – in the LGBT communities.
“According to the Federal government, LGBT people have the highest rates of substance use, and this new data will arm local providers to better ensure health equity, access to care and enrolment in health insurance for our communities.”
Michele McClave, Executive Director of the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, added: “Changing our system to collect sexual orientation and gender identity information is critical to providing the best patient-centred AIDS prevention and treatment services we can and continuing New York’s tradition of having the premier treatment system in the country.”
Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo launched an ambition plan to cut HIV infections in New York.