SANTA FE – Democratic Governor of New Mexico Lujan Grisham on Monday issued an executive order that state agencies and departments begin collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Order of Grisham ask state agencies and departments to ask questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on forms and applications when other demographic data is collected.
For decades, health and social services offices and staff have collected demographic information to help identify and fill gaps in services for New Mexicans who experience inequalities. These data helped identify and address health and education disparities based on age, race and gender.
“If we want to solve a problem, we first need information about its cause” Governor Grisham said. “If we are to address the inequalities that new LGBTQ + Mexicans experience in their interactions with state government, we must first have information on where these blackouts are occurring. This voluntary demographic analysis mechanism is a tool the State of New Mexico can and will use to improve its services to traditionally underserved New Mexicans. I am proud to have the chance to initiate this process.
New Mexico State Lesbian Senator Carrie Hamblen (D) and State Representative Brittney Barreras (I-D12) forbidden legislation during the 2021 session, SB 316, which had gone through the Senate to the House but had not received a vote until the end of the session. Governor Lujan Grisham then took executive action until the measure was passed by lawmakers.
“Including demographic information of the LGBTQ + community on all state forms demonstrates recognition of our community,” said Senator Hamblen. “I am grateful that this Executive Order puts in place the representation that is overdue and begins to compile the necessary data that will be used to determine the resources and services that are desperately needed and deserved.”
“I am honored to have worked on this policy with Equality New Mexico and Senator Hamblen this past session,” said Representative Barreras. “By finally collecting this data, we will have the tools to fill the gaps in services for our LGBTQ siblings across the state.”
“We are more than grateful to Senator Hamblen for championing this issue in the previous session, and grateful to Governor Lujan Grisham for taking executive action rather than waiting another year for the legislature.” said Marshall Martinez, executive director of Equality New Mexico. “Not only is New Mexico leading the nation with this executive action, but we’re finally taking a step toward real equity for new LGBTQ Mexicans, starting with the data needed to create better policy.”
According to the ordinance, information voluntarily provided on sexual orientation and gender identity can only be used for the purposes of demographic analysis, coordination of care, improvement of the quality of government services. , research and guidance of political and funding decisions. Protections regarding individual identification are also included in the order.
A spokesperson for Equality New Mexico noted that the New Mexico Department of Health has been asking questions about sexual orientation and gender identity for decades, in the context of preventing and treating STIs and HIV.
“Asking these questions in other contexts also tells Queer to and Trans New Mexicans that we honor and affirm their identity, not only in terms of our sexual activity, but in the context of our entire life. Being a member of the LGBTQ community is an identity, and it doesn’t just exist in certain situations, it is out of time for New Mexico to honor our identities in the many facets of our lives; beyond time, we collect this data – so we can create better policies and help new LGBTQ Mexicans thrive.