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Political Notebook: San Francisco 1st city to track LGBTQ workforce

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San Francisco has become the first known city to track its LGBTQ workforce as well as to ask applicants for city and county jobs what is their sexual orientation and gender identity.

It is the latest attempt by the city to collect SOGI data, this time with an eye toward improving employment opportunities for LGBTQ individuals.In October, the Board of Supervisors signed off on striking a restriction in the city's municipal code that forbids it from inquiring into the "sexual orientation, practices, or habits" of city employees.

Known as Chapter 12E, the City Employee's Sexual Privacy Ordinance of the Administrative Code, it was enacted in 1985 during the height of the AIDS epidemic as a way to protect LGBTQ applicants and city employees from being discriminated against, as the Bay Area Reporter first reported last June.With those fears no longer a concern, and SOGI data routinely asked of people seeking various city services and in public health settings, Mayor London Breed and gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman introduced legislation during Pride Month 2021 to repeal that section of the Administrative Code.It was the responsibility of the city's Department of Human Resources to implement it after conducting meetings with LGBTQ advocates and city leaders about how best to ask the SOGI questions of new applicants for city and county jobs, as well as those already employed.

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