By Elisabeth Smith

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California will now collect sexual orientation and gender identity data when tracking new coronavirus cases.

This move makes California the first state to track how the virus spreads in the LGBTQ community, which advocates say has been devastated by COVID-19.

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Gov. Newsom called today’s announcement a move in the right direction.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) worked with LGBTQ+ civil rights organization Equality California to advocate for the collection of this data and introduced Senate Bill 932 in May to require it. The bill passed the Senate on June 25 and is set to be heard in the Assembly Committee on Health in August.

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“I want to thank the state for listening to the LGBTQ community – namely, LGBTQ advocates and the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus – and responding by enabling this data collection moving forward. It’s a deeply important and promising first step and I am grateful for Governor Newsom’s leadership and allyship,” Senator Wiener said in a statement Tuesday.

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SB 392 would not only require the state to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data for coronavirus. If passed, the state would have to collect SOGI data for all major communicable diseases.