Data Collection & More Data Collection

On left, Amy Shipley, Legislative Aide for LGBT Issues and Health from the Office of Hon. Baldwin.

By Juan Carlos Vega, Guest Blogger

Reporting from 2010 National Coalition for LGBT Health Meeting

On September 15, 2010, the H.R. 6109-Health Data Collection Improvement Act was introduced to mandate gender identity and sexual orientation data collection.  Champed by U.S. House of Representative, Honorable Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, the legislation passed the subcommittee, but its chances on the legislative floor may not be as successful.  How does this reflect on Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory that does not have voting representation in the U.S. Congress?  Federal law mandates over local Puerto Rican law but there is a deep gap when it comes to implementation.  This is now the case of the recently passed legislation (Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act) that mandates the investigation of hate crimes.  The reality in Puerto Rico is that neither the Puerto Rico Police Department nor the Department of Justice is enforcing the hate crime law locally.  Only a few local advocates and lawyers are pushing for investigation on over twelve murders and acts of violence against LGBT individuals in Puerto Rico in the last year.  Will the Puerto Rican Department of Health follow the same lines of other government agencies?

Mr. David Hansell, Acting Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children & Families, USHHS and most importantly, CHAMPION for LGBT rights at the federal level!!!

Published by Activist Librarian

Mi nombre es Juan Carlos Vega. I am constantly exploring the role that information access and libraries play in community development and engagement and in the reduction of health and social disparities. I was part of the original team digitizing cartographic materials at the Library of Congress and have managed special libraries at the National Latino Council on Alcohol & Tobacco Prevention, The Praxis Project, the Art Museum of Puerto Rico, and the Sila M. Calderón Foundation. I have lived in Michigan, Maryland, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Visit to learn more about my work and let's engage in a conversation about how to create change!

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