SENATE, No. 3133

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 8, 2017

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Codey

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires collection of voluntary, self-disclosed information about sexual orientation and gender identity in certain surveys by State agencies.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the collection of information in certain surveys by State agencies and supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.   For the purposes of this section:

     “Agency” means any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of State Government, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission, or other instrumentality within or created by such department; the Legislature of the State and any office, board, bureau, or commission within or created by the Legislative Branch; and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality, or agency. 

     “Gender identity” means a person’s sense of being male, female, transgender, or another gender, whether or not distinct from the person’s sex assigned at birth.

     “Sexual orientation” means a person’s heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality by inclination, practice, identity, or expression, having a history thereof or being perceived, presumed, or identified by others as having such an orientation.

     b.    Any agency that collects information through a survey that includes demographic data when subjects either self-report information or a knowledgeable proxy provides information about the subject or responds for all persons in a household shall establish data standards that require, with regard to such a survey the following:

     the review of existing data sets to determine in which data sets information about sexual orientation and gender identity is not included;

     an identification of appropriate methods to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in surveys that facilitate categorization, voluntary participation, and preserve privacy and confidentiality;

     the use of the appropriate methods identified to gather data about sexual orientation and gender identity; and

     the implementation of a process to routinely assess needed changes in survey methods related to asking questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

     c.     Any report published by an agency that relies on survey demographic data shall include information about sexual orientation and gender identity.

     Any information collected relating to the sexual orientation or gender identity of a survey participant shall be maintained in accordance with the confidentiality and privacy standards and policies for the protection of persons applicable to that survey.

     Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the use of information collected under this section in a manner that would adversely affect any person.

     d.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a person to disclose that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity to an agency.  A person shall not be subject to any fine or other penalty for refusing to answer, or providing a false answer to, any survey question regarding gender identity or sexual orientation.

     e.     This section shall be fully implemented within 120 days following the effective date of this act, P.L.    , c.    (C.   )(pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the collection of voluntary, self-disclosed information about sexual orientation and gender identity in certain surveys by State agencies.

     For purposes of this bill, “agency” means any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch, and any other instrumentality within or created thereby, the Legislature of and any office, board, bureau or commission within or created thereby, and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality or agency.  “Gender identity” means a person’s sense of being male, female, transgender, or another gender, whether or not distinct from the person’s sex assigned at birth, and “sexual orientation” means a person’s heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality by inclination, practice, identity, or expression, having a history thereof or being perceived, presumed, or identified by others as having such an orientation.

     Pursuant to this bill, any agency that collects information through a survey that includes demographic data when subjects either self-report information or a knowledgeable proxy provides information about the subject or responds for all persons in a household must establish data standards that require, with regard to such a survey the following:

     the review of existing data sets to determine in which data sets information about sexual orientation and gender identity is not included;

     an identification of appropriate methods to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in surveys that facilitate categorization, voluntary participation, and preserve privacy and confidentiality;

     the use of the appropriate methods to gather data about sexual orientation and gender identity; and

     the implementation of a process to routinely assess needed changes in survey methods related to asking questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

     Any report published by an agency that relies on survey demographic data must include information about sexual orientation and gender identity, and any information collected relating to the sexual orientation or gender identity of a survey participant must be maintained in accordance with the confidentiality and privacy standards and policies for the protection of persons applicable to that survey.

     Nothing in this bill is to be construed to require a person to disclose that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity to an agency.  A person will not be subject to any fine or other penalty for refusing to answer, or providing a false answer to, any survey question regarding gender identity or sexual orientation.  Nothing in this bill is to be construed to permit the use of collected information in a manner that would adversely affect any person.

     This bill must be fully implemented within 120 days after enactment.