LGBTQ suicide rates, violent deaths, and hate crimes and data on sexual orientation and gender identity will be tracked for the first time in Los Angeles County Coroner history to detect mortality rate disparities in the community.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the policy earlier this month.
Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl co-authored the motion.
Coroner data can “detect the presence of disparities in mortality rates of the LGBTQ community,” according to the approved motion. “By tracking this data, it will allow us to better understand these disparities and develop policies that seek to address them at the County level.”
The Coroner is required to develop an implementation plan, which will include cultural sensitivity training for department personnel, and a timeline for the data collection.
The coroner also is mandated to report to the board of supervisors every quarter with progress updates leading up to full implementation.
The motion cited several studies as evidence for the policy.
- LGBTQ youth seriously contemplate suicide at nearly three times the rate of heterosexual youth, according to a 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report
- 40% of transgender adults have attempted suicide, and one in four have been assaulted because they are transgender, according to a 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
- 1,249 hate crimes were committed nationwide in 2017 due to bias related to either sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the FBI.
- 14% of LGB youth and 29% of transgender and nonbinary youth had a suicide attempt in the previous year, according to a 2019 national survey by The Trevor Project.