Colleges and universities in the west coast state of California
may ask students to divulge details of their sexual
The move - which would only be optional - would help institutions
measure the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
students on campus and whether each venue's related services were
If successful, the proposed change would affect the largest group
of schools in America.
"It would be useful to know if we are underserving the
population," Jesse Bernal, the UC system's interim diversity
coordinator, told the Los Angeles Times.
It also "sends a positive message of inclusiveness to LGBT
students and creates an environment that is inclusive and welcoming
of diverse populations," he added.
The move comes after Californian state law forced schools to allow
their students to be open about their sexual orientation, last
year. That was inspired by a study which showed that gay university
students have higher rates of depression than their heterosexual
peers and suffer more on-campus hostility.
However, State Senator Tom Harman voiced concern that the
information might be improperly used and wrongly divulged.
"It is an invasion of privacy," he said.
The University of California has approved the question while the
California State University system reports being in earlier stages
of its discussion, according to NBC.