From: The Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
Sent By:
Date: 5/31/2016

Date:   Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Time:  11 AM

Location: 122 Cannon House Office Building

Dear Colleague:

Collection of data and demographic information is critical to the government’s understanding of various communities as well as the efficacy of services and programs aimed at addressing communities’ needs. While government agencies
routinely collect data on a wide variety of demographic groups, LGBT people are generally invisible in federal surveys.  Studies show LGBT people face significant disparities in nearly all aspects of life, from employment to healthcare to homelessness; however, without an accurate assessment of these disparities, the government cannot adequately address them.

Please join this briefing to discuss the LGBT Data Inclusion Act, a vital and necessary bill that would require uniformity amongst all federal agencies to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity, and other
initiatives that could tackle this. We must call for federal data collection of the LGBT community to be a priority in order to fill gaps in our understanding LGBT people and what they need to achieve lived equality.

Featured Panelists:

  • Laura E. Durso, Senior Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project, Center for American Progress
  • Adam P. Romero, Senior Counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy Scholar of Law, Williams Institute UCLA School of Law
  • Harper Jean Tobin, Director of Policy, National Center for Transgender Equality

Panelist Biographies:

Laura E. Durso is Senior Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at American Progress where she focuses on the health and well-being of LGBT communities, data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity, and improving the social and economic status of LGBT people through public policy.  Prior to joining CAP, Laura was a public policy fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, where she conducted research on the LGBT community, including LGBT homeless and at-risk youth, poor and low-income LGBT people, and the business impact of LGBT-supportive policies.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard University and master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

Adam P. Romero is Senior Counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy Scholar of Law at the Williams Institute, where he leads the Institute’s federal law and policy research.  Previously, Romero was a senior associate at the law firm WilmerHale, where he was a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation and Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Groups.  He successfully represented the plaintiffs in Cooper-Harris v. USA, the first case in the nation to declare unconstitutional
laws barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in the veterans-benefits context.  Romero received his law degree from Yale Law School and he completed clerkships for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for the Honorable Shira A. Scheindlin of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Harper Jean Tobin serves as Director of Policy of the National Center for Transgender Equality. In her role, she  coordinates all aspects of advocacy on federal administrative policies and regulations for NCTE and works to provide information for the public about laws and policies that affect transgender people.

If you have any questions regarding this briefing, please contact Yesenia Chavez in my office at or 5-2435.



Raúl M. Grijalva                                                                     

Member of Congress