California Public College Students to Be Asked if They're Gay or Straight | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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California Public College Students to Be Asked if They're Gay or Straight

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Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 7:07 AM

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Next year aspiring UC and Cal State students will probably be asked, along with requests for age and ethnicity, if they're gay or straight.

Why, you ask, is that any business of theirs?

It's not, entirely:

Whether or not you answer, as with the question about ethnicity, will be optional. But a new California law ...

... AB 620, means that sooner or later University of California, Cal State and community college campuses will have to at least ask.

The legislation is meant to ensure that LGBT students are getting their fare share of attention and resources at California public colleges. For example, studies have indicated that mental health is a more pressing issue for LGBT students, and a good measure of how many we have at state schools could direct more money for counseling their way.

Still, it's almost unheard of for a campus to ask about sexual orientation. But this is California. Elmhurst College, a private school in Illinois, became the first in the nation to do so last year.

The question for Golden State college kids might not come that soon.

UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein explained to the Weekly that "it's a ways off" because the university is still considering how to present the question via working groups.

The soonest you might be asked about it is about a year from now, it appears. The system would probably ask students about their sexuality on their statement of intent to register paperwork, Klein said.

(Such papers come after you've been accepted to a particular campus).

There were concerns that if all applicants were asked, and not just those accepted, that there might be situations where prospective students were filling out the form while a parent watched, perhaps adding to pressure to lie.

By using the statements of intent to register, the process would "provide more anonymity," she said.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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