Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Below are standards on how to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) If your department does not have a standard, you are encouraged to use one of the standards below.

San Francisco Standards

Administrative Code Chapter 104

Chapter 104 of the San Francisco code requires the collection of SOGI data by select departments consistent with Department of Public Health guidelines. View the code for the full set of requirements. Below is an overview.

Description of Standard

Select departments are required to solicit SOGI data consistent with Department of Public Health's Policies and Procedures:

Sexual Orientation Guidelines

Below is a brief and incomplete excerpt - please review the full set of guidelines before using this standard.

When collecting data on sexual orientation, the following format should be followed:

  • Selection of sexual orientation identity should be limited to one answer choice.
  • How do you describe your sexual orientation or sexual identity? (Check one)
    • a. Straight / Heterosexual
    • b. Bisexual
    • c. Gay / Lesbian / Same-Gender Loving
    • d. Questioning / Unsure
    • e. Not listed. Please specify: ________________________
    • f. Decline to answer
  • And for internal use only (not to be listed as an option to the individual):
    • g. Not Asked
    • h. Incomplete / Missing data
Sex and Gender Guidelines

Below is a brief and incomplete excerpt - please review the full set of guidelines before using this standard.

Two questions should be used together to identify sex and gender. You should ask these two questions, together as follows and in this order, to acquire sex and gender demographics about both the person’s present gender identity and his or her history.

  1. What is your gender? (Check one that best describes your current gender identity.)
    1. (1) Male
    2. (2) Female
    3. (3) Trans Male
    4. (4) Trans Female
    5. (5) Genderqueer / Gender Non-binary
    6. (6) Not listed, please specify____________________
    7. Survey forms would include options 1-6. Coding should also allow for options 7 and 8
      1. (7) Declined / Not stated
      2. (8) Question Not Asked
  2. What was your sex at birth? (Check one)

    1. (1) Male
    2. (2) Female
    3. Survey forms would include options 1-2. Coding should also allow options 3 and 4

    4. (3) Declined / Not stated

    5. (4) Question Not Asked


"Gender Identity" means a person's gender as designated by that person. A person's gender identity shall be determined based on the individual's stated gender identity, without regard to whether the self-identified gender accords with the individual's physical appearance, surgical history, genitalia, legal sex, sex assigned at birth, or name and sex as it appears in medical records, and without regard to any contrary statement by any other person, including a family member, conservator, or legal representative. An individual who lacks the present ability to communicate his or her gender identity shall retain the gender identity used by that individual prior to losing his or her expressive capacity.

From Section [3304.1] (c) of the Police Code

"Sexual orientation" shall mean the status of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual.

From Section [12B.1] (c) of the Administrative Code.

Who must Comply

The following departments must comply with Administrative Code Chapter 104. See the code for details on exceptions, the official list of required departments, and other requirements. Other departments may use this standard as helpful.

  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Aging and Adult Services
  • Department of Children, Youth and their Families
  • Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing
  • Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development.Requirements

These departments are also required to flow down the standard to their contractors and service providers. The code provides more detail on these provisions.


San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 104: Collection of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data.

California Standards

At this time we do now know of any California standards. However, CA Government code 8310.8 (cited as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Disparities Reduction Act) requires certain state departments (listed below) to collect SOGI data. It does not however specify how they should collect that data or even that they should do it consistently. These state agencies may flow down SOGI data collection requirements to your department for purposes of state data collection.

  • (a) (1) This section shall only apply to the following state departments:
    • (A) The State Department of Health Care Services.
    • (B) The State Department of Public Health.
    • (C) The State Department of Social Services.
    • (D) The California Department of Aging.

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