This seems like an unnecessary invasion of privacy. What business do colleges have asking such personal questions?

Queenie Wong of the Statesman Journal reports.

Oregon public colleges could start asking students about their sexual orientation

Data about sexual orientation is scarce on college campuses, leading an Oregon graduate student to turn to lawmakers for help on collecting research.

Oregon State University graduate student Steven Leider told lawmakers Thursday that he’s researched lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students who are seeking funding after they were dispossessed by their parents after coming out or being outed.

But during the course of his graduate research in the university’s Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies Program he realized there wasn’t much data in higher education literature about LGBTQ college students.

Leider then proposed the idea behind House Bill 2995 to Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis — allow students, faculty or staff in public universities and community colleges to identify their sexual orientation on forms used to collect demographic data that includes gender, race or ethnicity.

Answering questions about sexual orientation would be optional for students, faculty and staff and their identity would be kept confidential, supporters of the bill said.

From recruitment and student retention to graduation and drop out rates, there are still gaps in higher education research about the LGBTQ college community, he said.