The Bee’s Taryn Luna reports that the heads of six legislative caucuses to ask for the race and sexual orientation of lobbyists.This is wrong. Can I say it again? It is wrong even if “voluntary.”

For those of us in the Capitol community, we know of many people who have different sexual orientations and that changes over time. Additionally, we know of mixed-raced colleagues who wouldn’t feel comfortable checking a box. Some are those are public, and others’ are not.

Even when there is a box that identifies “mixed race,” it’s an emotional issue that is less than comfortable.

Several mixed-race leaders in Sacramento are in key leadership, in government positions (including one of the highest) and in lobbying.

Is the lobbying community largely white, male, and straight? Yes. I was part of that class. However, many of the most successful lobbyists over the last ten years are lobbyists from diverse backgrounds. I would name the many gay and lesbian lobbyists, but I leave that to them.

The state has most of the data in lobbyist’s registration reports. There could be a voluntarily form as part of the required bienniel lobbyist registration. Use that rather than forcing people to disclose their personal identities.

Of course, relying on existing data doesn’t solve the sexual identification issue, but that’s the biggest third rail for the Legislature to tread. Seriously, do you really want to go there? Should we do the same for legislators? We all know that we’ve had many who were not publicly gay, something I don’t care about if they’re doing the work for their district. Thank you, Sheila Kuehl, for breaking the lavendar ceiling, and we know that there were many before you.

When I was a CEO, I created a 33-member commission that resulted in seventeen changes to community college law to help a largely diverse student body, most of which have now been incorporated into law. Yeah, that was from a straight white guy from the OC. On the commission was the full rainbow of California, but never identifified that way. I hired five staff membes, four of of whom were not white.

I have spent my time from college to many years later lobbying defending affirmative action (I literally had a sticker of “stop 209” on my mortarboard), opposing the 1996 ballot measure.

I strongly suggest that the 400 lobbying firms queried about their diversity strongly ignore the “voluntary” request in a volunt.ry response to protect their employees, particularly the gays and lesbians amond us.

There is no reason for this unless Assembly leaders are trying to create a “do-hire” list, and that’s not good for any of us.