Fifty years ago in June the New York City Police Department pulled up in front of the Stonewall Inn, one of the city’s largest and most popular gay bars. An ostracized community took action, and the gay rights movement began. Today our community is stronger than ever, and despite a hostile administration we continue to thrive. This month as you celebrate Pride, remember that it began as a fight for equality. That battle continues today, and we cannot fight it without you. Check out our June newsletter and make sure your voice is heard by participating in our actions - they're found at the end of every article. Tanya & Terry
No Longer Putting Patients First: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a new regulation that will jeopardize the health and well being of vulnerable populations such as the LGBTQ community. The proposed regulation focuses on Section 1557 of the Health Care Rights Law, a part of the Affordable Care Act that bans gender discrimination. It would erase all reference to protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sex stereotyping, and gender identity. This new interpretation will directly affect the very communities the law is meant to protect including women, older adults, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. These populations already face high levels of discrimination by health care providers.
You have an opportunity to oppose this proposed rollback of rights. Submit your public comment or personal story here.
Not Welcome In Our Shelters: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing a new rule that would allow federally funded homeless shelters to consider sex and gender identity when deciding whether to accommodate someone. The rule would let shelters use "privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs" as a basis for their decision. The programs impacted by this proposal are crucial for LGBTQ people who have been rejected by their families and lack stable housing. According to The Williams Institute, 40% of homeless youth in America identify as LGBTQ. Yet LGBTQ persons have great difficulty finding shelters that accept and respect them and are often turned away when asking for assistance.
The rule is expected to the published in September. In the meantime, you can tweet HUD Secretary Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) and say: LGBTQ people already face disproportionate levels of discrimination at shelters. Undermining the Equal Access Rule will make the situation worse. #SheltersSaveLives
LGBTQ Community Centers Sue Trump Administration: Three LGBT community centers are among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the “Denial of Care” Rule issued earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The lawsuit (County of Santa Clara vs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The new regulation invites health care workers – doctors, nurses, EMTs, administrators and clerical staff – to deny medical treatment and services to patients because of personal religious or moral beliefs. Health care facilities that do not comply risk losing federal funding. As a result, health care facilities may do away with reproductive and LGBTQ services altogether, leaving millions without access to critical health care.
"This Denial-of-Care Rule is the latest in attacks on the LGBTQ community by the current administration. Center on Halsted will do everything we can to ensure the health and well-being of our community," Tico Modesto Valle, CEO, Center on Halsted
"This so-called ‘conscience rights’ rule eliminates critical health care protections and puts millions of lives at risk. Moreover, it is a clear violation of civil rights laws, medical ethics, and basic human values,” Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles LGBT Center
"The LGBT community experiences challenges when it comes to accessing high-quality health care, leading to significant health disparities and worsened health outcomes. These health challenges will be exacerbated due to the HHS Denial-of-Care Rule," Adrian Shanker, Executive Director, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
Better Sex Ed For LGBTQ Youth: Too often, students receive school-based sex ed that shames them, does not reflect their lived experiences, and/or is simply inaccurate. We must do better for our LGBTQ youth. Two bills with one goal - to support sexual education for ALL - have been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives, with companion bills expected to be introduced into the Senate soon. The supports the health and well-being of young people by providing them with the comprehensive sex education they need to make informed and healthy decisions throughout their lives. The would provide grants to increase and improve the linkage and access of marginalized young people to sexual and reproductive health care and related services.
The LGBTQ Community And Rural Living: Where We Call Home: LGBT People in Rural America is a new report by Movement Advancement Project highlighting the over three million LGBTQ people living in rural communities; and the social and political landscape in rural America. The report also offers recommendations for improving the lives of all rural residents, including LGBT people.
For youth who are not geographically close to an LGBTQ community center, connecting with like-minded peers online can be life-changing. Q Chat Space provides online discussion groups for LGBTQ+ teens ages 13 to 19. It is live and chat based with everyone participating at a pre-scheduled time. Conversations are facilitated by experienced staff who work at LGBTQ+ centers around the country.