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CAN Action Alerts

Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31st, 2018

International Transgender Day of Visibility is celebrated every year on March 31st. This year's theme is “Surviving, Thriving”. The theme acknowledges the number of major transgender achievements in the past 12 months. In an increasingly transphobic political climate, the community is not only surviving, they are thriving. We must use this newfound visibility to mobilize against oppression. Speaking out, taking action, and educating others is critical. Center Action Network is proud to celebrate and honor our transgender and non-binary community center leaders.   #tdov   #transthriving



Nathan Bruemmer:  ALSO Youth, Sarasota, FL

Jay Maddock:  Out Front Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, MI

Grace Sterling Stowell: BAGLY,  Boston, MA

Adrien Lawyer:  Transgender Resource Center of NM, Albuquerque, NM

Sayer Johnson:  Metro Trans Umbrella Group, St. Louis, MO

Zane Stephens:  Transgender Resource Center of NM, Albuquerque, NM

Karter Booher:  Ingersol Gender Center,  Seattle, WA

Riley Johnson:  RAD Remedy, National Organization

Samantha Ruggles:  Kansas City Center for Inclusion, Kansas City, MO

Seth Kirby:  Oasis Youth Center, Tacoma, WA

Ted Lewis:  Side By Side, Richmond, VA

Nikki Joly:  Jackson Pride Center, Jackson, MI

HHS Religious Refusal Ruling

March 21st, 2018

Submit your comment to HHS before the March 27th deadline by clicking here.

This is your last call to join over 70,000 other people in telling the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that a person should never have to worry about being denied health care based on who they are.  This isn't about politics. It's about saving lives. Under the new HHS rule, it’s not just doctors who would be allowed to discriminate against patients — nurses, receptionists, ambulance drivers, therapists, hospitals (and more) would be too.

Nearly 56% of LGBTQ people have experienced at least one instance of discrimination or patient profiling when attempting to access health care.  Here are three cases currently in our court system:

1. A transgender teenager who was admitted to a hospital for suicidal thoughts and self-inflicted injuries was repeatedly misgendered and then discharged early by hospital staff. He later committed suicide.

2. In Michigan, an infant was turned away from a pediatrician’s office because she had same-sex parents.

3. A 53-year old man in need of a kidney transplant was denied coverage by his insurance company because of his HIV-positive status, putting his life at risk.

It is our responsibility to let the HHS know that giving health care professionals a#LicenseToDiscriminate could be a death sentence.   They took an oath to #PutPatientsFirst.  Submit your comment now.


The Funeral Home

March 12th, 2018

In December 2017, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was argued in front of the Supreme Court. The case involves a business—one that is open to the public—that refused to sell a cake to a same-sex couple.  A loss in Masterpiece would open the door to not only much wider ranging forms of discrimination, but also a much wider array of people facing discrimination—including people of color, women, LGBT people, minority faiths, people with disabilities, and more.  As we near the Court’s decision—expected between now and June—we are elevating additional examples of how hurtful this kind of discrimination can be. Even Jimmy Kimmel is helping us out!

Movement Advancement Project has released an ad called Funeral Home that depicts a devastating scenario in which a grieving widow and her family are turned away from a funeral home and refused burial services for her wife.  Discrimination like this shouldn’t happen, but it does. In 2016, a funeral home in Mississippi refused service to Jack Zawadski, after learning his deceased spouse was a man. The couple had been together for more than 50 years and were legally married in 2015. And while Jack recently passed away, Lambda Legal is representing his family in court in Mississippi.

Businesses that are open to the public should be open to EVERYone.  Join the Open To All coalition and receive breaking news in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Sign the ACLU's People's Petition and ask your friends to do the same. Together we CAN make a difference.

We Stand with Dreamers

March 4th, 2018

Congress has a choice: they can either protect our LGBTQ immigrant youth or continue to expose thousands more to deportation from the only home they've known. These are our friends, neighbors, and coworkers.  It is critical that we make calls and send letters to Congress TODAY.


Regressive Tax Legislation

February 15th, 2018

A vote could come as early as this week. Urge your Senators to vote against a regressive tax legislation that would raise taxes on 87 million working families and make deeps cuts to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.

Send your letter today.


How To Turn 7 Dirty Words Into 5 Positive Actions

January 25th, 2018

There has been a lot of media buzz about the seven words that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are not to use in budget documents: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based (Sun & Eilperin, 2017).

Censoring these words in budget documents, or even “recommending” that such words not be used, sends a clear message that protecting the health security of all Americans is not a priority of this administration.

Are we surprised? No. Angry? Yes. Swayed from our daily work? Not at all.  While divisiveness and erasure of many American subgroups is not a new political move, it is a dismissive and unfortunate one. Fortunately, we are neither required to accept such dictates quietly nor hide the work that we do.

With a divisive administration, let’s pledge to unite community in 2018. Here are Five things you can do today to stand on the right side of history in 2018.   

  1. Be community. As we end 2017 and start 2018, give generously and often to those who have the least.
  2. Show solidarity. Ask LGBTQI peers how they are coping with the polarization happening in the U.S. today. Stand up when you see something being done to hurt any of our LGBTQI family members.
  3. Call your legislator. Whether you think your Congressional representative and Senator share your views or never will, engage as a citizen, so our voices are heard loudly and often. Let them know that you are paying attention to votes that affect the LGBTQI community and voice your perspective to support the community.
  4. Seek help when you need it. CenterLink has over 200 community centers around the nation. Find yours, and access support when you need it. Tell others about CenterLink resources, too.  
  5. Become a member of CenterLink’s Programs. We are here to serve you with evidence-based, science-based, and program information for the rich diversity reflected in our LGBTQI family.

CenterLink    LGBT HealthLink    Center Action Network

As Harvey Fierstein once said "Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."  Live each day with your head held high, know that you’re not alone and express yourself in 2018.

References:  Sun, L.H., & Eilperin, J. (15 Dec 2017). CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cdc-gets-list-of-forbidden-words-fetus-transgender-diversity/2017/12/15/f503837a-e1cf-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?utm_term=.a1b7cca1c46d


You Can Stop 40K LGBTQ Youth From Being Deported

January 17th, 2018


Thousands of young people, including nearly 40,000 LGBTQ youth and their families, are counting on us to stand together and urge Congress to pass a clean Dream Act now.  Nearly 15,000 DACA holders have lost their status already.  By March, that number will balloon into thousands per day.  This means they lose work permits, jobs, and the ability to support their families. They will be subject to being arrested, detained and deported to countries they barely remember. These are our friends, neighbors, and co-workers.  It's up to us to defend the dreams of thousands of LGBTQ youth immigrants!

Send a letter to your Congressional leader TODAY by clicking here: #DreamActNow

You can also call 1-888-778-6856. You will be asked to input your zip code and will be transferred to your member of Congress. Tell them to pass the Dream Act NOW.

Deep Cuts To Medicaid, Medicare, and More

January 9th, 2018

Congress is voting on a tax plan that does not help working families but will lead to deep cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, education, and more.  Send a letter to your member of Congress and urge them to vote against it.  Want to know more about how the proposed tax plan could affect you and your family?  CLICK HERE to learn more.  Here is the link to your pre-written letter to send to your members of Congress. Add a personal note or send as-is.  Because together we CAN make a difference in the lives of millions of working families.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2017

Get Covered

November 1st, 2017


Do you still need health insurance? The week is your last chance to get covered. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”), more LGBTQ people have health insurance than ever before and CAN wants to make sure it stays that way.

If you are uninsured, visit HealthCare.gov now to see if you qualify for lower premiums.  More than 80% of people get a discount on their premiums, and most can find health insurance for under $75/month.  In fact, 4.5 million Americans can find a plan for $0/month. You won’t know if you qualify unless you shop!  Just make sure you do so before the final deadline on December 15th. If you do not get covered now, you may be locked out of health insurance until 2019.

Already covered? Then help to spread the word! Tell people about the upcoming December 15th deadline. Post on social media, forward this email, and make sure your loved ones are insured.

Don’t forget—the final deadline to enroll in health insurance is December 15, 2017. Take pride in your health this year and make sure you and your loved ones #GetCovered.  To learn more, visitOut2Enroll, the national campaign to empower LGBTQ individuals and communities to get access to health care.

I Have A Pre-Existing Condition And You Probably Do Too

October 15th, 2017


The Affordable Care Act is up for repeal again. The proposed Graham-Cassidy bill would have a disproportionate and devastating impact on people living with HIV and LGBT people - particularly women, people of color, youth, seniors, survivors of domestic violence, and transgender people. Learn more about the bill here.

Among other things, it would give states broad waiver authority to eliminate core protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. Depression, anxiety, diabetes, cancer, HIV, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, congestive heart failure, hepatitis, sleep apnea, Parkinson's disease, acid reflux, migraines, even obesity are all on the long list of what is considered a pre-existing condition.

This affects us all. We stopped the last repeal attempt. Together we can do it again. These are the key senators who need to hear from us regardless of what state you live in! Please call and tell them healthcare is a RIGHT not a privilege.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): (202) 224-6665

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): (202) 224-2523

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): (202) 224-2235

A sample script for your call is: "I am gravely concerned about the introduction of the Graham-Cassidy bill, which will cause millions of people to lose health care coverage, and will especially affect seniors, women and underserved communities. The American people have spoken – we do not support any repeal of the Affordable Care Act."