Summary: On May 17, 2019, in a historic vote, the US House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would provide comprehensive and explicit nondiscrimination protections nationwide for the LGBTQ community, ensuring that nobody is discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. The vote marked the first time that a chamber of Congress approved a comprehensive nondiscrimination bill covering LGBTQ people.
Summary: On May 2, 2019, HHS released the final Denial of Care rule which encourages healthcare providers who object to healthcare services based on religious or moral grounds to discriminate against LGBTQ patients, people living with HIV, and women seeking reproductive healthcare services. GLMA President Gal Mayer called the rule “antithetical to the values we share as healthcare providers.”
Summary: The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) approved a comprehensive position statement on sexual and gender minority (SGM) health in dermatology during its Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in early March. The effort, spearheaded by the AAD Expert Resource Group on LGBTQ/SGM Health, affirms the Academy's commitment to the health and well-being of sexual and gender minority individuals. GLMA was proud to have collaborated with the AAD Expert Resource Group on LGBTQ/SGM Health on activities during its Annual Meeting, including the new position statement on SGM health in dermatology.
Summary: On March 12, the Department of Defense announced a military service policy that requires transgender people to suppress their gender identity and serve in the sex they were assigned at birth in order to serve or enlist in the military. Any individual not serving in the sex assigned at birth after the policy takes effect on April 12 will be subject to discharge. The policy exempts currently enlisted transgender troops who have already transitioned or have begun to transition prior to the policy effective date. GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS, issued a statement in response to this policy.
Summary: On March 13, 2019, the Equality Act was introduced to the 116th Congress for consideration. If passed, this federal bill would provide comprehensive and explicit nondiscrimination protections nationwide for the LGBTQ community, ensuring that nobody is discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. GLMA was proud to have joined other health professional associations and organizations in endorsing this bill. See the letter GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS, sent out about this, and learn how healthcare professionals can work to ensure the Equality Act gets passed!
Summary: On February 27, 2019, Chair-Elect of the AMA Board of Trustees Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, and five decorates transgender troops provided testimony to the House Armed Services Committee on why transgender troops should not be excluded from military service. Chair-Elect Jesse Ehrenfeld provided testimony on AMA policy that states there is no medically valid reason to prevent transgender individuals from openly serving. GLMA was proud to introduce this policy in 2015 to the AMA House of Delegates..
Summary: On January 22, the US Supreme Court issued an order lifting three of four injunctions that blocked the Trump Administration’s discriminatory policy barring transgender individuals from openly serving in the military. While the justices did not rule on the merits of the case, this order could allow the ban to go into effect while lower courts work through the legal challenges to the ban. GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued the the following statement in response.
Summary: During its interim meeting on November 2018, the American Medical Association adopted a GLMA-sponsored policy stating that it will “oppose efforts to deny an individual’s right to determine their stated sex marker or gender identity.” This policy passed following reports of a HHS memo that would attempt to narrowly redefine sex as an immutable condition determined at birth. GLMA also introduced and sponsored a resolution that advocated for the collection of demographic data in federal and state surveys that is inclusive of sexual and gender identity, and supported other policies supporting LGBTQ health.
Summary: In response to reports of a memo obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that seeks to narrowly redefine sex under federal law as an immutable, binary construct determined by one’s genitalia at birth, more than 35 leading health professional associations and community health centers have signed-on to a letter strongly opposing this proposal as contrary to medical science. GLMA and the Fenway Institute, along with organizational partners, helped to organize this letter, which was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on November 5, 2018. Click here for more information.
Summary: On October 21, 2018, The New York Times published an article revealing that the Trump Administration is yet again targeting transgender individuals by taking steps to erase transgender individuals from federal definitions of sex or gender. According to a memo obtained by The New York Times, the Administration is seeking to narrowly define gender as “biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth,” essentially defining sex as unchangeably either male or female. The memo is reportedly authored by Department of Health and Human Services, which is allegedly spearheading this effort. GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS and GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement in response.
Summary: On July 17th, GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS , spoke at a rally to protect transgender healthcare, which was organized by the Transgender Law Center and the National Center for Transgender Equality. The rally protested Trump Administration's plan to weaken the Healthcare Rights Law of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination against transgender people in healthcare access and coverage. Numerous advocacy groups, including GLMA, voiced their opposition and commitment to fighting this proposed rule.
Summary: The Trump Administration released language for a proposed rule that would prohibit healthcare providers and organizations receiving Title X family planning funding from the federal government from performing, promoting, referring for, or supporting abortion services, or from taking any actions to assist a patient in getting an abortion. In cases where a patient has already decided to have an abortion, the proposed rule allows a provider to provide a list of healthcare providers for referral but the list cannot be only of abortion providers and cannot designate who provides abortions, even if the patient has decided to terminate a pregnancy. GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS and GLMA Executive Director, Hector Vargas, JD, released a statement in opposition to this proposed rule.
Summary: GLMA submitted letters to the California Senate Committee on Health, California Senate Standing Committee on Judiciary, and all California State Senators in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 110, a resolution calling for an end to nonconsensual, medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with differences in sex development (DSD). Learn more about the letter, and what you can do to support SCR 110.
Summary: GLMA has become a program champion of the All of Us Research Program, a new undertaking of the National Institutes of Health that seeks to speed up health research breakthroughs and advance precision medicine for Americans of all backgrounds. The goal of the program is to recruit over one million study partners who will share information about their health and lifestyle over time. GLMA stands with All of Us and hopes to work with the program to spread the word to the LGBTQ community to ensure our community is well represented!