GLMA Condemns Defense Department Policy on Transgender Military Service
On March 12, 2019 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. Click here to read the full statement.
GLMA Endorses Equality Act
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. GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS, sent out a letter to members and supporters to share the news and share how healthcare professionals can work to ensure the Equality Act gets passed. Click here to see the full letter.
Transgender Troops Provide Testimony to Congress for the First Time
On February 27, 2019, Chair-Elect of the AMA Board of Trustees Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, and five decorated transgender troops provided testimony to the House Armed Services Committee about why transgender troops should be allowed to openly serve. 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. Click here to learn more.
GLMA Condemns Supreme Court Order on Transgender Military Ban
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 a statement in response. Click here to see the statement.
37th GLMA Annual Conference in New Orleans
The 37th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health will take place September 11-14, 2019 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans, LA! The GLMA Annual Conference is premier, interdisciplinary LGBTQ health conference and the world’s largest scientific gathering devoted to LGBTQ health issues and concerns. Stay tuned over the next couple months for more updates, beginning with the Call for Abstracts sometime in February! Click here to learn more!
GLMA Disappointed with Affordable Care Act Ruling
On December 14, a federal district judge ruled that the entire Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional. The case revolved around Congress effectively eliminating the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to $0 as part of the 2017 tax cut bill. The mandate requires nearly all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. The coalition, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, argued that the change voided the mandate and therefore rendered it unconstitutional. GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, released a statement in response, which can be read here.
AMA Affirms Medical Spectrum of Gender
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. Click here to learn more.
38 Healthcare Organizations Oppose Reported Memo on Federal Redefinition of Sex
In response to reports of a memo obtained from HHS that seeks to narrowly redefine sex under federal law, 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 to see the full letter.
GLMA Opposes Efforts to Eradicate Federal Recognition of Transgender Individuals
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. GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS and GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement in response. Click here to see the full statement.
GLMA Submits Comments in Support of Transition-Related Care for Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs recently sought comments as to whether the VA should provide medically necessary transition-related care for transgender veterans. GLMA joined other leading health professional associations via a sign-on letter, and submitted an individual letter urging the VA to support transition-related care for veterans. NO VETERAN should be denied the care their providers recommend. Click here to learn more and to see the submitted letters!
GLMA President Speaks at Rally to Protect Transgender Healthcare
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. Click here to see a video of GLMA President Gal Mayer's speech.
GLMA Joins Amicus Brief Urging Court to Maintain Block on Transgender Military Ban
On July 3, 2018, nine friend-of-the-court briefs were filed urging the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold the lower court ruling in Karnoski v. Trump that currently block's the administration's discriminatory ban on transgender military service. Dozens of retired military officers and national security officials joined state attorney generals, medical and health professional associations and civil rights organizations in filing these briefs with the court. GLMA was proud to join the brief of leading health professional associations. Click here to see the full brief.
GLMA Opposes Proposed Title X Rule That Would Restrict Access to Abortion Services
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. Click here to see the statement GLMA issued in opposition.
Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Gavin Grimm in Transgender Student Bathroom Case
GLMA congratulates Gavin Grimm and the ACLU on their win in a federal district court affirming that federal sex discrimination law prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and protects students’ ability to use restrooms in public schools corresponding to gender identity. GLMA proudly joined major, leading health professional associations in amicus briefs in support of the Gavin Grimm case both at the Supreme Court Level and the lower federal courts, and will continue to support any such efforts in the future. To see the amicus brief GLMA joined and submitted to the Supreme Court, click here.
GLMA Submits Letters in Support of California SCR 110!
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). Click here to learn more about the letter, and what you can do to support SCR 110.
GLMA Becomes Champion of All of Us
GLMA has become a 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 will work with the program to ensure the LGBTQ community is well represented within the study. Click here to learn more.
GLMA Helps Submit Comments Opposing Discriminatory HHS Regulation!
The Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new regulation that would grant healthcare providers and institutions a license to discriminate against LGBTQ patients on the basis of religious and moral objections. HHS collected public comments on the proposed rule, and GLMA helped mobilize its expert health professionals to submit comments in order to ensure LGBTQ people have access to clinically and culturally competent care. Click here to learn more about about the proposed regulation and to see the template GLMA provided to draft and submit comments to HHS!
GLMA Condemns HHS Removal of Lesbian and Bisexual Health Web Content
On March 21, 2018 Sunlight Foundation released two reports revealing how lesbian and bisexual health content has been removed from WomensHealth.gov, a website maintained by HHS's Office on Women's Health. Among content removed was a webpage dedicated to answering questions specific to sexual minority women's health and a health fact sheet which listed GLMA and NCLR where additional information is available. GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS issued a statement in opposition to this erasure. Click here to read the full statement and learn how you can help!
GLMA Signs Joint Letter to HHS on Behalf of LGBTQ Patients
On February 20, 2018, GLMA joined 30+ other organizations representing providers and patients in a letter to HHS Secretary Azar expressing their collective concerns regarding the agency’s latest actions related to LGBTQ patients. The letter urged the administration to consider how these policies would adversely impact LGBTQ individuals and to develop strategies to improve the health and wellness of this population. Click here to read the full letter.
On February 22, 2018, GLMA joined 70+ other health professional, public health, and research organizations, in a letter urging Congress to recognize gun violence as a significant threat to public health. The letter also calls for action to find "bipartisan solutions to reduce injuries and fatalities associated with firearms." Click here to read the full letter that was sent to both Senators and House Representatives.
On January 18, 2018, GLMA issued a statement opposing the HHS creation of a Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom, whose stated goal is to “protect” healthcare providers who object to performing medical procedures based on religious or moral grounds, amounting to a license to discriminate against LGBTQ patients. Click here to read the full statement and learn how you can aid GLMA's advocacy efforts!
On December 16, 2017 Washington Post broke a story revealing officials at the CDC were given a list of prohibited words by the current administration, including "transgender." GLMA issued a statement condemning this ban, and called on CDC Director Barbara Fitzgerald, MD, to issue a statement that emphatically supports the inclusion of transgender people in the communities that are served under the mission of the CDC. Click here to read the full statement.
This week, GLMA, along with other LGBTQ advocates and organizations, are working to spread the news of ACA Open Enrollment to LGBTQ people to ensure our community gets covered. To learn more about how you can help and other resources, click here.
GLMA has played a key part in influencing AMA policy to support LGBTQ health through its seat in the AMA House of Delegates. With our seat eligibility up for review, learn what you can do to help GLMA retain our seat so that we can continue our work and advance our mission of LGBTQ equality! For more information, click here.
GLMA applauds federal court ruling, made on October 30th, reversing President Trump’s directive that prohibited transgender people from serving in the military and congratulates the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders for their victory in this case. GLMA is also proud to have joined an amicus brief in support of this case, along with other leading health professional associations. Read the full brief here.
On October 26, 2017 GLMA issued a statement applauding health professional associations who have recognized the health needs and concerns of intersex individuals, and calling on all other associations to take similar steps to address the health of intersex children and adults. To read the full statement, click here.
GLMA welcomed its 2017-2018 Board Officers, including GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS, during GLMA’s Annual Membership Luncheon held as part of the 35th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBT Health in Philadelphia. Click here for more information and for a full list of our newly elected board officers and their bios.
The program book and plenary book for the 35th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBT Health is now available! GLMA is excited to have such a broad range of diverse and interesting topics and speakers for this year's Annual Conference. For more information click here.
On July 26, 2017, President Trump issued a tweet announcing his intent to reverse existing policy allowing transgender individuals to serve openly. GLMA condemns this change in policy, and strongly advises the administration to review the evidence thoroughly before taking further action on this discriminatory reversal in policy. Read the full statement here.
GLMA is proud to announce the recipients for the 2017 GLMA LGBT Health Achievement Award, which honors exemplary individuals, organizations and publications for improving and advancing LGBT health and civil rights. For more information, and to see this year's honorees, click here.
Due to increased interest following the release of the preliminary program for the Annual Conference, GLMA has extended lower-rate early bird registration to July 31st! For more information on how to register, please visit the conference website.
On June 22, 2017, GLMA President Jesse Joad, MD, MS, joined other health professionals in a press conference with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to oppose the House-passed AHCA and the newly-revealed Senate healthcare repeal bill. Read more here.
On June 14, 2017 GLMA issued a statement applauding the AMA for adopting several policies on LGBT health during its 2017 Annual Meeting, in particular a resolution introduced by GLMA designed to ensure transgender individuals have access to basic human services. GLMA co-sponsored and support other resolutions introduced for consideration. Read the full statement here.
GLMA renews our commitment to remembering those who were lost in the Pulse shootings by joining other LGBT, Muslim, and Latinx organizations in a national effort to commemorate that day and in the #HonorThemWithAction campaign. Click here to read more.
On May 4, 2017 GLMA issued a statement denouncing President Trump's Executive Order on "religious liberty" as paving "the way for a license to discriminate against LGBT people" and the US House passage of the AHCA as "undermining healthcare for millions of Americans." Read the full statement here.
Health Professional Associations Join Brief to Supreme Court in Transgender Student Case
GLMA joined 19 health professional associations in a friend-of-the-court brief to the US Supreme Court supporting the scientific consensus about the appropriate treatment for transgender people diagnosed with gender dysphoria and outlining the harms associated with denying a transgender person use of facilities, including restrooms, that correspond with the individual’s gender identity. The case involves Gavin Grimm, a male high school student who is transgender, who was prohibited from using the boys’ restroom at his school. To see a list of the organizations that joined the brief and access the brief itself, click here.
GLMA Mourns the Loss of Judy Bradford, LGBT Health Pioneer
The GLMA and broader LGBT health family lost a pioneer in LGBT health research and advocacy with the passing of Judy Bradford, PhD earlier in February. Judy's contributions to LGBT health are legion and we are especially indebted to Judy for her friendship and support of GLMA and our mission through the years. Read more about Judy and her amazing accomplishments here.
GLMA Action Alert: #PriceIsWrong for HHS
Call your Senator now! Confirmation hearings for Rep. Tom Price to serve as the next US Secretary for Health & Human Services are underway and GLMA members need to call Senators and tell them that Rep. Price should not be confirmed. Find out how you can take action here.
GLMA Statement on HHS Secretary Selection
GLMA President Jesse Joad, MD, MS, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement on November 29, 2016, saying GLMA was “deeply concerned” about the nomination of US Rep. Tom Price, a physician and Congressman from Georgia, as US Secretary of Health and Human Services. Read the statement here.
Statement on 2016 Elections
GLMA President Jesse Joad and Executive Director Hector Vargas released a statement on November 10, 2016, commenting on the results of the 2016 election. In it, the GLMA leaders said: "GLMA is committed to doing all that we can to preserve the progress we've made and continue our policy, advocacy, and education work to improve the health and well-being of LGBT people regardless of who sits in the White House." You can read the full statement here.
GLMA Adopts Resolution on Care for Children with DSD
In what is believed to be a first for a US-based health professional association, GLMA recently revised its position statement on care for children with differences of sex development (DSD) to call for delay in any medically unnecessary surgical intervention until the patient can provide consent/assent to the treatment.
NIH Designates LGBT Community a Health Disparity Population
GLMA applauds the NIH for taking the groundbreaking step of designating the LGBT community a health disparity population, as described in the NIH statement below. NIH's October 6th announcement is the latest in a series of actions by NIH over the last few years that address the health and well-being of LGBT populations. GLMA also extends its deep appreciation to the many advocates and our colleagues at NIH and HHS who have worked so hard over so many years to make this accomplishment a reality. You can read the NIH statement here.
GLMA Stands with Orlando
- GLMA's Statement on the Mass Shooting in Orlando
- GLMA Leads Effort in the AMA to Pass Gun Violence Policy
- LGBT Organizations Issue "A Call for Unity"
- Support the Local Community through WeAreOrlando
GLMA Applauds Federal Action on LGBT Health
On May 13, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services issued final regulations establishing that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act provides nondiscrimination protections in healthcare access and coverage for the entire LGBT community. GLMA President Jesse Joad, MD, MS, issued a statement. To read GLMA's response, click here.
Amicus Brief Filed Against Missouri Law Criminalizing HIV
GLMA joined numerous organizations in filing an amicus brief opposing Missouri’s law criminalizing HIV transmission and exposure. Learn more here.
DC Council Passes LGBT Cultural Competency Requirement
The District of Columbia is set to become the first jurisdiction in the nation to require continuing education for healthcare providers in LGBT cultural and clinical competency. Read GLMA's statement here.
Final FDA Guidance on Blood Donation Falls Short
The FDA released final guidance establishing a one-year deferral period on blood donation for men who have sex with men (MSM), including gay and bisexual men. GLMA President Jesse Joad, MD, MS, and GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement. To read GLMA's response, click here.
Take Action Now to Support Nondiscrimination in Healthcare
Please ACT NOW to tell HHS you support efforts to establish clear and comprehensive regulations ensuring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people do not face discrimination in accessing healthcare and coverage.
GLMA Applauds Game-Changing HHS Policy Initiatives
GLMA applauded the Administration and the US Department of Health & Human Services for two game-changing policy initiatives calling for an end to conversion therapy for minors and requiring electronic health records systems to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Learn more here.
GLMA Applauds Proposed HHS Regulation on Transgender Discrimination
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights issued a proposed regulation expanding on its position that discrimination based on gender identity is prohibited under the Affordable Care Act. GLMA issued a statement applauding the move.
GLMA Statement Celebrating Supreme Court Decision on Marriage
“The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation,” wrote Justice Kennedy his majority opinion establishing the freedom to marry. Read GLMA’s Statement here.
GLMA Statement on Supreme Court Decision Upholding the ACA
The US Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell upholding the Affordable Care Act. GLMA issued a statement applauding the decision, which reads, in part: “GLMA will continue its efforts working in coalition with other LGBT organizations and through a strong partnership with the US Department of Health & Human Services to ensure the ACA addresses the healthcare needs and concerns of LGBT people and those living with HIV…” Click here to learn more.
GLMA and WPATH Support Healthcare for Transgender Inmate
GLMA and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals in support of a transgender woman who was denied gender affirmation surgery while in the California State Prison system. The brief argues that, consistent with the WPATH Standards of Care, treatment for gender dysphoria, including gender-affirming surgery, is medically necessary care and that prisons must provide medically necessary care to transgender inmates. Click here to learn more.
AMA Adopts GLMA-Led Policy on Transgender Military Service
The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates unanimously passed a GLMA-led resolution stating “there is no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals” from US military service. Click here to learn more.
GLMA and Other Associations Speak Out On Religious Freedom Laws
As the Governors of and legislators in Arkansas and Indiana work to address the concerns about how religious freedom legislation in their states impact discrimination against LGBT people, GLMA worked to organize health professional associations to join a letter sharing their perspectives as healthcare providers about the potential impact of these laws on care for LGBT patients and their families. We are extremely grateful for the response of our colleagues at sister organizations and the support they have shown to ensure these laws are not used to deny care to LGBT individuals and their families. Click here to read the letter.
Amicus Brief for the Supreme Court Highlights Research Showing Sexual Orientation is an Innate Human Characteristic
GLMA, the American Academy of Nursing and Boston-based law firm Sullivan & Worcester submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the US Supreme Court in the marriage equality cases they will hear oral arguments for on April 28th. The amicus brief highlights the scientific evidence that “sexual orientation is an innate human characteristic that deserves the full and equal protection of the law.” The brief cites decades of studies establishing that genetic, hereditary, hormonal and biological influences are major factors in determining sexual orientation. Click here to read the press release.
GLMA Issues Statement on Change in FDA Blood Donation Policy
In response to the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement in December that it is planning to remove the decades-old FDA policy banning any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 from donating blood and replacing it with a one-year deferral period for MSM, GLMA President Henry Ng, MD, MPH, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, Esq., issued a statement calling for an optimal policy that addresses individual behavior, noting GLMA remains concerned about the stigmatizing impact of a one-year deferral on gay and bisexual men. Click here to read GLMA’s statement.