Summary: On May 13, a federal judge in Alabama granted a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the new state law prohibiting gender-affirming care. This is a tremendous relief for Alabama trans youth, their families and clinicians who provide gender-affirming care. GLMA applauds this decision. In his ruling, the judge cited the amicus brief that GLMA joined along with 20+ other medical associations in his ruling: “…the uncontradicted record evidence is that at least twenty-two major medical associations in the United States endorse transitioning medications as well-established, evidence-based treatments for gender dysphoria in minors.” Healthcare providers should not have to choose between prison and providing medically necessary, evidence-based, lifesaving healthcare for their patients—youth who are counting on them for care.
Summary: GLMA has joined the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and 20 additional health professional associations on an amicus brief opposing the Alabama law criminalizing gender-affirming care that took effect on May 8. The brief, which describes the widely-accepted, evidence-based guidelines for gender-affirming care, was submitted in support of a requesting request for a temporary restraining order that would prevent enforcement of the law while various lawsuits move through the courts. A federal judge is expected to rule on the temporary restraining order by the end of the week.
Summary: GLMA is outraged by the imminent threat to abortion access. An attack on abortion rights is an attack on our fundamental right to healthcare and bodily autonomy and will disproportionately harm the already marginalized, including people of color, low-income people, and LGBTQ people. Abortion remains legal in the US and the leaked Supreme Court draft ruling is not final. GLMA has joined with abortion rights advocates in supporting Bans Off Our Bodies, a mass mobilization to support our right to abortion and reproductive health. It is critical for LGBTQ healthcare providers to visibly and vocally oppose this attack on our freedoms as providers and as LGBTQ people.
Summary: GLMA is proud to endorse the 2022 Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA), following over a decade of support for previous versions of HEAA. The bill is a comprehensive and strategic legislative roadmap that aims to eliminate racial and ethnic health inequities. HEAA is the only legislation that directly addresses the intersection of health inequities with race and ethnicity, as well as immigration status, age, disability, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, language, and socio-economic status.
Summary: On April 20, 2022, the Florida Department of Health issued non-binding guidance opposing science-based gender-affirming care for youth. The guidance goes so far as to suggest that social transition should not be considered a valid treatment option for youth. GLMA President Nick Grant, PhD, and GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, spoke out against the new guidance, saying, "Healthcare professionals, along with transgender youth and their families, are the experts on gender-affirming care. Not politicians. Yet the DeSantis administration is abusing its power for political gain, to interfere in the relationship between healthcare provider, patient, and family."
Summary: Earlier this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a letter and opinion with a dangerous and false suggestion that gender-affirming care for transgender youth should be considered child abuse in the state. In response, GLMA President Nicholas Grant, PhD, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement condemning the actions. "Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton are jeopardizing the health and wellbeing of transgender and gender nonconforming youth in Texas with this baseless and cruel attempt to interfere with young people and their families who are simply seeking the best healthcare available. GLMA and our colleague health professional associations know that gender-affirming care is evidence-based, medically necessary and saves lives," they said.
Summary: GLMA President Nick Grant, PhD, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, marked Trans Awareness Week with a statement: "Trans communities, led by Black and brown trans leaders, have called for more than remembrance. Trans Awareness Week, which culminates in TDOR, asks us to uplift, celebrate, and learn from trans people in the present. In the face of unprecedented legislative attacks as well as ongoing violence, trans communities persist and flourish. And trans communities must have solidarity from healthcare professionals. Healthcare systems have been and continue to be complicit in stigma and discrimination against trans people...But healthcare providers can also be unique advocates for trans health, safety, dignity, and life—and we must be."
Summary: In a hearing on July 21, 2021, a federal judge in Arkansas issued a preliminary injunction preventing a state law banning gender-affirming care for youth from taking effect. The ACLU requested the preliminary injunction as part of its broader lawsuit challenging this first-of-its-kind law, which the Arkansas legislature adopted in April over the veto of the governor. “To pull this care midstream from these patients, or minors, would cause irreparable harm,” the judge is reported to have said during the hearing. GLMA was proud to join with 18 health professional associations in an amicus brief explaining to the court the medical consensus in support of gender-affirming care and how the ban would harm transgender youth.
Summary: On the first day of Pride Month, the governor of Florida signed into law a divisive and damaging bill prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in school sports. In view of this harmful law and ongoing concerns about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the conference, GLMA’s leadership has made the decision that its 39th Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health will be held virtually from Sept 22-25, 2021. The conference was originally planned to be held in-person in Florida.
Summary: On May 10, 2021, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and Title IX’s prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. GLMA applauds HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra for his leadership, and looks forward to working with Secretary Becerra and his team to fully implement today’s reversal and address all the concerns raised in the lawsuit.
Summary: On March 31, 2021, International Transgender Day of Visibility, GLMA condemns the spate of legislative attacks on healthcare for transgender youth in states across the US. Just two days before TDOV, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the US to adopt a ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth. GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement honoring the struggle, strength, and resilience of trans people, including many of GLMA's members, and calling on health professionals to use their voices to counter medically unsubstantiated legislation targeting the health and lives of trans youth.
Summary: On March 24, 2021, the US Senate voted to confirm Rachel Levine, MD as Assistant Secretary for Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services. With this confirmation, Rachel Levine has made history as the highest ranking openly transgender person to serve in the US government and the first transgender nominee to be confirmed by the Senate. Her confirmation is a step in rebuilding the trust that has been lost through the previous administration’s unprecedented attacks on LGBTQ people, especially on transgender health.
Summary: On March 17, 2021, in a bipartisan vote, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions advanced the nomination of Rachel Levine, MD, as Assistant Secretary for Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services. With this vote, Rachel Levine is one step closer to becoming the highest ranking openly transgender person to serve in the US government and the first transgender nominee to be confirmed by the Senate.
Summary: On February 17, in response to LGBTQI public health challenges that were amplified and exacerbated by the Trump Administration, a group of leading LGBTQI advocates have published a report identifying opportunities for immediate action for improved health outcomes for LGBTQI people throughout the United States. The scope of the document, co-authored by GLMA, reflects the urgency to address health disparities in LGBTQI communities and identifies many ways that the Biden-Harris Administration can remove barriers to well-being and health for marginalized sexual and gender minority people.
Summary: On January 25, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order overturning the ban on transgender people openly serving in the military - a ban which healthcare experts agree is scientifically unsubstantiated. GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement applauding the reversal.