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Summary: This morning, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a proposal to update the guidelines surrounding blood donation by gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The proposal outlines a significant shift from stigma-laden policies that unfairly deferred LGBTQ+ community members based on their identities toward an evidence-based framework to assess individual risk of HIV transmission. On Friday, January 27, 2023, GLMA President Nick Grant, PhD, ABPP, and Interim Executive Director Alex Sheldon, MA, responded with a statement.

Summary: On Thursday, August 4, GLMA President Nick Grant, PhD, ABPP, and Interim Executive Director Alex Sheldon, MA, issued a statement on the Biden Administration's recent naming of FEMA’s Robert Fenton as the White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis as the White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator. The announcement marks recognition of mounting concern over the rapidly spreading monkeypox virus that has led three states to declare public health emergencies.

Summary: On Monday, July 25, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposed rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rule restores and strengthens protections for LGBTQ+ patients following a 2020 rule which rolled back key protections in the ACA. GLMA issued a statement praising the proposed rule and encouraging health professionals who oppose discrimination to use their expert voices to submit public comment in support of the rule.

Summary: On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision upheld a Mississippi law placing severe restrictions on abortion and overruled long-held precedents Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion care. GLMA President Nick Grant PhD, ABPP, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement.

Summary: On June 15, 2022, President Biden issued a Pride Month Executive Order directing key federal agencies to take comprehensive action to advance and protect LGBTQ+ health and equality. GLMA applauds the Biden administration's Pride Month Executive Order, which includes several initiatives to address LGBTQ+ health and recognizes that health and equality are intrinsically intertwined.

Summary: GLMA congratulates Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, on his historic election as president-elect of the American Medical Association. Dr. Ehrenfeld’s election as the first openly gay president-elect of the AMA is more than a milestone. For the AMA to be led by a physician who is not just openly LGBTQ+ but who has made advocacy for our community a cornerstone of his career is a groundbreaking achievement not just for Dr. Ehrenfeld but also for LGBTQ+ healthcare professionals and allies who have worked over many years to ensure associations are responsive to the LGBTQ+ community.

Summary: GLMA is proud to support California SB 923, the TGI Inclusive Care Act, which would significantly improve access to comprehensive and gender affirming care for transgender, gender non-conforming, and/or intersex (TGI) people in California. On the first day of Pride Month, we submitted a letter of support for CA SB 923 to the California Assembly Health Committee. This first-of-its-kind bill would require health plans to require TGI cultural competency training for contracted providers, their staff, and the staff of health plans. It would also ensure that plan provider directories identify providers who offer gender affirming services. Healthcare discrimination and a lack of access to culturally competent care is a hurdle that TGI people should not have to face.

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.

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