Judge Halts Gender-Affirming Care Ban
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," said GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, in a statement. Read the full statement here.
Registration for the 39th GLMA Annual Conference is Now OPEN
We're thrilled to announce that registration for the 39th GLMA Annual Conference, to be held virtually, is now open! We're also excited to preview some of this year's plenary speakers and topics:
- opening keynote speaker HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, MD
- Jenna Rapues, MPH, leading a plenary on BIPOC Trans Health
- Urvashi Vaid, JD, Jaime Grant, PhD, and Alyasah Ali Sewell, PhD on the National LGBTQ+ Women's Community Survey
- Sean Saifa Wall and Kimberly Zieselman, JD on Intersex Health
- and more!
Take advantage of Early Bird registration rates through August 15. View registration packages and register here today.
Citing Anti-Trans Law and Pandemic, GLMA Announces Virtual 2021 Conference on LGBTQ Health
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. We could not in good conscience ask our conference participants, especially our trans and gender non-conforming colleagues and friends, to subject themselves to the discriminatory atmosphere created by the state's leaders. We are now focused on creating high quality and extremely successful virtual programming for the Annual Conference and Nursing Summit for the second consecutive year. We look forward to the day when we can bring our conference back to the state.
GLMA & NCTE Send Open Letter from Healthcare Providers to National Governors Association Opposing Trans Healthcare Bans
On May 13, 2021, GLMA and the National Center for Transgender Equality sent an open letter to the National Governors Association in opposition to the more than 25 anti-trans bills that would ban medically necessary, life-saving, gender-affirming care for transgender youth being proposed in 13 states. More than 1,600 medical, mental, and behavioral health providers across the country have signed the open letter. The letter urges governors to oppose these bills, as they will allow government officials unwarranted interference in healthcare decisions that should be made with trans youth, their families, and their healthcare providers. "We're grateful to all the health professionals who have used their voices to set the record straight on this dangerous legislation," said GLMA President. Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS. You can still sign on to this on-going open letter!
GLMA Applauds Action to Reverse Healthcare Discrimination Rule
On May 10, 2021, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Office of Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and Title IX's prohibitions on sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. "Every LGBTQ person should be able to access healthcare without fear of discrimination, and today's announcement is a major step towards this future," said GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, in a statement. "We look forward to working with Secretary Becerra and his team to fully implement today's reversal and address all the concerns raised in the lawsuit." Read the full statement here.
Sign the Provider Letter Opposing Anti-Trans Medical Bans
In 2021, at least 38 bills to ban or limit medically necessary, life-saving, gender-affirming care for trans youth have been proposed in 20 states. In partnership with the National Center for Transgender Equality, GLMA has put together an open letter and statement for healthcare providers to oppose these dangerous bills. This letter will send an important message nationally, but we'll also tailor it for states where legislatures are targeting trans youth healthcare, giving us a tool to respond nimbly wherever and whenever trans youth are under attack. Sign on to the letter so that legislators hear loud and clear from healthcare professionals: We refuse to stand by while lawmakers interfere with our duty to provide lifesaving care to trans youth.
39th GLMA Annual Conference: Call for Peer Reviewers
Interested in being a peer reviewer for the 39th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health? The GLMA Education Committee invites applications for the 2021 Peer Review Committee from experienced peer reviewers and those who would like to become experienced peer reviewers. The objective is to develop a roster of peer reviewers that fully reflects the health professions, academic disciplines, communities, and membership that GLMA serves. While the majority of peer reviewers for the GLMA Annual Conference will have academic backgrounds, the Education Committee encourages all allied healthcare professionals and community advocates to submit their interest -- especially those whose vocations, lived experiences, identities, or perspectives are underrepresented within the GLMA conference. The call for peer reviewers will close on April 14 at 11:59 PM ET. Sign up here.
On TDOV, Honoring the Strength of the Trans Community, Speaking Out Against Legislative Attacks
On March 31, 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. We honor the struggle, strength, and resilience of trans people, including many of GLMA's members, and call on health professionals to use their voices to counter medically unsubstantiated legislation targeting the health and lives of trans youth. Read GLMA's full statement here.
Announcing the GLMA Bi+ Health Professional Network Listserv
As Bi+ Health Month comes to a close, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the GLMA Bi+ Health Professional Network listserv. Open to bi+ health professionals, researchers, students, and trainees, the listserv is a space for professional discussion, networking, and community building. This comes as part of our efforts to provide community building and networking opportunities for LGBTQ health professionals aligned with GLMA's Sharpened Focus. We look forward to sharing further opportunities for networking and community-building at the 39th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health and in the months to come. Learn more about the Bi+ Health Professional Network listserv and join here.
GLMA Congratulates HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, MD
On March 24, the US Senate voted 52-48 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. GLMA is proud to have joined over 350 LGBTQ and allied organizations to support her nomination, and we look forward to working with Assistant Secretary Levine. Read GLMA's full statement on the confirmation.
GLMA Applauds Senate Vote to Move Forward with Nomination of Rachel Levine, MD
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. Click here read GLMA's statement on the vote.
Call for Abstracts for 39th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health EXTENDED Through March 29
Abstract proposals are now due by March 29, 2021 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. We especially welcome abstracts pertaining to research and strategies to improve the health of Black LGBTQIA people and LGBTQIA people of color, Indigenous LGBTQIA people, Two-Spirit individuals, transgender and gender-diverse individuals, sexual minority women, and intersex people; the impact of social policies and the political climate on LGBTQIA2S+ health; the impact of policing and incarceration on LGBTQIA2S+ health; bi+ health; LGBTQIA2S+ health, healthcare, and health policy in rural, urban, and international settings; the impact of climate change on LGBTQIA2S+ health, and community-led LGBTQIA2S+ health initiatives. Click here to learn more.
Announcing the 2021 Lesbian Health Fund Grant Cycle
On International Women's Day - March 8 - the Lesbian Health Fund (LHF) announced its 2021 grant cycle. LHF, a program of GLMA, aims to improve the health of lesbians and sexual minority women and their families through investigation and research, and is the only US research fund dedicated solely to the unique health needs of sexual minority women. For the 2021 grant cycle, LHF plans to fund three to eight grants in the range of $1,000 to $10,000 each. Applications are due July 16, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET. Click here to learn more.
Leading LGBTQ Health Organizations Publish Plan for Biden Administration on LGBTQ Health Equity
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. Click here to learn more.
Announcing Call for Abstracts for the 39th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health
This year's conference theme, Closing the Gaps, will focus on strategies to reduce and eliminate LGBTQ health inequities through expanding access to care, and developing leadership of LGBTQ community members and professionals who belong to multiple minority groups. In this era of global pandemics and political change the disparities within the LGBTQ community have been further magnified. This year GLMA aims to highlight speakers (including community leaders, researchers, policy makers, and clinicians) who are working to identify, assess, address, and close these gaps. Abstract proposals are due by March 22, 2021 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. Click here to learn more.
GLMA Applauds Reversal of Transgender Military Ban
On January 25, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order overturning the ban on transgender people openly serving in the military. Healthcare experts agree that there is no medically valid reason to exclude transgender people from service. This has been the position of the leading health professional associations, including the American Medical Association, which adopted this policy in 2015 after GLMA proposed it to the AMA House of Delegates. GLMA issued a statement in response to the reversal of the ban. Click here to read the full statement.
GLMA Issues Statement on Historic Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris
On January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris were sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States. President Biden issued several Executive Orders on his first day, including on LGBTQ equality, racial equality, and the response to the pandemic. "The new administration must use every tool it has to repair the harm caused by an era of attacks on the dignity and lives of people of color, especially Black and transgender Americans," said GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD in a statement. Click here to read the full statement.
GLMA Issues Statement on Historic Nomination of Rachel Levine as Assistant Secretary for Health
Update, January 27, 2021: GLMA joined with more than 350 organizations across the US in urging the Senate to swiftly confirm Rachel Levine, MD to the position of Assistant Secretary for Health. A letter coordinated by the National LGBT Cancer Network, Fenway Health, and Bradbury-Sullivan LGBTQ Community Center, details Levine's impeccable credentials and preparedness to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health.
On January 19, 2021, President-elect Joseph Biden announced that he will nominate Rachel Levine, MD, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services. If confirmed, Dr. Levine will be the first openly transgender official confirmed by the US Senate. GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS, and Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement celebrating her nomination. Read the full statement here.
GLMA Joins Brief in Challenge to Idaho Trans Athlete Ban
On December 21, GLMA proudly joined with twelve other leading health professional associations in a friend-of-the-court brief challenging Idaho's HB 500, which targets trans student athletes, as well as harming intersex athletes and all women and girls in Idaho. The health expert brief was filed alongside friend-of-the-court briefs from athletes in women’s sports, women's and civil rights organizations, intersex advocacy organization InterACT, trans athletes, coaches and administrators, former Idaho attorneys general, and businesses. Read the brief here.
GLMA Mourns Passing of Former Staff Pat Dunn and Grace Flannery
GLMA mourns the recent passing of two former GLMA staff and shares our condolences with their loved ones. Patricia “Pat” Dunn passed away in November. In addition to her large catalogue of other accomplishments, Pat’s seminal work on Healthy People 2010: Companion Document for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health stands out. The Companion Document was published by GLMA in 2001 when Pat served as Director of Policy and Programs. Read more about Pat Dunn’s life here. Grace Flannery passed away in October. According to a 1997 article published in The Bay Area Reporter, as director of the Lesbian Health Fund, Grace was GLMA’s first full-time national advocate. Read more about Grace Flannery’s life here.
AMWA & GLMA Statement on 2020 Transgender Day of Remembrance
On November 19, Nicole Sandhu, MD, PhD, FACP, FAMWA, president of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), and Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS, president of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, issued a joint statement recognizing the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Click here for the full statement.
GLMA Issues Statement on 2020 Presidential Election
On November 9, the Biden-Harris transition team made its first announcement, naming a panel of public health experts to provide evidence-based advice on the coronavirus. In a statement, GLMA praised this signal that federal policy based on science will be a guiding principle of their governance. The statement outlines the work ahead for GLMA in the coming administration. Please click here for the full statement.
Two Top 100 Latinx Scientists Among New GLMA Board Members
During its recent Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health, GLMA introduced new officers and board members, including two new board members listed among the top 100 Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists in America. Cell MENTOR—a resource designed to "equip researchers at every level with the skills they need to perform successful experiments and further their careers”—named Ricardo Correa, MD, EdD, and Estevan Garcia, MD, DrPH, MPA, FAAP, CPE, CPHRM, CPPS, to its Top 100 list published on September 15 to coincide with National Hispanic Heritage Month. Ricardo and Estevan are among nine new and 13 returning GLMA Board members. GLMA board members' and board officers' full bios are available here.
GLMA Joins Lawsuit to Block HHS Healthcare Discrimination Rule
On 6/22/20, GLMA joined a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal and Steptoe & Johnson LLP, challenging the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published healthcare discrimination rule that purports to carve out transgender and LGBQ people and other vulnerable populations from the protections of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, among other bases. GLMA is one of several organizational plaintiffs challenging the rule. Learn more here.
Victory: Supreme Court Rules for LGBTQ Workplace Protections
On June 15, 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ people are protected from workplace discrimination under federal law, saying “it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.” GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, and GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued a statement about the historic ruling available here.
HHS Rule Encourages Discrimination and Endangers LGBTQ Health
On June 12, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services released a final rule that eliminates federal regulations ensuring nondiscrimination in healthcare for transgender people and LGB people, people who are pregnant or seeking an abortion, those who require healthcare services in a language other than English, and other marginalized communities. In its announcement, HHS noted it was “restoring the rule of law” by interpreting sex discrimination “according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.” GLMA issued a statement condemning the action. Read the full statement here.
GLMA Issues Statement on Racism and Racial Violence
On June 5th, 2020 GLMA issued a statement in support of the Black community, calling for an end to racism, racial violence and police brutality. In the statement, GLMA pledged to show up in ways it hasn’t previously for Black communities, especially Black LGBTQ communities. Please click here to read the full statement.
1,000+ Health Professionals Join Letter Opposing Healthcare Rights Law Rollback
On May 28, more than 1000 healthcare providers, health professionals and students sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and other key administration officials expressing opposition to a pending final regulation that would rollback nondiscrimination protections in healthcare for transgender and LGB individuals, women, people with disabilities and patients who need communication assistance in their native languages. The letter calls on the administration to suspend implementation of the final rule, especially during a pandemic when HHS should focus on providing care to all, not setting up barriers to healthcare. GLMA and the National Center for Transgender Equality organized the sign-on effort. To learn more and view the letter, click here.
Second Open Letter on COVID-19 Focuses on Nondiscrimination, Data Collection, and Economic Harm for LGBTQ Communities
On April 21, 2020, GLMA, Whitman-Walker Health, the National LGBT Cancer Network, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, the New York Transgender Advocacy Group, and SAGE issued a second open letter to public health officials, healthcare institutions and government leaders on the impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ communities. The letter, joined by 170 organizations, called for action to protect LGBTQ patients from discrimination and to include sexual orientation and gender identity in data collection efforts related to the pandemic. The letter also called for action to address the economic harm to LGBTQ communities from the pandemic.
To read the full letter and list of signatories, click here.
FDA Changes MSM Blood Donation Policy
On April 2, 2020, the FDA announced it was changing its blood donation policy by lowering the deferral period for a man who has had sex with another man from 12 months to 3 months. GLMA has been advocating for changes to the blood donation policy affecting gay and bisexual men since 1982. In a statement, GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, and GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, called the change “an encouraging step in the right direction” but also called for an end to categorical restrictions that continue to stigmatize gay and bisexual men.
Read the statement here.
Open Letter about COVID-19 and LGBTQ+ Communities
On March 11, 2020, GLMA, the National LGBT Cancer Network and over 100 LGBTQ and ally organizations released an open letter on COVID-19 and LGBTQ+ communities. The letter outlines potential risk factors for LGBTQ people, and calls on public health officials and the media to ensure LGBTQ communities are part of the public health response and communications related to the coronavirus.
To read the letter and for resources related to COVID-19, click here.
GLMA Mourns Passing of Past President Bob Cabaj
GLMA mourns the passing of Robert Cabaj, MD, who passed away at the age of 72 on February 24. Cabaj served as GLMA President from 1994-1995. According to The Bay Area Reporter on March 2, Cabaj was known as a leader in the field of LGBTQ mental health, having co-authored and edited the gamechanging Textbook of Homosexuality and Mental Health and was instrumental in the removal of ego-dystonic homosexuality as an illness in the DSM-III-R. He was remembered fondly by his GLMA family who described him as a “pioneer,” “fierce advocate,” and “great mentor” among many attributes.
To read Robert's full obituary please click here.
US Appeals Court Ruling Threatens the ACA
On December 18, 2019, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling invalidating the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act but asked the lower court to reevaluate whether the other numerous provisions and nondiscrimination protections of the ACA can stand in absence of the individual mandate.
To read GLMA's statement on this decision, please click here.
Victory! Third Judge Strikes Down
Denial of Care Rule
On November 19, a third federal judge ruled that the Trump Administration's discriminatory denial of care rule is invalid. The rule would encourage healthcare providers to deny healthcare to individuals based on a religious or moral objection, endangering the health and well-being of LGBTQ people, women, people living with HIV and other marginalized communities. This lawsuit was brought by Lambda Legal, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the County of Santa Clara (CA) on behalf of several plaintiffs, including GLMA.
Please click here to read more about the case.
#GetCovered Today: Spread the Word about ACA Open Enrollment
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate for low- and middle-income LGBTQ people has dropped by an overwhelming 35%. More LGBTQ people have health insurance than ever before - and that means access to healthcare we need, from life-saving HIV drugs to gender-affirming healthcare. Open enrollment for healthcare coverage runs from Nov 1 to Dec 15 - click here to learn more about ensuring we all #GetCovered.
Record Numbers Attend the 37th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health
Over 600 attendees join GLMA in New Orleans, LA for the 37th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health. This year's conference theme, LGBTQ Health Across the Lifespan, highlights the importance of understanding the ever-changing healthcare needs of LGBTQ people throughout their lives, from birth to end-of-life care.
Comments Submitted Opposing Rollback of Healthcare Rights Law
As you may know, HHS has a released new harmful proposed rule that would rollback Obama-era regulations about protections for LGBT patients in the Health Care Rights Law (Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act). For guidelines on how to submit comments as a healthcare professional/healthcare provider in opposition to the proposed rule by the Aug. 13 deadline, click here.
GLMA Joins Lawsuit Challenging HHS
Denial of Care Regulation
On May 28, 2019, GLMA became a plaintiff—alongside several LGBTQ and women’s healthcare organizations—in a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s Denial of Care regulation that invites widespread discrimination in healthcare against LGBTQ patients, people living with HIV and women. The federal lawsuit, filed jointly by Lambda Legal, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, alleges the regulation, also known as the so-called “conscience rule,” violates the US Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act. To learn more about the lawsuit, click here.
GLMA Condemns Proposed Changes to Healthcare Rights Law
On May 24, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a regulatory proposal that would essentially eliminate gender identity and sex stereotyping from nondiscrimination regulations adopted under the ACA. This revision falsely suggests that healthcare providers and insurers may legally discriminate against transgender people, allowing them to deny transgender people medically necessary and life-saving care. GLMA and the American Psychiatric Association organized a letter of 31 health associations supporting nondiscrimination protections for transgender and LGB patients and GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS, released a statement condemning the regulatory proposal. Click here to read the full statement.
House Passes Equality Act in Historic Vote
On May 17, 2019, GLMA Executive Director issued a statement calling the historic passage of the Equality Act in the US House "a measure that can have lasting positive impact on the health and wellness of our communities." To see the full statement, click here.
Denial of Care Rule Threatens LGBTQ Health
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.” Click here to read the full statement.
GLMA Endorses the Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act
On March 28, 2019, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney introduced the Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act. The bill would prevent Medicaid funds from being used to pay for conversion “therapy” and crack down on misleading billing tactics, which have allowed taxpayer dollars to fund the discredited practice. GLMA was proud to join other advocacy organizations and associations, including The National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, and Equality California, in endorsing this bill. Click here to see the full press release from Representative Maloney's office, which includes a quote from GLMA President Gal Mayer.
AAD Releases Position Statement on SGM Health in Dermatology
On March 4, 2019, 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 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. Click here to see the full statement.
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.