Health care for Transgenders getting better

Obama administration proposes to ban health discrimination against transgender individuals

The Associated Press

FILE – In this July 21, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks before signing executive orders to protect LGBT employees from federal workplace discrimination in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The Obama administration has proposed to ban discrimination against transgender people throughout the health care system, carrying out anti-bias provisions in the president’s health overhaul. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Associated PressSept. 3, 2015 | 3:06 p.m. EDT+ More


WASHINGTON (AP) — Mirroring a shift in society, the Obama administration proposed Thursday to ban discrimination against transgender people throughout the health care system.

Once the proposed regulations are final, they should expand insurance coverage for gender transition and prohibit health care facilities from denying transgender people access to restrooms that match their individual gender identity.

The new protections are part of a broader rule from the Department of Health and Human Services to carry out anti-bias provisions of President Barack Obama’s health care law. In a first, the law specified that sex discrimination is prohibited in health care, and the regulation carries it a step further, clarifying that “gender identity” is included under that protective umbrella.

“This is a huge step,” said Michael Silverman, director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York. “It covers a lot of ground.”

The new transgender policy comes as social attitudes about sexuality and gender are undergoing major changes. The Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, and the gender transition of Olympian Bruce Jenner from male to female — Caitlyn — has brought new awareness about a group often ostracized by society.

The long-delayed rule amounts to a manual for carrying out the health law’s prohibition against medical discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Those underlying provisions already are in effect.

Jocelyn Samuels, head of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said the rule does not explicitly require insurers to cover gender transition treatment, including surgery. But insurers could face questions if they deny medically necessary services related to gender transition by a man who identifies as a woman, or a woman who identifies as a man.

“It is basically a requirement that insurers use nondiscriminatory criteria,” Samuels told reporters.

Advocates for transgender people note that insurers already pay for services such as hormone treatments and reconstructive surgery, but decline to cover them when they’re part of a gender transition.

“What the rule says is they cannot exclude transgender people from the services that other people have,” said Harper Jean Tobin, policy director for the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Currently, 10 states plus Washington, D.C., require private insurers to cover transgender health care, while six states plus the nation’s capital cover such services through their Medicaid programs, according to advocates.

The new requirements would have impact throughout the health care system because service providers who accept federal dollars would have to comply.

Medicare and Medicaid are the cornerstone of hospital finances. That means transgender people could not be restricted from access to bathrooms or hospital wards consistent with the gender that they identify with, Samuels said.

Most doctors would be covered. Insurers that offer plans through would have to comply with the requirements in their plans off the health insurance exchange as well.

The regulation may not be final for many months. The public comment period extends through Nov. 6, and officials are seeking comment on a range of difficult issues, including religious conscience protections for service providers and whether sexual orientation — whether a person is a gay man or a lesbian — should also be protected.

Other advocates were disappointed with a separate section of the rule addressing discriminatory insurance benefits. That can happen, for example, when an insurer requires patients to pay a large share of the cost for all drugs used to treat a given condition.

The AIDS Institute and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said the regulation was not specific enough, and the final version needs to provide examples of benefit designs that would be considered discriminatory.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


History of the lgbt community and the struggle for equality

Respect for Marriage Act Dozens Of Major Corporations File Amicus Brief In Support Of Marriage Equality In Florida – The New Civil Rights Movement All Tampa Bay A By Letting Weddings Star South Carolina May Have reimburse Eleventh Circuit green l const Supremacy ClauseHolder to file brief arg Marriage Equality Is a National issue Our Journey through the 5th circuit court const Supremacy Clause 4 reasons scotus may have taken the michigan casenew mexico receiving deluge of gays Disowned gay Georgia teen creates a homeless shelter Matlovich matlovich Durso-Gates-LGBT-Homeless-Youth-Survey-July-2012 Too many LGBT kids are homeless lgbt J.K has some advice for antigay fans Marriage Equality Makes U.K roommate hits with hammer 1973 1974 1972 pride 1970 michigan 1965 gay pride month When Backing Pro-Gay GOP White House Says No Religious exemption Why are LGBTs more likely to be depressed Why The New Superman Is why the romans are important in gay marriage Will a comprehensive LGB Windows Into LGBT History World Health Organization gay is not a disease wwII love letter _I haven’t had a chance .. ‘Help the LGBTQ homeless 2014_LGBT_CasparVSnyder_complaint 68471022-CA101-Stonewall-Riots 81380103-LGBT-History-Timeline 112109352-LGBT-History-Month-Icons 149520202-Homosocial-World-of-Men-the-Stonewall-Riots-and-Beyond 164989914-Historia-LGBT 202148701-LGBT-Bibliography-works A gay dad writes to the A Gay Dad’s Letter to th A Gay Dad’s Open Letter alexander the great being cut off and disowned by ones family Betty leonard dies at 90 ‘Boss fired me after learning on facebook that I was gay bride groom story film Calif California legislature p.. California Takes a Stand Catholic Schools Firing Couple Indicted Over Tor Couple On Trial For Murdered 8 yr old couples throughout history denying access to u.s of anti-gays Despite Duggar, Fayettev Detroit couple claim…re gay · PinkNews Do I Need to Get The Men.. Documentimited partnership Feds Extend All Gay marriage and homosexality Gay son kicked out by re Gay son kicked out Ginsburg On Rulings Race _ National Law Journal giving a child to a gay couple Historic Day For Diversi Homosexuality in the 6th century How to Up Your Activism Game In 1969 Intersex rights movement.. John Lithgow talks gays in film. Judge oders anti-gay scott lively to stand trial L.A Larry Kramer’s Historic Lawyer Faces ‘Severe’ Ac legendary drag queen dies lesbian article Lesbian lawyer struck, k LGBT-History-Month-Icons Malaysian Plane Containe Mattachine Society Matthew Shepard Foundati Mean Girls actor joins g Michael Bedwell – HOMOPH…N WWI Moms With Guns Founder C N.J allows trans teen to attend as a girl No One Is Invincible Obama Shifts Course on marriage act blocking gays One Night in 1969 _ The Bilerico Project philly area trans teen commits suicide on the train Police Records Document .. PrideSource – Transgende Regional Alliance, other Regnerus at The New Civil Rights Movement Remembering the UpStairs Ruth Bader Ginsburg To M San Francisco LGBT Memor Scientists Would Like to remind us being lgbt is not a mental disorder Seattle Man Confesses to Senator Markey Introduce Shane Bitney Crone Spanish Conservative Chr Stonewall riot is the first case in American history that marked the beginning of LGBT Stonewall riots Stonewall-Riots stop defending same sex ban streisand to do duet with gay son Jason Gould teen commits suicide after internet blackmail in canada Teen From Disturb Teen Set On Fire By Parents The Gay Essay The High Line, 1 The LGBT Movement After Marriage The Real-Life Parallels to ‘Love Is Strange’ The truth about sexuality thomas lee bridegroom Toys ‘R’ Us Doll With A Trans teen steps in front of a train transgender attack in DC UK lesbian left unconsci UK man embeds hammer in Under Obama, Windsor Imp What Gay Pride Looked Like in 1970 Continue reading

With a stroke of a pen the Catholic church gets advice

Nurse destroys archbishop’s gay marriage stance with a stroke of her pen A 65-year-old former nurse has told the leader of England’s Catholics to ditch the robes, the Latin and activism against gays and start helping the needy
Vincent Nichols parading through Westminster Cathedral: A nurse has told him he should ditch the robes and his hatred of gays.
A 65-year-old former nurse has delivered a withering telling off to the Archbishop of Westminster – England’s most senior Catholic – for his stance on gay marriage.

The woman, who now works with animals and lives in northern England, says she has been married for 30 years but gay marriage doesn’t threaten the status of her relationship whatsoever.

And she says Archbishop Vincent Nichols and his church have become obsessed with gay sex, ignoring the real problems of society – the economy, schools, hospitals and our children’s future.

She tells him the so-called ‘Princes of the Church’ should ditch the ‘silk, the gold, the Gucci shoes, the ridiculous tall hats’ in favor of a simple pilgrim’s staff and get on with helping real people.

And she says Jesus ‘appears to have happily shared meals with prostitutes, drunkards, lepers, Gentiles and I do not doubt with people of same-sex orientation’.

Nichols has campaigned vigorously against same-sex marriage but she warns him the church’s propaganda calling homosexuality ‘disordered’ and ‘evil’ makes it impossible for the LGBT faithful to feel at home in Catholicism.

She has requested to remain anonymous but asked GSN to share her letter. We understand that she has received a reply from Nichols, but it failed to address the substance of her comments.

You can read her letter here:

Dear Archbishop,

I listened to your letter of Sunday 3 February in which you asked us as a matter of urgency to either send a postcard provided or write to our local MP to request him to vote against the government’s proposed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. I came out of the church with two thoughts and one resolve. Firstly I thought ‘Lord pity and help any gay person sitting listening to that letter’ not a word a charity or understanding did it contain. Secondly I thought or asked ‘Where in that is the love of Christ for all humankind?’ My resolve was not to contact my MP.

That decision was not made because of the tone of your letter however. I do not find it at all easy or even possible to uphold the church’s teaching on homosexuality. Among gay people of my acquaintance are those who have a deep spiritual life, to have one’s sexual orientation, an orientation that one is born with, described as an ‘objective disorder’ and to hear homosexual acts described as ‘intrinsically evil’ surely makes it almost impossible to feel at home or welcome in the church. It is utterly unrealistic to expect homosexual people to live celibate lives (We all know that many priests find this very difficult and sometimes impossible). The revelations of clerical sex abuse have led many of us to look with a very critical eye on the so-called celibate life and to realize that it has all to often lead to warped and destructive behavior.

To return to same-sex marriage, can it be abhorrent that two people of the same sex would wish to experience that emotional and physical closeness that marriage offers? We believe that God is love and so it must follow that in every loving and committed relationship God must be present – or does this, in your understanding, only apply in heterosexual relationships? Is heterosexuality more valued by God and by the church than homosexuality? You are, I suppose, aware that there are more than a few homosexual men in the priesthood and that nowadays heterosexual men are much less willing to embrace the celibate life. Is the good work done by such men less valuable in the eyes of this church? If so is it further evidence of its dysfunctional state?

I am 65 years of age and have been married for almost 30 years. I would so have appreciated an explanation from you or any of the hierarchy exactly how my long and happy marriage will be threatened by the union of gay couples. When I meet people in my day to day existence they talk about the economic climate (bad), lack of employment (bad), uncertain future for their children (bad), state of schools, hospitals (bad) – never ever has anybody expressed concern about a threat to their marriage by the proposed legalizing of same-sex marriage. You, the church, claim that marriage is the bedrock of society and indeed it is but you also seem to consider it so fragile that allowing a few gay people access to it will endanger it forever. Here the implicit homophobia cannot be ignored.

Sadly you still think your pronouncements will be accepted without question by a meek credulous herd. You have spent far too much time telling us just how sinful we are while drawing veils of respectability over your own grievous wrongdoings.

I sometimes despair of this church, this institution. It seems to me in my reading of the Gospels that Jesus had no problem whatsoever with those who were considered outsiders or exceptions. He appears to have happily shared meals with prostitutes, drunkards, lepers, Gentiles and I do not doubt with people of same-sex orientation since such an orientation has existed since time began. The church seems much happier with its version of order over compassion and love towards the so-called exceptions. It has an appalling history of excluding and torturing those who do not think or subscribe to its definition of ‘right’.

The world is facing disaster on all levels and this church, when not obsessing about matters sexual, spends an inordinate amount of time on pointless activities such as changing the liturgy back to a correct translation of the original Latin – a language not spoken by Jesus but spoken by the oppressors of his time and country. Do you imagine that this obsession with precisely translated texts will win you a single new adherent? To me, you (particularly but not exclusively the hierarchy) appear to be a frightened group of men preoccupied with titles, clothing and other religious externals. You seem, with some wonderful and brave exceptions, to pay only lip service to ecumenism and matters of social justice. I would love to see the so-called ‘Princes of the Church’ (Where did all these triumphant, utterly anti-Gospel titles you award yourselves come from?) get rid of the silk, the gold, the Gucci shoes, the ridiculous tall hats, croziers, fancy soutanes etc etc and substitute bare heads and a simple pilgrim’s staff on all liturgical occasions and that might be taken as a small outward sign of your inner acceptance of fundamental Gospel values.

I seem to have digressed somewhat but to return to where I started, same-sex marriage. I will always be unsure of the validity of any principle or opinion that makes one act in an unkind or intolerant way. Toleration, of course, has its limits, I want you to cry out against injustice and cruelty. Explain to me please exactly how marriage will be ‘changed forever’ by the proposed new laws, specifically tell me how my marriage will be threatened.

I admit that I am not very well versed on biblical texts and I know that there are those who can find a text to confirm any prejudice without having to resort to any sort of reasonable debate but surely if we accept one piece of scripture (Lev 18:22) which declares homosexuality to be an abomination, to judge what is right or wrong, we must accept them all. Following this logic we are therefore forbidden to wear garments made of two different kinds of thread (Lev 19:19), men must never have their hair trimmed especially around the temples (Lev 19:27). According to Lev 25:44 I may possess slaves provided they are purchased from neighboring nations, not sure if this applies to non-members of the EU! As for organizing the stoning of transgressors – well, a logistical nightmare!

Archbishop, we have grasped the principles of evolution, stopped burning witches and holding heresy trials, discounted the flat earth theory. Do you now think we could move the debate about equal human rights for people of same-sex orientation and also the status of women in the church on by a few millennia please?

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Tennessee takes a step forward toward marriage equality

USA, Tennessee: Gay Couple Applies for Marriage License
Written by scott on August 7th, 2013
Tennessee Couple – Marriage LicenseThe battle truly has moved into the red states. In Tennessee, a gay couple just applied for a marriage license. Out and About Nashville reports:     Tennessee Couple - Marriage License

After announcing that they would begin encouraging same-sex couples to apply for Tennessee state marriage licenses at their monthly community meeting last week, the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) joined couples this morning seeking to not only apply for a marriage license but also clarify the standing of existing marriages. Davidson County couple Jeff Laudieri and Will Peyton have been together for nine years and this morning applied for a Tennessee state marriage license. It’s important that Tennessee get on board with the other 13 states that have done this … we are at a serious economic disadvantage and a civic disadvantage for not being able to marry,” Laudieri told reporters after he and Peyton were denied based on Tennessee law. “We just want the same piece of mind that every other married couple has always had and we want to do it in Tennessee where we live.”
I remember a few years back, it felt like we were being attacked on so many fronts in so many states that we didn’t knowhow or where to respond first. I imagine it feels like that to marriage equality opponents now.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Tennessee.

Posted in Marriage Equality/Gay Marriage, Marriage License, Tennessee |
Tags: davidson county, gay couple, Gay Marriage, marriage equality, marriage licnese, same sex marriage, tennessee

1 Comments so far ↓
Sherri Gray says: August 7, 2013 at 9:56 am
Dear Jeff and Will…I live in Davidson County too, and am an advocate for Marriage Equality. If you have a ceremony i will sing my song, “What If We Are Just Like You” at your wedding…it’s now youtube viral. We need to get more people on board here in the Bible Belt’s belly button:)! here’s the URL:

and i hope that others who read this will listen to the song and share it. i have rec’d hundreds of positive comments from all over the world. We need to continue increasing our numbers.

thank you to Gay Marriage Watch for keeping us informed…i am loving being on this right side of history!

hugs, Sherri Gray