Obama to Issue Executive Order Against LGBTQ Discrimination

Campaigners say White House move ‘will begin to undo one of the last vestiges of legally sanctioned discrimination’

— by Lauren McCauley, staff writer, Common Dreams
(Photo: Sandburchick/ cc/ Flickr)

In what is being hailed as a major victory for LGBTQ rights, the White House confirmed on Monday that President Obama is going to issue an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity with taxpayer funds by all federal contractors will begin to undo one of the last vestiges of legally sanctioned discrimination,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, who called the news “historic.”

According to a White House official who spoke to the Huffington Post, the president has “directed his staff to draft an executive order” banning workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors.

However, it was not said when the president was going to sign the order into law.

According to the unnamed official, the executive order will “build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

The rights group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said that the forthcoming order is the “culmination of six years of advocacy” on the part of human and civil rights campaigners.

Thus far, efforts to pass legislation barring workplace discrimination have stalled in Congress. Though passing the Senate last November, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)— which would affect all employers nationwide—has not yet come up for vote in the House.

“By issuing an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people, the President will not only create fairer workplaces across the country, he will demonstrate to Congress that adopting federal employment protections for LGBT people is good policy and good for business,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. Griffin added that the White House statement is “promising,” saying that advocates “look forward to seeing the details of the executive order.”

Resources on LGBT Workplace Discrimination:

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Optimizing LGBT Health Under the Affordable Care Act

 

Strategies for Health Centers

By National LGBT Health Education Center and Center for American Progress
Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) is expected to expand insurance coverage to millions of Americans starting this year. Among those most in need of access to affordable health insurance and high-quality health services are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Research has shown that many LGBT Americans, particularly same-sex couples, transgender people, and those living with HIV, have difficulty accessing insurance and are disproportionately likely to lack coverage.  This brief explains how the Affordable Care Act will benefit LGBT Americans, particularly through better data collection, stronger nondiscrimination policies, a new essential health benefits standard and other insurance reforms, and coverage expansions. Part 1 provides an overview of the issues, while Part 2 discusses how America’s health centers, which are integral to efforts to enroll uninsured people, can deploy effective strategies for reaching LGBT people.

Read more here …

See Also: Fact Sheets on the Affordable Care Act and LGBT Communities


Asking Patients Questions about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Clinical Settings

By The Fenway Institute and Center for American Progress

The Institute of Medicine, the U.S. government’s Healthy People 2020 strategy, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations are among many entities that have recommended asking sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) questions in clinical settings and including such data in Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Many health care providers are in the process of considering how to do this. In order to better understand how a diverse group of people would respond when these questions are asked, several hundred patients at four health centers across the United States were surveyed about asking SOGI questions in their health center.  This study found wide patient support for the importance of SOGI data and demonstrated the feasibility of collecting SOGI data using existing question designs.

Read more …

Center for American ProgressThis material [the articles above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

SB192: They Hope You Don’t Care About Reproductive Freedom

A few legislators want to weaken Nevada’s strong laws protecting reproductive freedom, and they’re doing it by claiming they’re protecting religion. The Religious Freedom Preservation bill (Senate Bill 192), which passed in the Senate and is now in the Assembly, would allow health care providers to deny needed services to patients because of their personal views about race, religion, gender, social status, and type of illness or injury.

Should your health needs be subject to a religious test?  That would be a definite, “NO!”

 Tell your Nevada Assemblyperson that health care providers cannot use religion to discriminate against patients.

We’ve asked the supporters of this bill why Nevada needs these so-called religious protections. We have not received an answer. Maybe it’s because religious freedom is currently well-protected under state and federal law. On the other hand, we have seen numerous real-life attempts to use laws like this to deny access to health care in other states:

  • Pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control or emergency contraception because it is “dangerous” or “not right” for women
  • Doctors and entire hospitals refusing to terminate pregnancies, even to save the life of the mother
  • A hospital denying HIV medication to a patient because of his sexual orientation
  • Dozens of companies suing to escape the contraceptive provisions of President Obama’s health care program

Health care professionals’ primary concern must be a patient’s welfare. Their job is to provide needed health care services, not to impose their personal, religious beliefs on their patients.

Urge your Assemblyperson to protect access to health care that is free from discrimination. Ask them to oppose this troubling and unnecessary bill.

In liberty,

Vanessa Spinazola
Legislative Director
ACLU of Nevada