601 posts categorized "Health"

July 28, 2015

ICYMI: Senate appropriations bill emerges without D.C. riders

July 16, 2015

ESPYs honor brave girl and her dad with Perseverance Award

Devon Still of the Bengals and his daughter Leah, who is battling cancer, were honored last night at the ESPYs.

July 14, 2015

GLAA at the witness table

Here I am, testifying at the July 10 hearing on the Death with Dignity Act. My hair looks less gray in my mirror in the morning.

Rev. Cedric Harmon testifies for Death with Dignity Act

Our friend Rev. Cedric A. Harmon, who was on the steering committee for D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, and is co-director of Many Voices, testified on July 10 in support of the Death with Dignity Act of 2015. Thanks to him.

July 13, 2015

End criminalization of HIV status

GLAA has long agreed with the National Center for Lesbian Rights on this issue. Criminalizing HIV status is insanely counterproductive.

Obama signs work-around to Hobby Lobby ruling

We'll see how this goes.

July 10, 2015

GLAA testifies for Death with Dignity Act

Today at a hearing of the D.C. Council Committee on Health and Human Services, I will testify for GLAA in support of Councilmember Mary Cheh's Death with Dignity Act. I will be accompanied by former GLAA president Craig Howell, who drafted our testimony. Here's a passage from the ending:

The Humanist magazine reported last December that Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu publicly "declared himself in favor of assisted dying should he ever find himself terminally ill or in a situation of unbearable suffering." Stephen Hawking, probably the most famous differently-abled person in the world, has said he too might one day want to exercise his right to die: "To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity."

The openly gay retired Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, writes, "There is nothing innately good about allowing 'nature' to take its course in a prolonged and painful journey to an inevitable death. It doesn't make you a better person because you endured the indignity and trauma of it."

Contrary to Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, this legislation is not based on a "eugenic philosophy" but on compassion and respect. We urge its passage.

The bill is based on a 1997 Oregon statute, and includes appropriate safeguards to prevent coercion or other abuses. The experience in Oregon and other right-to-die states should allay concerns in this regard. Read GLAA's testimony here.

D.C. cracks down on synthetic drugs

Well this is disturbing. NBC4 reports:

In one week in D.C., police say, a woman abandoned a baby in a stroller alongside a busy D.C. street -- and a young man who had been in college just a year ago stabbed a passenger on a Metro train 30 to 40 times.

The two crimes were tied together by the drug police believe the suspects may have been using: synthetic marijuana....

Mayor Muriel Bowser will sign into law the "Sale of Synthetic Drugs Emergency Amendment Act of 2015" Friday at noon.

June 30, 2015

SCOTUS allows Texas abortion clinics to remain open

Some good news, if temporary, on the reproductive choice front.

June 25, 2015

SPLC Wins Fraud Suit Against New Jersey 'Ex-Gay' Torture Group

'Etched into American law for a genereration'

CAP: ACA decision saves lives and affirms the rule of law

Right wing cries Apocalypse over ACA ruling

Good for some laughs.

#SCOTUS upholds ACA subsidies 6-3

OPM to ban trans-exclusion in federal health plans

What? The Obama administration is working to advance transgender equality? Outrageous! Interrupt the president at the Pride Month reception!

Dear GetEqual: If you can't get some manners, get a frigging clue.

June 24, 2015

Feds Order Federal Employee Health Plans To Cover Transgender Health Services

Our friend Dana Beyer writes on Facebook:

Good story by Geidner on the continuing progress towards trans equality in the administration. We're now at the stage where muscle needs to enforce the words as they're being clarified.

June 22, 2015

A humane way to end life

WaPo makes the case for D.C. Council member Mary Cheh's Death with Dignity Act of 2015, Bill 21-38, which GLAA endorses.

June 16, 2015

A fun night at Chef's Best

Savada-Stevenson table Chefs Best 2015

The 25th anniversary Chef's Best was held Monday evening at the Marriott Marquis. I was a guest of my friends Alan Savada and Will Stevenson. Here's a picture of our table. The whole thing was a bit chaotic, but was a lot of fun and we had some wonderful food. One highlight was a small plate of cookies from pastry chef Peter Brett. Also the lobster mac and cheese, but I forget who that was from. And there was a tasty shrimp and corn salad, and the most incredible deviled eggs, and....

The event was a fundraiser for Food & Friends, which is expanding to serve people with diabetes.

June 15, 2015

Penis transplant recipient impregnates his girlfriend

The wonders of modern medicine never cease.

June 05, 2015

Thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, a teaching moment on trans lives

Here are a few thoughtful entries in the national discourse prompted by Caitlyn Jenner's coming out on the cover of Vanity Fair. Also at WaPo, a story on social conservatives dancing the Apocalypso.

June 02, 2015

No, this didn't 'cure' his homosexuality

May 29, 2015

Legislative victory against conversion therapy in Illinois

The national movement to protect youth from the discredited and dangerous practice of “conversion therapy” has another victory. On Thursday evening there was a celebration of D.C.’s new law prohibiting conversion therapy for minors. Four survivors of the practice told us their stories, which were troubling but also inspiring. There is growing energy in this movement.

May 26, 2015

MD Gov. Hogan to allow two LGBT bills to become law

Better than a veto.

May 20, 2015

Oregon bans conversion therapy

May 19, 2015

Rep. Ted Lieu presses nationwide conversion therapy ban

Good.

May 15, 2015

Jeb says you don't need Obamacare, just get an Apple Watch

May 12, 2015

Anti-Choice Groups Vow to Defy New Provisions of DC Law That Don't Exist

Right-wing groups and members of Congress are determined to block the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 for things it does not do. The few, the obnoxious, the illiterate.

Could we maybe stop mistreating children with disabilities?

Meanwhile, in Louisiana, police handcuff an autistic girl and pin her to the ground for climbing a tree.

May 06, 2015

California AG seeks to block gender reassignment for trans inmate

Uh-oh.

May 05, 2015

SCOTUS affirms New Jersey's conversion therapy ban

Good news from the U.S. Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court has refused to grant certiorare to a case that challenged a 2013 New Jersey law banning the use of so-called "conversion therapy" on minors.

This is good news for D.C.'s Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act of 2014, which became law on March 11. Read GLAA's testimony on that legislation.

April 29, 2015

Virginia Foxx disses EHN

Oh no she didn't.

Norton condemns Republican leadership for bringing disapproval resolution to Rules Committee

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Contact: Benjamin Fritsch – o: 202-225-8050, c: 202-225-8143
April 29, 2015

Norton Condemns Republican Leadership for Bringing Bill Allowing Reproductive Health Discrimination Against D.C. Employees to Rules Committee Today, Final Step Before Floor Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today blasted the House Republican leadership for sending to the Rule Committee, at the request of the House’s most conservative Members, a disapproval resolution to overturn the District of Columbia Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), which would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees, their spouses, and their dependents because of their private reproductive health decisions. Norton will testify against the disapproval resolution at today’s Rules Committee markup, scheduled for 3:00 p.m. in H-313. In her prepared testimony, Norton said, “For the first time ever, the House would affirmatively authorize employers, in this case, in the District of Columbia, to use religion to discriminate against employees for their private, constitutionally protected reproductive health decisions.” If RHNDA is overturned, employees in D.C. could be fired for having an abortion after being raped, for using condoms, or for buying birth control for their daughters. The Rule Committee is the final stage before a bill goes to the House floor for a final vote.

“Although their bill so grossly violates the privacy and the reproductive rights of employees in the District of Columbia that it should be inconceivable that they would bring it to the floor of the House of Representatives, House Republicans are set on continuing their war on women, especially the women of the District of Columbia,” Norton said. “The Republican leadership decision to send the disapproval resolution to the Rules Committee was made after a new House caucus, the House Freedom Caucus, the most extreme and conservative House caucus, demanded it. Not only does this disapproval resolution violate the private health decisions of employees in D.C., it violates the local democratic rights of 650,000 District residents by overturning a local law that matches our citizens’ local interests. I will vigorously defend the District’s local anti-discrimination bill from being trampled on at today’s Rules Committee hearing.”

Norton’s testimony, as prepared for delivery, follows:

Continue reading "Norton condemns Republican leadership for bringing disapproval resolution to Rules Committee" »

April 20, 2015

House Republicans take issue with another D.C. law

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(Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

WaPo reports that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) called a committee vote for Tuesday (4/21) to mark up a resolution of disapproval against the D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. GLAA's Craig Howell posted the following comment as a correction:

Contrary to this report, nothing in the Human Rights Amendment Act requires religious colleges and universities to officially recognize or fund LGBT student organizations. They would have to provide equal facilities to such groups. A court decision laid down this common-sense principle in the 1980s, only to have it capriciously overturned when Congress adopted the notorious Armstrong Amendment. Georgetown University has led the way to show how Catholic educational institutions can support their LGBT students without compromising either secular anti-discrimination laws or their own religious principle. Unfortunately, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Catholic University and their nuttyfundamentalist allies on the Hill are more interested in playing the victim card and scapegoating the LGBT community than in promoting workable accommodations.

Roll Call reports.

April 15, 2015

Norton criticizes Reps. Black and Hartzler for violating local control principles

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Norton Wonders Why Representatives Black and Hartlzer Would Introduce Disapproval Resolutions Permitting Discrimination Against Women and LGBT Students in Violation of Their Own Local Control Principles

Apr 15, 2015 - Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Not long after a disapproval resolution was introduced on Monday that would license discrimination against District of Columbia women in the workplace, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) pledged to fight yet another disapproval resolution introduced yesterday that would permit discrimination against LGBT students by their own universities. She said she plans to mount a vigorous defense of home rule and workplace equality at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s (OGR) markup of the workplace discrimination bill scheduled for Tuesday, April 21. In total this week, Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) have introduced anti-local-control resolutions to block two D.C.-passed anti-discrimination bills, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA) and the Human Rights Amendment Act (HRAA), from taking effect, though only Black’s RHNDA disapproval resolution is scheduled to be marked up by OGR on Tuesday. RHNDA would prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee, spouse or dependent based on personal reproductive health decisions. Under RHNDA, a woman could not be fired for having an abortion after being raped, a man for using condoms, or parents for buying birth control for their daughters. HRAA would repeal a congressionally imposed rider that permits schools in D.C. to deny LGBT students equal access to school facilities and services.

“Representatives Black and Hartzler both assure their constituents in Tennessee and Missouri of their adherence to limited government on their websites,” Norton said. “Yet, in violation of their professed principles, they have introduced bills that would misuse the power of the federal government to block the local laws of a local jurisdiction from taking effect. I suspect the constituents of Representative Black in Tennessee and Representative Hartzler in Missouri would be surprised to learn that their Members, have taken time away from the vital issues of their own districts and national matters to focus time and energy on entirely local D.C. matters. Mind you, neither Representative Black nor Representative Hartzler represents the American citizens residing the nation’s capital, and my constituents cannot respond to their action. OGR will markup RHNDA, a local matter on which members have almost no background, without so much as a hearing on the bill, where D.C. officials would have had the opportunity to explain the importance of RHNDA to women and workplace equality.”

Congress passed the Home Rule Act in 1973 to give D.C. authority over its local laws, but all D.C. bills must be transmitted to Congress for a review period before they can take effect. Members almost always respect the D.C. Home Rule Act. RHNDA and HRAA were transmitted for a 30-legislative-day review period on March 6, 2015. A bill takes effect at the expiration of the review period unless a resolution of disapproval is enacted into law during that period. Norton has prevented a disapproval resolution from being enacted into law since 1991.

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RSC calls on Congress to block D.C. anti-discrimination bills

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(Rep. Diane Black. Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) has introduced a disapproval resolution (H.J. Res. 44) in the House to block D.C.'s Human Rights Amendment Act, which among other things repeals the anti-gay, congressionally imposed Armstrong Amendment that dates from the late 1980s. This is on the heels of Monday's introduction by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) of a disapproval resolution (H.J. Res. 43) against D.C.'s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act.

The House Oversight and Government Reform will hold a markup this Thursday, April 16, at 11:30 am. In the event Hartzler's resolution is moved at the markup, it would be subject to a point of order for violating the three-day rule for markups; such a point of order could only be waved through unanimous consent.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton yesterday denounced the first disapproval resolution (on reproductive health) in no uncertain terms:

If Congress wants to try and strike down our local law, the very least the District of Columbia is entitled to is an open hearing. Instead, with little notice and no hearing, the disapproval resolution seeks not only to undermine the democratic will of D.C. voters, but also the constitutional rights of men and women to privacy concerning their most personal matters. An individual's decisions concerning reproductive choices are personal health care decisions, and are perhaps the most private of decisions protected by the Constitution. Personal reproductive matters certainly are not work related, and are no business of an employer.

The largest House Caucus, the Republican Study Committee, has called on Congress to pass the disapproval resolutions or attach riders to the D.C. Appropriations Bill to block implementation of the D.C. anti-discrimination bills. GLAA is working with a wide array of local and national allies to defend both bills.

Roll Call reports.

(Hat tip: Bradley Truding)

Update: The OGR markup has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

April 14, 2015

Cultural competency bill for healthcare providers introduced in D.C. Council

Thanks to Councilmembers Grosso and Alexander for introducing the bill we and our allies have been working on to establish LGBT cultural competency requirements for District-licensed healthcare providers. And thanks to their colleagues for unanimously co-sponsoring. CM Alexander chairs the Health committee, so we were pleased to help get her on board as co-introducer.

D.C. Council rejects Corizon contract on 6-5 vote

Thanks to Councilmembers Charles Allen, Mary Cheh, David Grosso, Phil Mendelson, Brianne Nadeau, and Elissa Silverman for voting today to disapprove the Corizon contract for inmate healthcare. Thanks also to our many allies who opposed the contract, including Deb Golden at the D.C. Prisoners Project, Samantha Davis at So Others Might Eat, and Shannon Minter at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Here is a sample of GLAA's letter to CMs urging rejection of the contract.

A number of people hired by Corizon wore t-shirts saying "Jobs Not Jail," which is agreeable enough but not the issue under discussion, which was Corizon's terrible record in providing correctional healthcare services. Some of the same folks were picketing in front of the Wilson Building when I arrived for the legislative meeting, and their picket signs were incoherent. I asked one of the Corizon picketers whether he was for Corizon or against it, and he could not answer me. I guess the instructions were, "Wear this shirt and carry this sign."

This could come up again if allies of Mayor Bowser win the special elections for D.C. Council seats in Wards 4 and 8. So stay tuned.

April 13, 2015

GLAA urges D.C. Council to reject #Corizon contract for inmate healthcare

Deb Golden of the D.C. Prisoners Project tweets GLAA's letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson urging rejection of the Corizon contract. Here is a copy of our letter to Ward 1 CM Brianne Nadeau. We have also signed on to a joint letter.

April 09, 2015

President Obama opposes youth 'conversion' therapies

Thank you, Mr. President.

March 24, 2015

The questionable ethics of #Corizon

GLAA's concerns about Corizon are stated here.