Thousands of HRC Members Submit Public Comments With One Message—Trans Veterans Deserve Care

More than 2,000 LGBTQ people and allies from across the nation joined HRC in responding to a request for public comments regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs’ current discriminatory policy prohibiting the VA from providing gender affirming surgeries to veterans.  

Access to comprehensive transition related care is essential to promoting the health and well being of transgender people. The American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have issued public statements over the past decade that consistently conclude transition related care is both medically necessary and the appropriate treatment for gender dysphoria.

Despite these conclusive findings, the Trump-Pence administration continues to blatantly challenge surgery as a medically-validated option to treat gender dysphoria, undermining the health of transgender veterans. HRC members and supporters have made it clear that the current prohibition conflicts directly with the best practices for transgender care and is blatantly discriminatory.

1/ Hello, this is @HRC Press Secretary Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer). As a transgender woman and veteran, I’m doing an #HRCTwitterTakeover to urge people to take action and tell @DeptVetAffairs that trans vets deserve medically necessary care. https://t.co/eMM3t5sj59 pic.twitter.com/34lf6IWAc4

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

2/ The vast majority of Americans are in total agreement: ensuring service members and their families receive care and respect.

Yet the Trump-Pence administration continues going after trans troops and now veterans. This is simply unacceptable. — @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

3/Few things unite the country as much as the effort to provide compassionate & competent care for veterans. As a trans vet, I’m heartbroken that for as much reverence I received, my status as a trans person seems to painfully supersede that service.-@cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

4/ For decades, the @DeptVetAffairs excluded coverage of medically necessary surgical procedures for transgender troops suffering from stress and anxiety of trying to align their gender identity with their presentation. — @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

5/ This exclusion flies in the face of every major medical authority. @DeptVetAffairs acknowledged research showing that severe medical consequences can arise if transition-related surgeries and procedures are not provided. — @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover https://t.co/3xdj9BaRrR

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

6/ Under Trump-Pence, the VA has maintained the exclusion policy. It’s not the first time they attacked trans people serving. After @realDonaldTrump tweeted a ban on trans troops, a bipartisan choir spoke out against the unconstitutional policy. – @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover pic.twitter.com/UKfhOP4cWe

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

7/ Now, we are called to protect trans veterans, but the window is quickly closing on our ability to oppose this discriminatory and dangerous rule. Public comments are due �������� ������������. Take some time to submit one. – @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover https://t.co/eMM3t5sj59

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

8/ This administration is using the same discredited excuses that they have invoked to justify their ban on open service to now target medically necessary health care for trans vets. Tell @realDonaldTrump & @mike_pence that trans vets deserve care. – @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

9/9 Take action with @HRC NOW. Tell the @DeptVetAffairs that ALL veterans deserve medically necessary care, regardless of who they are, from a grateful nation they so honorably served. Read more about this in my latest piece for @TheAdvocateMag. https://t.co/1i1Auj3qvF

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

Health care decisions should be left to patients and health care providers. They should be based solely on the current standards of care and not on political convenience or partisan ideology.  

HRC stands with transgender veterans and demands that the VA put our veterans — and their health — first.

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HRC Sends FOIA Request to Justice Department Regarding Creation of “Religious Liberty Task Force”

Today, HRC sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Justice (DOJ) calling for the release of all records related to the so-called “Religious Liberty Task Force” announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on July 30, 2018. HRC is demanding transparency from the DOJ, which has not provided details publicly on the activities of the task force, including how much it is spending, what it’s mandate and scope is, and who is on it.

Sessions announced the creation of the task force on July 30th at the U.S. Department of Justice standing alongside the anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and their client, a Colorado baker who refused to serve a gay couple in violation of the state’s nondiscrimination law. It will be co-chaired by Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio, who was an attorney in 2010 for supporters of Proposition 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban, and Beth Williams, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy.

The FOIA request was sent ahead of Sessions’ speech tomorrow at the ADF Summit on Religious Liberty.

“The American people deserve transparency about how much taxpayer money the DOJ is spending on this discriminatory so-called “task force,” said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. “We also deserve to know: who is on this task force? What is the scope of its mandate? Was this proposed by ADF or other anti-LGBTQ groups? It is important that the American people understand the process through which this task force was created and the involvement of anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom.”

This task force is the latest effort in an 18-month campaign by the Trump-Administration to license discrimination against LGBTQ people for so-called ‘religious’ reasons. Last year, Donald Trump issued an Executive Order directing Jeff Sessions to look across the federal government and assess ways in which the administration could license discrimination at government agencies. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of a so-called “Conscience” Division, empowering health care providers to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The Trump Administration has also proposed an accompanying rule that could permit health care providers–doctors, nurses, and even non medical support staff like receptionists–to deny even potentially life-saving care to LGBTQ people, women, and other vulnerable communities on the basis of the worker’s personal beliefs.

HRC has been chronicling the Trump-Pence Administration’s onslaught of attacks on the LGBTQ community here: hrc.org/trump.

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