News out of Texas that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott notified state health agencies that medical treatments provided to transgender adolescents should be classified as “child abuse” under existing state law is very disturbing. As explained in a policy brief published by the Fenway Institute at Fenway Health, the move is part of an orchestrated effort to advance the political right’s culture war against LGBTQIA+ people. The policy brief also outlines recommendations for clinicians, parents and other caregivers, school officials, and lawmakers to take in response to these attacks on transgender and gender diverse children and adolescents. You can read a summary of the policy brief here. The full brief can be downloaded here.
If you would like to directly support organizations in Texas working on behalf of transgender and gender diverse children, adolescents and adults, three of the most established Texas-based LGBTQIA+ advocacy and service organizations are listed below:
On-going efforts in Florida to silence LGBTQIA+ people and prevent their access to health care are equally disturbing. The Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act (Stop WOKE Act) would permit employees, parents, and students to sue employers and schools that teach about racism and offer training to deal with systemic racism. The Don’t Say Gay bill would prohibit discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. The Protections of Medical Conscience bill would permit health care providers to refuse treatment on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, immigration status, and national origin. To learn more about Florida-based efforts to defeat these bills, visit Equality Florida.
To learn more about the status of LGBTQIA+ people in Ukraine:
- The Kiev-based LGBTQIA+ rights organization NASH MIR Center published a report in 2018 documenting violence against LGBTQIA+ people in Ukraine between 2014-2017, which captured the impact of the 2014 Russian invasion and subsequent annexation of Crimea in 2014. The report showed that physical violence and threats against LGBTQIA+ people “sharply increased” after 2014. The authors wrote: “We attribute this to the fact that some informal Russian homophobic groups (first of all, Okkupai-pedofilyai) at this time extended their activities into the territory of Ukraine.”
- Last year, NASH MIR Center published a report published its annual report on the status of LGBTQIA+ people in Ukraine.
- The Daily Beast reports that LGBTQIA+ people are taking up arms to fight back against the Russian invasion.
- In an opinion piece for the Washington Blade, Olena Shevchenko, Chair of Insight, a Ukrainian LGBTQ rights group, writes about the dangers LGBTQI+ people face under Russian occupation of Ukraine.