Wednesday, March 22, 2017

End Dangerous Conversion Therapy

There are 20 states with pending legislation to protect our LGBTQ youth from the harmful, unscientific, disproven practice of sexual orientation & gender identity conversion efforts that are shockingly still in practice today. Andy Garcia, Program Manager of Equality Federation stated, “In a sea of anti-LGBTQ legislation & attacks, this is an area where our movement has momentum & broad bipartisan support because this practice is so harmful & outrageous & something that no young person should be subjected to.” Conversion therapy known as reparative or ex-gay therapy in some circles refers to the practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity to fit heterosexual or cisgender standards & expectations. Every major medical & mental health association, including the American Medical Association & the American Psychological Association, condemns the practice because research concludes that so-called conversion therapy is extremely dangerous & does not work. Sam Brinton, who is just 30 years old, was subjected to electroshock & other abusive tactics in attempts to convert him stating “I was told I was the only gay left on earth, that the government had come through & killed off every gay child when they were born. When the mental torture didn’t work, we moved into physical torture. My parents were lied to & I was abused, all in the name of trying to change something I never chose.” States with conversion therapy bans are California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon & Vermont. Check to see where your state stands on this issue & take action.
For More Info: equalityfederation.org
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

PFLAG To Honor Martha Plimpton

PFLAG National the nation's largest organization uniting families, allies & people who are LGBTQ announced it will honor Emmy® Award-winning actress Martha Plimpton with the Straight for Equality in Entertainment award at the Ninth Annual Straight for Equality Awards Gala on Monday, March 27th at the Marriott Marquis New York in Times Square. Elizabeth Kohm, Interim Executive Director of PFLAG National stated, “As Eileen on The Real O’Neals, we have watched Martha take the journey that thousands of PFLAG parents have taken & she does it so authentically. Martha is & continues to be, a strong, dedicated & vocal advocate for LGBTQ equality, for women’s rights & for civil rights in support of marginalized communities. We are thrilled to be able to honor her this year.” Plimpton added, “It means the world to me that I’ve been able to contribute some small part to helping parents understand & accept their LGBTQ kids through the role I play on The Real O’Neals. Being raised with & by people from all walks, of every stripe, makes me certain that the world is a richer & more joyful place & life is more beautiful, when love comes first.” Straight for Equality awards are presented to individuals who are transforming the way that LGBTQ people are understood & treated, using their talents & platforms in their respective fields to empower others to become engaged & outspoken allies for fairness, diversity & inclusion. This year’s gala will be emceed by comedian & writer Fortune Feimster. The evening will also feature a performance from the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots.
For Info & Tix: pflag.org
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Trump Eliminating LGBT Elders

The Trump Administration is continuing to go after the most vulnerable members of our LGBTQ community by attempting to erase our LGBTQ seniors from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP). SAGE (Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders) has announced that it is launching a nationwide effort to oppose Trump’s proposed erasure of LGBT elders from this crucial survey. Specifically, SAGE opposes changes that would eliminate questions that allow the federal government to assess the extent to which LGBT older adults are receiving federally funded elder services. According to a March 13 notice in the Federal Register those questions which have been included in the Survey since 2014 are proposed for elimination in the 2017 Survey. This is the only change the Trump Administration proposes to the Survey. Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer of SAGE stated, “Caring about our LGBT elders means making sure they have access to publicly-funded senior services, which can be literally life-saving. Now, it appears that the Trump Administration wants to make believe LGBT older people don’t exist, by erasing them from this critically important survey. We insist that this decision be reversed & that the federal government commit to serving all elders in need, including those who are LGBT.” This annual survey is conducted by the federal government to evaluate the effectiveness of programs funded under Title III of the Older Americans Act, including who is being served by such programs. Results from the survey are used to determine how to direct billions of dollars toward older people’s needs through publicly funded senior centers, home-delivered meals, family caregiver support, transportation & other key supports.
For More Info: sageusa.org
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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Senator Warren LGBTQ Reception

There will be a fabulous must-attend LGBTQ reception event to support Senator Elizabeth Warren's reelection campaign on Sunday, March 26th at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams at 142 Berkley Street in Boston, Massachusetts with a VIP Host Reception at 5:30P & Guest Reception at 6P. Senator Warren will attend. Arline Isaacson, Co-Chair, Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus stated, "Elizabeth Warren is a stalwart in her support of LGBTQ rights & equality. In this Trump-Pence era, we face a Congress controlled by homophobic & transphobic electeds. Now more than ever, we need voices like hers that rise above the fray of hate & fear to show Americans what this country can and should be. The forces of bigotry & prejudice have tried to stop her. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted. We hope LGBTQs & allies will join us March 26th to thank & support Senator Warren. We need her now more than ever." The Host committee includes Mary Breslauer & Rebecca Haag, David Goldman & Jacques Abatto & Bryan Rafanelli & Mark Walsh. Co-Hosts are Elyse Cherry, Diane DiCarlo & Jeanne Leszczynski, Chris Flynn & Dan Newton, Arline Isaacson, Marc LaCasse, Neal Minahan, Sue Reamer, Joseph Smith & Scott Popkowski, Paula Rooney & Gail Meehan & Scott E. Squillace Esq. & Christoper J. Gayton. Contributions or gifts to Elizabeth for MA are not tax deductible.
For Info & Tix…
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

New LGBT Fenway Health Report

With the devastating news that 24 million Americans will lose their health insurance by 2026 as a result of Trump’s American Health Care Act, The Fenway Institute of Fenway Health in Boston, Massachusetts released a policy brief outlining just how the Trump Administration’s proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could impact our LGBT community, people living with HIV (PLWH) & Black & Latino Americans. Sean Cahill, PhD, Director of Health Policy Research for The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health stated, “This bill holds potentially devastating consequences for low-income LGBT people, people living with HIV & Black & Latino people. The rates of uninsurance among LGBT people & people living with HIV have dropped dramatically since 2013, when the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion was implemented. While people of all races benefitted from the expansion of insurance access, on a per capita basis Black & Latino people benefitted disproportionately. Those gains could be completely erased if this bill becomes law.” Between 2013 & 2015, the rate of uninsurance among our LGBT community decreased from 22% to 11%. The percentage of people living with HIV who lacked any kind of health insurance coverage was 22% in 2012 & dropped to 15% in 2014. By 2020, the AHCA would revise eligibility criteria for enrollment in Medicaid so that in addition to being low-income, an enrollee would also need to be disabled or a parent of dependent children. People living with HIV would have to let their disease progress to AIDS in order to meet the definition of disabled. & many low-income LGBT people are not parents.
Read Full Report…
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Out & Equal CEO Search (AUDIO)

Selisse Berry Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Founder & CEO announced she will be stepping down as CEO & moving into an advisory role in August 2017. Thanks to Selisse’s vision, dedication & collaboration 92 percent of Fortune 500 companies welcome LGBT employees with inclusive policies. Selisse stated, “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to create & lead this incredibly important organization. In partnership with hundreds of the world’s largest multi-national corporations we have achieved more for LGBT workplace equality than I ever dreamed possible 20 years ago.” Berry started out by having one-on-one conversations with business leaders, sparking the relationships and building the business & human case for welcoming LGBT people into the workplace. Donna Griffin, Board Co-Chair of Out & Equal added, “After her personal experience with workplace discrimination, Selisse Berry turned to action: launching one of the most successful campaigns for LGBT equality of the last 20 years. Over the course of two decades she built Out & Equal into the global, thriving, $8 million nonprofit organization that it is today. Her work is an inspiration & her legacy will continue in the work of Out & Equal." The organization has launched an executive search to ensure its ongoing success as it continues to build partnerships with business leaders in the U.S. and globally to ensure LGBT can thrive in their workplaces. We talked to Selisse in this exclusive audio byte last October about her inspiration for founding Out & Equal Workplace Advocates & her commitment to LGBT equality:

For More Info: outandequal.org
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

US Hate Groups At United Nations

The United States Department of State official delegation to the 61st annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) includes representatives of two notorious hate organizations known to oppose the UN human rights system, LGBTQ rights & women’s sexual & reproductive health& rights. They are the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-FAM) & the Heritage Foundation. C-FAM is labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Heritage Foundation called for a cut in funding for programs combatting violence against women & claims that anti-discrimination laws grant LGBT people “special privileges.” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated, “In their Senate confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Tillerson & US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley repeatedly pledged to uphold the right to be free from discrimination as an American value. The appointment of these organizations to the official US delegation undermines their positions. I urge Secretary Tillerson & Ambassador Haley to ensure that the US delegation maintains non-discrimination at the CSW in the face of obvious pressure from these newly appointed members of the delegation. Fundamentalist notions about how women & girls should behave should never be the basis of advising or negotiating US foreign policy. It is also a bad sign that two organizations that have tried to delegitimize the United Nations & human rights internationally now sit on the official US delegation. Maybe the violent mentality that got C-FAM labeled a hate group successfully panders to their base, but the US government must ensure protection for the world’s most vulnerable people.”
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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