Janson Wu, Executive Director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) stated, “There’s something you can do - right now - to get us closer to our dream of true equal justice for LGBT people & people living with HIV in Massachusetts. The deadline for legislators to co-sponsor bills has been extended to Monday, February 2nd at 5P.” If you live in Massachusetts please call your senator & representative & ask them to co-sponsor 3 crucial pieces of legislation for our LGBT community this session. First is HD 1769 An Act Relative to HIV-Associated Lipodystrophy Treatment, sponsored by Rep. Sarah Peake & Sen. Mark Montigny. Lipodystrohpy is a disfiguring side effect of some lifesaving, but highly toxic, HIV medications creates stigmatizing changes in body shape & appearance, causing profound physical & psychological harm to people living with HIV. While there are inexpensive, effective medical treatments for lipodystrophy, insurers routinely deny claims for treatment on the basis that they are cosmetic & not medically necessary. This bill requires insurers to provide medical treatment for lipodystrophy. The second bill is HD 3072 An Act Relative to Gender Identity & Non-Discrimination SD 398 An Act Relative to Transgender Non-Discrimination sponsored by Reps Byron Rushing, Denise Provost & Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz. Massachusetts currently provides no express protections for transgender people against discrimination in public spaces like hospitals, stores, or public transportation. This bill would address that unjust situation by amending our public accommodations law to include gender identity. The third bill is HD 3202 An Act Relative to Abusive Practices to Change Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity in Minors sponsored by Rep. Kay Kahn, This bill would prohibit licensed health care professionals from engaging in the discredited & harmful practice of seeking to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Once again, the deadline for legislators to co-sponsor these bills is this Monday February 22nd at 5P.
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