Senate votes to confirm man with anti-LGBTQ rights record for lifetime federal judgeship

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 52-46 to confirm as federal judge a man with a record opposing LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights. Matthew Kacsmaryk will sit on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. It is a lifetime federal judgeship.

Before his confirmation, 75 LGBTQ and allied groups signed a letter addressed to Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member of the committee, in opposition...

The organizers behind Boston’s Straight Pride Parade should concern you

While Boston’s planned “straight pride parade” has created a fountain of hilarious jokes, there is a serious issue at hand with organizers’ close ties to far-right groups.

The three men organizing the parade, planned for August 31, are John Hugo, Mark Sahady, and Chris Bartley, who is called the “gay ambassador” on the event website. Sahady has ties to groups like the Proud Boys, the New Hampshire American Guard, and the Massachusetts Patriot Fron...

Trump administration has now dismantled every major transgender protection it can

The Trump administration announced Friday morning sweeping changes to the rules protecting transgender people from discrimination in health care. Combined with an announcement earlier this week ending gender identity protections in homeless shelters, the administration has now taken steps to exclude transgender people from almost every aspect of public life, including employment, housing, health care, education, prisons, and the military.

The Trump administration has been forecastin...

Transgender Iowans are worried they’ll lose transition-related care under new bill

Iowa is one signature away from enacting a law that would limit transgender people’s access to necessary health care.

The law would allow government entities to opt out of using public insurance dollars, including Medicaid, to pay for any kind of transition-related care. This language was tacked on as an amendment to a health and human services appropriations bill late in the process, LGBTQ rights advocates said, without any committee hearings or public comment process. Lawmak...

Trump administration finalizes ‘conscience’ rule affecting transgender people’s health care

The Trump administration finalized a new rule enabling the discrimination of transgender people in health care on Thursday.

The rule essentially allows health care workers to refer to religious or moral objections when they don’t want to deliver health care services, which would also affect access to abortion and contraception.

The so-called “conscience rule” would revise existing regulations to “ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal conscience and an...

Illinois lawmaker introduces bill to punish doctors for providing health care to trans people

An Illinois bill filed by a Republican lawmaker, the Youth Health Protection Act, would punish doctors for providing transition-related health care to trans youth.

Rep. Tom Morrison’s bill, HB 3515, would prevent doctors from giving hormone prescriptions or providing transition-related surgeries for young trans people under the age of 18. If they do, it will be considered “unprofessional conduct” subject to discipline by a licensing entity or disciplinary review bo...

Trump’s 2020 budget would disproportionately hurt LGBTQ people

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2020 budget would seriously harm the LGBTQ community, many of whom rely on the public programs the administration is intent on shrinking. Even the initiative to end HIV is deeply flawed, experts on LGBTQ policy say.

The 2020 budget includes a $8.6 billion cut for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and proposes eliminating the Community Development Block Grant program and capital improvement funds for public housing repairs.

Trump’s plan to ‘defeat AIDS’ lacks ambition

As teased earlier in the week, President Donald Trump pledged in his State of the Union address Tuesday to “eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within ten years.”

Noting incredibly scientific strides, Trump promised, “Together, we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond.”

Following the speech, Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar released additional detail about the strategy, which for the most part, contains core components that...

The Senate has been rushing through judicial confirmations, including many anti-LGBTQ judges

The process by which the Senate confirms federal judges has greatly shifted under President Trump, and the results are greatly endangering the LGBTQ community. A new report from Lambda Legal shows that more than a third of nominees have a documented history of anti-LGBTQ bias, but many are getting rushed across the confirmation finish line to lifetime appointments anyway.

In the past, the Senate has been a bit slow to confirm judges to the federal bench. For example, under the past ...

Coalition releases plan to end U.S. HIV epidemic by 2025

In advance of World AIDS Day Saturday, a coalition of HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations have laid out a detailed plan to end the U.S. HIV epidemic by 2025.

The new roadmap sets ambitious goals for treatment and prevention and calls upon lawmakers to enact the kinds of changes that will help achieve them.

What that looks like is meeting what is called the “95/95/95” framework:

  • 95 percent of people who have HIV are aware of their status.
  • 95 perce...