Difference between revisions of "LGBTQ+ Equality"

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This is a collaborative knowledge base; feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.
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This is a shared public project. Feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.
  
 
== [[File:fist.png | left | 50px | How You Can Resist | link= ]] How You Can Resist ==
 
== [[File:fist.png | left | 50px | How You Can Resist | link= ]] How You Can Resist ==
*'''Call your Member of Congress by dialing tel:844-6-RESIST and tell them to support legislation that supports LGBTQ+ equality.
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*'''Call your senator by dialing tel:844-6-RESIST and tell them to oppose the [[Healthcare|American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)]]''', to support transgender troops serving in the military and to support LGBTQ+ equality.
 
*'''Find out''' when your Senators and US Representative are holding [[Upcoming Events/Opportunities]]. Show up and tell them to support LGBTQ+ equality.
 
*'''Find out''' when your Senators and US Representative are holding [[Upcoming Events/Opportunities]]. Show up and tell them to support LGBTQ+ equality.
*Click [https://www.resistancemanual.org/People_and_Organizations here] to find an organization looking for volunteers.
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*Find organizations looking for [[Organizations_Working_for_Justice_and_Equity#LGBTQ.2B_Equality|volunteers]], organizations working in your [[Organizations_Working_for_Justice_and_Equity#LGBTQ.2B_Equality_2|state]], and organizations offering [[Organizations_Working_for_Justice_and_Equity#LGBTQ.2B_Equality_4|information and online opportunities]].
*Connect people to Trans/LGBTQ+ [[Crisis Resources]] who may need them.
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*Connect people who may need them to LGBTQ+ [[Crisis_Resources#Trans_and_LGBTQ.2B_Crisis_Resources|Crisis Resources]].
  
 
==Recent Updates==
 
==Recent Updates==
*4/19/2017: The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is considering whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, protects transgender people. The 7th Circuit Court recently ruled that it did prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, so this could establish an important precedent to protect transgender individuals against discrimination too.[http://www.workforce.com/2017/04/19/lgbt-discrimination-coverage-title-vii-hits-6th-circuit/]
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*10/5/2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the Justice Department to take the position in court cases that transgender people are not protected by a civil rights law that bans workplace discrimination based on sex. [https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/politics/transgender-civil-rights-act-justice-department-sessions.html]
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*7/28/2017: The Trump Administration nominated Pete Hoekstra as Ambassador to the Netherlands, a move that was opposed by LGBTQ rights activists because Hoekstra has a long history of opposing LGBTQ+ equality, marriage equality, and adoption.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/07/28/trump-nominates-a-gay-rights-opponent-to-serve-as-ambassador-to-the-netherlands/?utm_term=.2009ebe17101]
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*7/27/2017: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Dunford declared that, until the White House sends an official rules change and the Secretary of Defense issues new guidelines, there will be no change in policy concerning transgender people in the military. This means that transgender people currently serving are safe unless Trump's tweets are followed by an official order.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/us/politics/transgender-military-trump-ban.html]
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*7/27/2017: Trump announced he would name Governor of [[Kansas]] Sam Brownback, a vocal opponent of LGBTQ+ equality, ambassador at large for international religious freedom.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/us/politics/white-house-lgbt-rights-military-civil-rights-act.html]
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*7/26/2017: In a case opposing an employee fired for being gay and his former employer, the Department of Justice filed court papers stating that federal anti-discrimination laws do not protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation. This question is being raised in many federal court cases, and courts have interpreted the law in different ways (see below).[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/nyregion/justice-department-gays-workplace.html?_r=1]
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*7/26/2017: President Trump tweeted that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the military in any capacity. This would reverse the Obama administration's policy. The announcement took the Pentagon by surprise, and it is unclear what will happen to transgender people currently serving in the military. Trump announced the decision while Congress was debating the military spending bill, and some Republicans had asked that [[Healthcare|healthcare]] costs for transgender people be excluded from the bill.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/us/politics/trump-transgender-military.html?_r=0]
  
 
== [[File:activelegislation.png | left | 50px | Actions Taken by the Federal Government | link= ]] Laws Proposed by Congress==
 
== [[File:activelegislation.png | left | 50px | Actions Taken by the Federal Government | link= ]] Laws Proposed by Congress==
  
===Legislative Actions===
 
 
<span style="background:#DFFFDF">'''Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice'''</span>
 
<span style="background:#DFFFDF">'''Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice'''</span>
*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s411 '''S. 411'''] would end profiling by law enforcement and for other purposes, including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s411]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s411 '''S. 411'''] would end profiling by [[Policing|law enforcement]], including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s411]]
 
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1447 '''H.R. 1447'''] would prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of sex or sexual orientation.<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1447]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1447 '''H.R. 1447'''] or Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017 would prohibit discrimination in [[Housing / Infrastructure|housing]] based on sex or sexual orientation.<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1447]]
 
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr149 '''H.R. 149'''] would facilitate the fight against discrimination in housing.<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr149]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr149 '''H.R. 149'''] would aid in the fight against [[Housing / Infrastructure|housing discrimination]].<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr149]]
 
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s662 '''S. 662'''] also known as NO HATE Act would strengthen legislation combating hate crimes.[http://www.alexandrianews.org/2017/03/blumenthal-and-beyer-introduce-no-hate-act/]<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s662]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s662 '''S. 662'''], also known as NO HATE Act, would strengthen laws fighting hate crimes.[http://www.alexandrianews.org/2017/03/blumenthal-and-beyer-introduce-no-hate-act/]<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s662]]
 
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1957 '''HR 1957'''] also known as the Safe Schools Improvement Act would require schools to adopt anti-bullying policies that specifically include LGBTQ+ students.[http://www.hrc.org/blog/safe-schools-improvement-act-reintroduced-in-congress]<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1957]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1957 '''HR 1957'''], also known as the Safe Schools Improvement Act, would require [[Educational Justice|schools]] to adopt anti-bullying policies that specifically include LGBTQ+ students.[http://www.hrc.org/blog/safe-schools-improvement-act-reintroduced-in-congress]<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1957]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s928 '''S. 928/HR 2119'''], also known as the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, would outlaw conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ people.[https://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/bill-for-the-lgbt-kids?utm_term=.jev7LRpmD#.sb1EzRVBW]<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s928]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s954 '''S. 954'''], also known as the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, would require [[Educational Justice|universities and colleges]] to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[https://origin-nyi.thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/330928-dem-lawmakers-introduce-anti-harassment-bill]<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s954]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s1006 '''S. 1006/HR 2282'''], also known as the Equality Act, would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.-<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s1006]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr2491 '''HR 2491/SB 1172'''] would require the [[Foreign Policy / Global Security|State Department]] to ban foreigners who have committed significant abuse against LGBTQ+ people from entering the US and to document this abuse in the annual human rights report.-<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr2491]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s1258 '''SB 1258'''] would improve data collection on the sexual orientation and gender identity of the victims of violence and improve the documentation and reporting of such acts.[https://www.hrc.org/blog/the-lgbt-pride-act-would-combat-violence-suicide-in-lgbtq-community]-<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s1258]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hres419/text '''HRes 419'''] would recognize LGBTQ+ rights as human rights protected by the Constitution and state that all Americans should be treated equality regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.-<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hres419/text]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hres405 '''HRes 405'''] would make June 26 Equality Day, encourage its celebration and recognize the need for further legislation to guarantee equality throughout the US .-<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hres405]]
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<span style="background:#FFDFDF">'''Harmful Legislation'''</span> <br>
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Harmful bills that should be '''opposed:'''
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1881 '''HR 1881/SB 811'''] would allow child services organization to discriminate against LGBTQ+ foster parents on religious grounds[https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/lgbt-advocates-say-federal-legislation-would-allow-religious-adoption-agencies-to-discriminate/Content?oid=3132562].-<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1881]]
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*[https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hres427 '''HRes 427'''] would authorize widespread discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.-<br>[[File:Billtracker.png | left | class=img-max-600 | 600px | link=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hres427]]
 
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==Transgender Rights==
 
==Transgender Rights==
There are few laws protecting transgender individuals from discrimination at the Federal level. However, recent court decisions have made more and more clear that Federal laws against discrimination based on “sex” such as the Title VII of the [https://catalog.archives.gov/id/299891 1964 Civil Rights Act] - prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, among other criteria, by an employer with 15 or more employees – do protect transgender individuals to some extent.[https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/transgender-people-and-law] In the absence of clear Federal legislation, this remains subject to the opinion of the judges and can be reversed. This is why States have begun to pass laws protecting transgender individuals in some particular places such as schools. Many other rights of transgender individuals are decided at State level, such as the ability to change their name and gender marker on their identity paper or have their healthcare included in State Medicaid. See the '''[[State and Local Pages]]''' to see where your State stands on these issues.
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Few federal laws protect transgender people from discrimination. However, recent court decisions have ruled that federal laws against discrimination based on “sex,” such as Title VII of the [https://catalog.archives.gov/id/299891 1964 Civil Rights Act], do give transgender people some protection.[https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/transgender-people-and-law] Without federal laws, though, individual judges can reverse these decisions. This is why some states have begun to pass laws protecting transgender people, such as those against discrimination in [[Educational Justice|schools]]. The states also handle many other rights that affect transgender people, like the ability to change their name and gender on their identity documents, or to have their [[Healthcare|health care]] included in state Medicaid. See the '''[[State and Local Pages]]''' to see where your state stands on these issues.
 
 
===Obamacare repeal===
 
The repeal or replacement of the [[Obamacare / ACA|Affordable Care Act]] could have dire repercussions on the transgender community. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits health-care providers and insurers from discriminating on the basis of gender, and the Obama administration has issued a rule based on this section barring discrimination against gender nonconforming and transgender people,[http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/tom-price-secretary-hhs-policy/509159/] including for transition-related care and gender reassignment surgery.[http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/11/22/obamacare-repeal-would-hurt-lgbt-people/] If the ACA is repealed, then the rules that interpret the law (including this protection) would no longer be in effect. Furthermore, given that the new Secretary for Health and Human Services, [[#Secretary_of_Health_and_Human_Services_Tom_Price|Tom Price]], has objected to other protections for transgender people,[http://www.projectq.us/atlanta/transgender_bathroom_backlash_grows_in_georgia?gid=17800] he is unlikely to try to reinstate a similar protection through other means. In addition, Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers of health care for trans people, and blocking Medicaid patients from accessing its health centers, as stated in the replacement version of Obamacare proposed by Congress and the Administration so far, would dramatically impact trans people’s access to health care.[https://www.aclu.org/blog/washington-markup/obamacare-repeal-bill-catastrophically-bad-and-numbers-prove-it]
 
  
 
===Military===
 
===Military===
Trump and his security advisors have described the move to authorize transgender soldiers to serve openly and to ban discharge based solely on their gender identity[https://www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0616_transgender-policy] as ill-advised "social engineering" imposed on the armed forces.[http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/12/19/female-and-transgender-troops-fear-exclusion-in-trumps-pentagon/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2ASituation%20Report] Trump's pick for Secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis, has also voiced skepticism and criticized civilian leaders for pushing a "progressive agenda" that could weaken the Army. It is also worth noting that as a congressman, [[Trump_Administration#Vice_President_Mike_Pence|Pence]] voted against the repeal of the ban on openly gay troops—as did [[Trump_Administration#Attorney_General_Jeff_Sessions|Jeff Sessions]]. [https://theintercept.com/2016/11/28/trump-may-not-be-anti-gay-but-much-of-his-senior-staff-is/] It would be easy to rescind or revise the Pentagon policy on transgender individuals, as Mattis would only need to notify Congress 30 days in advance and no legislation would be required,[http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/29/can-mad-dog-mattis-temper-the-impulsive-president-elect/] but the move would impact an estimated 1,320 to 6,630 soldiers (numbers from the RAND report commissioned by the Pentagon in August 2008[http://www.rand.org/blog/rand-review/2016/08/transgender-troops-fit-to-serve.html]) and leave them without protection.
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Trump and his security advisors do not want to allow transgender soldiers to serve openly, and want the right to discharge people from the military because of their gender identity.[https://www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0616_transgender-policy][http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/12/19/female-and-transgender-troops-fear-exclusion-in-trumps-pentagon/]
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[[Trump_Administration#Secretary_of_Defense_James_Mattis|Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis]] has criticized civilian leaders, saying that their "progressive agenda" could weaken the Army. If Mattis wanted, he could reverse the Pentagon's policy on transgender people by notifying Congress 30 days in advance. No legislation would be required.[http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/29/can-mad-dog-mattis-temper-the-impulsive-president-elect/] This would affect 1,320 to 6,630 soldiers (numbers are from a 2008 report[http://www.rand.org/blog/rand-review/2016/08/transgender-troops-fit-to-serve.html]).
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*On July 27, 2017, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent an official letter referring to the previous day's tweets by President Trump and stating that until there is an official order from the White House and a change of guidelines by the Department of Defense there will be no change in the current policy allowing transgender people to serve in the military.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/us/politics/transgender-military-trump-ban.html]
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*On July 26, 2017, Trump announced in a tweet that the United States will no longer “accept or allow” transgender people in the United States military. The reason for this decision, Trump explained, was because of the high medical costs associated with transgender soldiers.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/us/politics/trump-transgender-military.html?_r=0]About 2,450 active-duty members are transgender. A study estimated that if transgender people in the military sought gender transition–related health care, health care costs would rise $2.4 million to $8.4 million a year, which is only 0.04 to 0.13% more in spending for active-duty service members. A study that looked at militaries in other countries that allow transgender people to serve showed that allowing transgender people to serve does not affect unit effectiveness or readiness.[https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1530.html]
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*On July 12, 2017 Republican members of the House tried to pass an amendment prohibiting the Department of Defense from providing transition-related health care to transgender people in the military. There was also an attempt to ban transgender service members from serving in the military, but both were defeated in the House.[https://www.hrc.org/blog/anti-transgender-amendment-offered-to-National-Defense-Authorization-Act][http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/07/13/paul-ryan-supports-hartzler-anti-transgender-military-amendment/][https://www.hrc.org/blog/ndaa-anti-transgender-amendment-fails-in-house-of-reps]
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*On June 30, 2017, the Pentagon decided to delay for six months the plan to allow transgender people to serve in the military. LGBTQ+ groups have criticized this decision.[http://thehill.com/policy/defense/340339-lgbt-groups-blast-pentagon-decision-to-delay-transgender-troop-enlistment]
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*When [[Trump_Administration#Vice_President_Mike_Pence|Vice President Mike Pence]] was a congressman, he voted against repealing the ban on openly gay troops ("don't ask, don't tell"). [[Trump_Administration#Attorney_General_Jeff_Sessions|Jeff Sessions]] did, too.[https://theintercept.com/2016/11/28/trump-may-not-be-anti-gay-but-much-of-his-senior-staff-is/]
  
 
===Schools===
 
===Schools===
The Trump Administration has withdrawn an Obama-era guideline on non-discrimination policies for transgender students. This guidance interpreted Title IX of the [https://www.justice.gov/crt/overview-title-ix-education-amendments-1972-20-usc-1681-et-seq Educational Amendments of 1972] to mean that schools "must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity." Withdrawing this guidance means that students can now be required, under the authority of state or local school boards, to use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond with their biological gender rather than their gender identity. It also limits students' eligibility to play on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. It does still allow school boards to implement their own protections, and permits individuals or advocacy groups to appeal to Federal courts if a transgender student's rights have been violated.[https://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/trump-reversed-guidelines-protecting-transgender-students?utm_term=.amx9AlOaWL#.cxOjpgom96], [https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3473548/GG-DOJ-16-273.pdf]
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The Trump Administration withdrew an Obama-era guideline on nondiscrimination policies for transgender [[Educational Justice|students]]. This guideline said that schools must treat transgender students the same way it treats other students with the same gender identity. It was based on Title IX of the [https://www.justice.gov/crt/overview-title-ix-education-amendments-1972-20-usc-1681-et-seq Educational Amendments of 1972]. Without this guideline, school boards can now require students to use bathrooms and changing rooms that correspond with their biological sex, rather than their gender identity. Students also might not be allowed to play on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. School boards can still create their own protections for transgender students, and people and groups can appeal to federal courts if a transgender student's rights are violated.[https://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/trump-reversed-guidelines-protecting-transgender-students?utm_term=.amx9AlOaWL#.cxOjpgom96][https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3473548/GG-DOJ-16-273.pdf]
  
 
===Supreme Court===
 
===Supreme Court===
The Supreme Court recently considered ''Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.'', the case of a transgender student who identifies as a boy and wants to be able to use the boys’ bathroom at his [[Virginia]] high school against the school board, which enacted a policy requiring students to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex that they were assigned at birth. On March 6 2017 the Supreme Court decided to send the case back to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals after the Administration rescinded the Obama-era guidance advising schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity, on which the ruling to be examined by the Supreme Court relied heavily. Both sides had previously contented that even without the guidance, the Court could and should decide whether the board’s policy violates Title IX, the Federal civil rights law that bars discrimination in education. The 4th Circuit Court will now examine the case again to decide whether Title IX applies to transgender students.[http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/03/06/supreme-court-scraps-gavin-grimm-case/]
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The Supreme Court recently considered ''Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.'', the case of a transgender boy who wants to be able to use the boys’ bathroom at his [[Virginia]] high school. The school board had a policy that required students to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex that they were assigned at birth. On March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court decided to send the case back to the Virginia appeals court after the Trump Administration cancelled the Obama-era guidance advising schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. The 4th Circuit Court in Virginia will now look at the case again to decide whether Title IX, which bans discrimination in education, applies to transgender students.[http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/03/06/supreme-court-scraps-gavin-grimm-case/]
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===ACA Repeal===
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The repeal or replacement of the [[Healthcare|Affordable Care Act]] (Obamacare) could have severe effects on transgender people. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits health-care providers and insurers from discriminating based on gender. The Obama administration issued a rule based on this section banning discrimination against gender-nonconforming and transgender people.[http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/tom-price-secretary-hhs-policy/509159/] This included transition-related care and gender reassignment surgery.[http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/11/22/obamacare-repeal-would-hurt-lgbt-people/] If the ACA is repealed, this protection would no longer exist. Since [[#Secretary_of_Health_and_Human_Services_Tom_Price|Secretary for Health and Human Services Tom Price]] usually opposes protections for transgender people,[http://www.projectq.us/atlanta/transgender_bathroom_backlash_grows_in_georgia?gid=17800] he probaby won't reinstate this protection.
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*Before the ACA, “transsexualism” was considered to be a preexisting condition. If the [[Healthcare#Impact_of_Health_Care_Bill_Passed_by_the_House|AHCA]] is passed, transgender people's health care could become much more expensive.[http://uk.businessinsider.com/what-counts-pre-existing-condition-ahca-trump-obamacare-2017-5?r=US&IR=T]
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See the [[LGBTQ%2B_Equality#Healthcare|Healthcare section]] below for more information.
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==Healthcare==
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LGBTQ+ people are affected by all the government's decisions about health care, but some decisions and issues impact the LGBTQ+ community in particular. One of these areas is the fight against HIV/AIDS. The disease affects everyone, but according to the [https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/msm/ Center for Disease Control], gay and bisexual men are more severely affected by HIV/AIDS than any other groups in the US. Transgender people, especially transgender women, are also more at risk than others.[https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/gender/transgender/] Discrimination and stigma can make it more difficult for LGBTQ+ people to get diagnosed and treated.[http://www.hrc.org/resources/hrc-issue-brief-hiv-aids-and-the-lgbt-community]
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More information on healthcare can be found on the Manual's [[Healthcare|healthcare page]].
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=== American Health Care Act===
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On May 4, 2017, the House passed the [https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1628 American Health Care Act] of 2017, which would repeal and replace the ACA (Obamacare). This bill is very controversial. The ACA provides access to key health care services for many people, and its repeal would disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ people.
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*A [http://www.gallup.com/poll/175445/lgbt-likely-non-lgbt-uninsured.aspx 2014 poll] found that LGBT Americans were more likely to report being uninsured. The percentage of uninsured LGBT adults decreased by 11% after the ACA was passed.
 +
*The ACA includes essential health care for LGBTQ+ people and people with HIV/AIDS. It bans discrimination in healthcare treatment and access, and it encourages collecting data about sexual orientation and gender identity. (Having more information improves treatment and prevention). The ACA also encourages trainings to improve care fpr LGBT patients.[http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/healthcare/322969-HIV-infected-lgbt-community-will-suffer-with-new-health-reform][https://www.vox.com/2017/2/8/14532310/obamacare-aca-repeal-hiv-aids]
 +
 
 +
The AHCA could be very damaging to LGBTQ+ people.
 +
*The AHCA would cut $839 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years and would freeze the Medicaid extension in 2020. This would cause millions of people to lose their coverage.[https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/how-odious-house-passed-american-health-care-act-let-us-count-ways-it-hurts-people][https://www.vox.com/2017/5/4/15542990/republican-health-bill-ahca-medicaid-victims]
 +
*The [[Healthcare|ACA's]] Medicaid expansion was very important in the fight against HIV/AIDS: Medicaid became the single largest insurer of people with HIV/AIDS in the US.[http://kff.org/hivaids/fact-sheet/medicaid-and-hiv] It covered more than 40% of people with HIV/AIDS in care, and made up 30% of all federal spending on HIV/AIDS care, not including prevention services.[http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/11/22/obamacare-repeal-would-hurt-lgbt-people/] The repeal of the ACA and the elimination of the Medicaid expansion would mean that many HIV/AIDS patients would lose their coverage. Any interruption in care means that the epidemic could surge: when HIV-positive people are treated the risk of transmission is almost zero, but if treatment is interrupted the virus can be transmitted again.[http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-obamacare-hiv-analysis-idUSKBN14P228]
 +
*Medicaid is also the largest payer for behavioral health services, which means that cuts to Medicaid would decrease people's access to mental health services. LGBTQ+ people are nearly three times more likely to experience mental health conditions, so they would suffer even more if it was harder for them to access mental health care.[http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/lgbtq-community-would-be-hard-hit-trump-s-2018-budget-n765141]
 +
*The ACA also required states to provide 10 essential health benefits through Medicaid, including prescription drugs. The AHCA would end this requirement, so HIV/AIDS patients might be unable to get their medications. By limiting Medicaid, the AHCA might also make it harder for people to get tested for HIV or get PrEP, a drug that reduces the risk of getting HIV.[http://www.upworthy.com/absolutely-devastating-how-trumpcare-would-affect-the-fight-against-hiv]
 +
*The AHCA would allow annual and lifetime caps on coverage under certain conditions and for everyone on Medicaid after 2020. This means that patients with lifelong illnesses (such as HIV/AIDS) could lose their health care when they reach a certain spending limit.[https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/how-odious-house-passed-american-health-care-act-let-us-count-ways-it-hurts-people][https://www.vox.com/2017/5/4/15542990/republican-health-bill-ahca-medicaid-victims][https://www.vox.com/2017/5/4/15542990/republican-health-bill-ahca-medicaid-victims]
 +
*The AHCA would let states waive ACA protections against discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. This means states could let insurance companies charge more money to cover patients with pre-existing conditions, including HIV/AIDS, or put them in “high-risk pools,” which cost a lot more and provide less coverage.[https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/how-odious-house-passed-american-health-care-act-let-us-count-ways-it-hurts-people]
 +
 
 +
===Better Care Reconciliation Act===
 +
The Senate bill to repeal the ACA[https://www.budget.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SENATEHEALTHCARE.pdf] is very similar to the AHCA. It would also cut Medicaid and limit its spending. It would let states request waivers so they wouldn't have to provide the essential health benefits that the ACA made mandatory, so people with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage. It would also defund Planned Parenthood. Just like the House version, this bill would hurt the fight against HIV and make it much harder for LGBTQ+ people to get health care.[http://uk.businessinsider.com/senate-healthcare-bill-trumpcare-ahca-details-2017-6?r=US&IR=T][https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/ahca-senate-bill-preexisting-conditions/531375/][https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/ahca-senate-draft-medicaid-changes/531231/][https://www.advocate.com/hiv-aids/2017/6/20/end-hiv-epidemic-not-if-trumpcare-passes][http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/339086-former-trump-hiv-aids-advisers-rip-senate-gop-healthcare-bill][https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/7/05/repealing-obamacare-will-devastate-efforts-stop-hiv]
 +
 
 +
For more details on this bill, see the [[Healthcare|Healthcare page]] of the manual
 +
 
 +
===2018 Budget===
 +
The White House proposed its 2018 [https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf Budget] on May 24, 2017. This budget probably won't be passed, but it shows the White House’s priorities. It would increase spending for the military and [[Foreign Policy / Global Security|border security]], but decrease spending on programs for the poor, including [[Benefits / Tax Cuts|food stamps]] and [[Disability Rights|disability benefits]]. It would also affect LGBTQ+ people:
 +
 
 +
*The fight against HIV/AIDS would severely suffer. The proposed budget would cut $59 million from the Ryan White program, which provides health care to people living with HIV/AIDS who cannot get health insurance. It is the third-largest source of federal money for HIV/AIDS care in the US, after Medicare and Medicaid.[http://www.treatmentactiongroup.org/content/tag-condemns-murderous-white-house-proposed-2018-budget-cuts-health-and-research] The budget would also cut Medicaid by $610 million in 2018 (which is in addition to the $880 billion cut that the [[LGBTQ%2B_Equality#American_Health_Care_Act|AHCA]] would cause over the next 10 years).[https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-budget-idUSKBN18I26X][https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/22/15676490/trump-budget-2018-explained]
 +
 
 +
*The budget would take federal funding away from many institutions that provide abortions, such as[[Women%27s_Rights_/_Reproductive_Justice#Access_to_Reproductive_Health_Services|Planned Parenthood]]. This would have a drastic impact on the LGBTQ+ community. Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers of health care for trans people. Cutting Planned Parenthood's funding would make it much more difficult for trans people to get health care.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/us/politics/trump-budget-cuts.html?_r=1][https://www.aclu.org/blog/washington-markup/obamacare-repeal-bill-catastrophically-bad-and-numbers-prove-it]. Federal funding makes up about 40% of Planned Parenthood’s overall budget. Most of this reimburses Planned Parenthood for treating Medicaid patients.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/05/01/whats-in-the-spending-agreement-we-read-it-so-you-dont-have-to/?utm_term=.941dd309d1e7]
 +
**The spending agreement that Congress passed in April 2017 continued funding for Planned Parenthood,.
 +
 
 +
*The budget would cut a lot of money from scientific and medical research, including a $5.8 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a 11% cut ($776 million) for the National Science Foundation. The Fogarty International Center, which trains scientists in HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis research, would be eliminated. The budget would also cut the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative. These cuts would severely affect HIV/AIDS research. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would lose $186 million for programs fighting HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections.[http://www.hrc.org/blog/trumps-proposed-budget-cuts-critical-programs-impacting-lgbtq-people][https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/05/22/trump-budget-seeks-huge-cuts-to-disease-prevention-and-medical-research-departments/?utm_term=.d3d77418f454][http://www.treatmentactiongroup.org/content/tag-condemns-murderous-white-house-proposed-2018-budget-cuts-health-and-research] The CDC is the main source of funding for HIV prevention, and that would be deeply cut under this budget.[http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/lgbtq-community-would-be-hard-hit-trump-s-2018-budget-n765141]
 +
**The Administration had proposed cutting funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2017, but the 2017 spending agreement that Congress passed in May gave the NIH a $2 billion increase in funding instead.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/05/01/daily-202-eight-ways-trump-got-rolled-in-his-first-budget-negotiation/590687f2e9b69b3a72331f09/?utm_term=.c9f5b5db8af6]
 +
 
 +
===HIV Criminalization Laws===
 +
Some [[State and Local Pages|states]] have passed HIV/AIDS criminalization laws[https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/law/states/index.html] that make it illegal for an HIV-positive person to expose another person to HIV on purpose. In some states, it is illegal not to tell a sex partner that you are HIV-positive.[https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/law/states/exposure.html] Some laws also allow the saliva or blood of an HIV-positive person to be classified in court as a “deadly weapon.”[https://www.poz.com/blog/criminalization-101] Because these laws are about disclosing HIV-positive status, not about actually giving someone HIV, they have no purpose. All states have other laws that can be used to prosecute transmitting HIV, so these laws just single out HIV-positive people and reinforce the image of them as “dangerous.” HIV criminalization laws disproportionately target people of color, mainly African Americans, and gay men.[http://betablog.org/hiv-criminalization-laws-disproportionately-punish-people-of-color/]
 +
 
 +
See the '''[[State and Local Pages]]''' to see if your state has such laws.
  
 
==Marriage Equality==
 
==Marriage Equality==
The 2015 [http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/obergefell-v-hodges/ ''Obergefell v. Hodges''] Supreme Court decision established that same-sex couples have a right to marry. However, no Federal law has been passed in this sense so the Supreme Court, if its balance changed, could still reverse the decision. Moreover, some are trying to limit or challenge this right at State level. See the '''[[State and Local Pages]]''' to see where your State stands on these issues.
+
The 2015 Supreme Court decision [http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/obergefell-v-hodges/ ''Obergefell v. Hodges''] gave same-sex couples all across the US the right to marry. But there is still no federal law, so the Supreme Court could reverse the decision. Some states are also trying to take away the right to marriage equality. See the '''[[State and Local Pages]]''' for information on your state.
  
 
===Supreme Court===
 
===Supreme Court===
Judge Gorsuch has been confirmed to the Supreme Court; given his track record, he is poised to align with the conservatives on the bench and oppose ''Obergefell v. Hodges''. If Trump was in a position to nominate other conservative justices to the [[Supreme_Court_Nomination|Supreme Court]], he could change the composition of the court so that it would overturn the decision if brought to the court again. In other words, because this was a narrow 5-4 decision the first time, appointing one more conservative justice could result in rulings that revoke marriage equality.
+
The Supreme Court's new justice is [[Supreme_Court_Nomination#Justice_Neil_M._Gorsuch|Neil Gorsuch]]. He will probably generally agree with the conservatives on the bench and oppose ''Obergefell v. Hodges''. On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot discriminate against same-sex couples when determining who can be listed on a child's birth certificate. Gorsuch did not agree with this decision.[http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/gorsuch-hints-that-hes-deeply-critical-of-lgbt-rights/] If any other [[Supreme_Court_Nomination|Supreme Court]] justices leave the Court and Trump is able to appoint new justices, the Court might end up with a conservative majority and could reverse Obergefell if a marriage-equality case came to the Court again. Obergefell was a narrow decision, 5–4, so if another conservative judge was appointed to the Court and another marriage-equality case came to the Court, they could reverse marriage equality.[http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/07/how_the_supreme_court_could_overturn_obergefell_v_hodges.html]
  
 
===State Challenges===
 
===State Challenges===
*The [[Texas | Texas]] Supreme Court has agreed to review a decision granting equal benefits to same-sex married couples, with at least one judge on record endorsing the idea that marriage is a right but spousal benefits are not.[http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2017/01/23/texas_supreme_court_may_roll_back_same_sex_marriage_rights.html] The decision could lead to the case being examined by the US Supreme Court, and depending on its balance at the time the ''Obergefell v. Hodges'' decision could be at least partially called into question.
+
*The [[Texas|Texas]] Supreme Court ruled that state workers have no right to get [[Benefits / Tax Cuts|benefits]] for their same-sex spouses.[https://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/06/30/texas-supreme-court-denied-benefits-married-sex-couples/][http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2017/01/23/texas_supreme_court_may_roll_back_same_sex_marriage_rights.html] The Supreme Court might end up hearing the case.
 +
 
 +
==Other Discrimination Issues==
 +
Federal laws do not prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, so state laws and court decisions are able to limit LGBTQ+ people's rights.
 +
 
 +
===Administration's Position===
 +
*[[Trump_Administration#Vice_President_Mike_Pence|Vice President Mike Pence]] and members of Trump's [[Trump_Administration|cabinet]], including [[Trump_Administration#Chief_Strategist_Steve_Bannon|Steven Bannon]], [[Trump_Administration#Attorney_General_Jeff_Sessions|Jeff Sessions]], [[Trump_Administration#Secretary_of_Health_and_Human_Services_Tom_Price|Tom Price]] and [[Trump_Administration#Secretary_of_Education_Betsy_DeVos|Betsy De Vos]], have supported policies that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.
 +
*Heather Wilson, the nominee for Secretary of the Air Force, has opposed laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people.[http://www.advocate.com/politics/2017/3/28/activists-flag-air-force-secretary-nominees-anti-lgbt-record]. Roger Severino, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services's Office of Civil Rights, is a leading anti-LGBTQ+ activist and Valerie Huber, the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary for the same Department, is the leader of an organization pushing anti-transgender content in sex ed classes.[https://thinkprogress.org/trump-appoints-leading-opponent-of-lgbt-civil-rights-to-lead-civil-rights-office-8d3d624c08b8][https://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20170606_lambda-legal-condemns-hhs-appointment-huber]
 +
*Two of Trump's federal judicial nominees, John Bush and Damien Schiff, have repeatedly made comments against rulings protecting marriage equality and LGBTQ+ equality.[https://www.hrc.org/blog/trumps-federal-judicial-nominees-anti-lgbtq-comments-are-deeply-appalling] John Bush was confirmed as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by the Senate on July 20, 2017.[http://www.hrc.org/blog/senate-republicans-confirm-trumps-anti-lgbtq-judicial-nominee-john-bush][https://www.advocate.com/politics/2017/7/20/lgbt-groups-condemn-confirmation-far-right-federal-appeals-judge]
 +
*Trump has advocated for policies that would directly affect the LGBTQ+ community. This includes canceling some of Obama's executive orders. For example, On March 28, 2017, he signed an [[Executive Actions | executive order]] undoing Obama's 2014 order that required companies doing business with the federal government to provide their records on discrimination. The order required companies that received large federal contracts to show they had followed federal laws that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity for at least three years.[http://www.advocate.com/politics/2017/3/29/trump-covertly-dismantles-obama-era-lgbt-protections] Only 19 states have similar laws.[http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-lgbt-trump-bannon-20161114-story.html]
 +
 
 +
===Federal Courts===
 +
The Circuit Courts of Appeals review rulings made by other courts in their districts and are the final word on most cases in the US. Only the US Supreme Court is above them. When laws passed by the states are blocked by lawsuits, the cases then go to the Circuit Courts.[http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/court-role-and-structure] Their rulings are very important to protecting LGBTQ+ people against discrimination.
 +
 
 +
'''Current cases:'''
 +
 
 +
*In 2017 the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case of ''EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes.'' The case is between a funeral home and its former funeral director, who was fired allegedly because she is transgender. The Court will consider whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, also protects transgender people. The ruling could set an important precedent, expanding protections for LGBTQ+ people across the country.[http://www.workforce.com/2017/04/19/lgbt-discrimination-coverage-title-vii-hits-6th-circuit/]
  
*In April 2017 [[North Carolina | North Carolina]] lawmakers introduced a [https://openstates.org/nc/bills/2017/HB780/ bill] stating that the Supreme Court overstepped its authority as defined by the Constitution when it ruled to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill argues therefore that no same-sex marriages are valid in North Carolina as they had previously been banned by an amendment to the State Constitution in 2012.[http://time.com/4735573/north-carolina-republican-same-sex-marriage-bill-lgbt/] The Speaker of the State House (R) announced shortly after that, considering the strong constitutional concerns, the bill would be referred to the House Rules Committee and would not be heard, effectively killing it.[http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article144169109.html]
+
*In 2017 the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals also revived the case against Kim Davis, a [[Kentucky]] clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses even after the Supreme Court legalized it. A couple she refused a license to sought damages, and the Court ruled that they could sue even if they finally obtained a license. On July 21, 2017, a federal judge ruled that the couple's legal fees should be compensated, but by Kentucky, not by Kim Davis herself.[http://www.reuters.com/article/us-kentucky-marriage-idUSKBN17Y29Y][https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/us/kentucky-taxpayers-gay-marriage.html?_r=0]
  
==The Fight against HIV==
+
*On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a [[Colorado]] baker who was sued for discrimination because he wouldn't bake a cake for a same-sex wedding because of his religious beliefs. The Supreme Court decision could settle whether businesses can use the First Amendment to refuse service to same-sex couples.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/us/politics/supreme-court-wedding-cake-gay-couple-masterpiece-cakeshop.html?_r=0]
HIV/AIDS affects everyone, but according to the [https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/msm/ Center for Disease Control] gay and bisexual men are more severely affected than any other groups in the US, and reports show that transgender individuals, and transgender women in particular, are more at risk than others as well[https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/gender/transgender/]. Discrimination and stigma can make it more difficult for LGBTQ+ individuals to access diagnosis and treatment[http://www.hrc.org/resources/hrc-issue-brief-hiv-aids-and-the-lgbt-community]. Any law affecting HIV prevention and care therefore disproportionately affects the LGBTQ+ community, and current action at the Federal and State level could endanger access to treatment.
 
  
===Medicaid===
+
*In May 2017 the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to consider a case it had previously rejected. A gay skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda, is suing his employer because he was allegedly fired for being gay, and the Court must decide if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination because of sex, also prohibits discrimination because of sexual orientation. This case made the headlines in July 2017 because the Department of Justice publicly sided against Zarda, saying that Title VII does not protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination.[https://www.law360.com/articles/928578/2nd-circ-grants-en-banc-rehearing-on-gay-bias-precedent]
The Medicaid expansion through the [[Obamacare / ACA|ACA]] had a crucial impact on the fight against HIV: a report from the [http://kff.org/hivaids/fact-sheet/medicaid-and-hiv/ Kaiser Foundation] states that Medicaid is now the single largest source of coverage for people with HIV in the US, covering more than 40% of people with HIV in care and accounting for 30% of all Federal spending on HIV care.[http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/11/22/obamacare-repeal-would-hurt-lgbt-people/] The repeal of the ACA, and the elimination of the Medicaid expansion, would strip many HIV patients of coverage. Any interruption in care means that the epidemic could surge: when HIV-positive people are treated and their viral load is suppressed, the risk of transmission is almost zero, but if treatment is interrupted and the viral load goes up, it becomes transmissible again.[http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-obamacare-hiv-analysis-idUSKBN14P228?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social] The ACA also created the Medicaid requirement that the states provide 10 essential health benefits, including prescription drugs, which means it is unclear what state would provide HIV patients if the ACA is repealed. Access to preventative services such as testing or PrEP[http://www.upworthy.com/absolutely-devastating-how-trumpcare-would-affect-the-fight-against-hiv] (a drug reducing the risk of contracting HIV, generally used by HIV negative people at risk of being contaminated) would also be impacted for low-income people currently on Medicaid in case of a repeal.
 
  
===Proposed budget===
+
'''Past rulings:'''
The [https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/president-trumps-first-budget-proposal/2179/ proposed budget] put forward by the Trump administration calls for continued funding to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS providers, a program that provides health care to people living with HIV who cannot get health insurance (the third-largest source of federal money for domestic HIV care after Medicare and Medicaid) and the Administration has mentioned fighting against HIV as a domestic and international priority, maintaining funding to global organizations like the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria(see the [[Foreign Policy / Global Security| Foreign Policy page]] for more information on global health and HIV).[http://www.vox.com/2017/3/16/14943816/trumps-budget-health-winners-losers] However, the elimination of the Medicaid expansion would mean a loss of coverage even with a maintained contribution to the Ryan White program, and prevention services would not benefit from it as the Ryan White program only covers people who are HIV positive.[http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/03/15/cbo-scoring-validates-health-fears-for-lgbt-people-those-with-hiv/] Moreover, documents supplied by the White House to Congress call for a $50 million cut in the domestic HIV/AIDS budget and another $50 million cut to the CDC's Global HIV/AIDS program despite assurances that the fight against HIV would not be impacted by the budget cuts.[http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/29/trump-and-pence-want-to-slash-350-million-from-hivaids-prevention-budgets/] The same documents call for a $242 million reduction in the contribution to the [https://www.pepfar.gov/ President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)], a US organization that provides 11.5 million people around the world with HIV treatment.[https://www.pepfar.gov/documents/organization/264882.pdf]
 
  
===State Laws===
+
*On March 10, 2017 a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII of the [https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=97 1964 Civil Rights Act], which prohibits discrimination based on sex, does not extend to sexual orientation. This ruling contradicts many other previous (and following) decisions on the topic, and the case will be appealed to the US Supreme Court.[http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2017/03/10/_11th_circuit_rules_title_vii_does_not_prohibit_anti_gay_discrimination.html][https://www.natlawreview.com/article/eleventh-circuit-won-t-rehear-title-vii-sexual-orientation-case-lgbt-advocacy-group]
Some states have also passed HIV/AIDS criminalization laws[https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/law/states/index.html] making it illegal for an HIV-positive person to “knowingly expose” another person to HIV—in some states, this means that it is illegal not to disclose HIV-positive status to a sex partner, but many laws criminalize behaviors that are unlikely to lead to transmission.[https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/law/states/exposure.html] Because the laws focus on disclosure, not actual transmission, they serve no real purpose. All states have other, non-HIV-specific laws that can be used to prosecute transmission of HIV, so these laws just needlessly single out and stigmatize HIV-positive people and reinforce the image of them as “dangerous.” It also allows the saliva or blood of an HIV-positive person to be classified in court as a “deadly weapon.”[https://www.poz.com/blog/criminalization-101] HIV criminalization laws also disproportionately target people of color, mainly African Americans, and gay men.[http://betablog.org/hiv-criminalization-laws-disproportionately-punish-people-of-color/]
 
  
See the '''[[State and Local Pages]]''' to see if your State is affected by these laws.
+
*On April 4, 2017, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII of the [https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=97 1964 Civil Rights Act], which prohibits discrimination based on sex, does extend to sexual orientation. The Court was looking at the case of Kimberly Hively, an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, [[Indiana]], who was fired because she is a lesbian. The 7th Circuit is the highest Federal Court ever to protect LGBTQ+ people under Title VII.[https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/04/federal-court-civil-rights-act-protects-lgbt-workplace-bias/100046514/]
  
==Other Discrimination Issues==
+
*On May 1, 2017, the US Supreme Court held up a ruling stating that [[California]]'s law prohibiting conversion therapy for minors is constitutional and does not limit religious freedom. This law prohibits mental health counselors licensed by the state from offering "therapy" to change sexual orientation in minors. This ruling could encourage other states to adopt similar laws.[http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-gayconversion-idUSKBN17X1SJ]
 +
 
 +
*On May 30, 2017, a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling allowing a transgender boy to use the boys's bathroom at this school. The court agreed with his claim that he is protected by Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. They also said that his school is wrong in not letting him use the bathroom matching his gender identity, because there is no "exceedingly persuasive" reason to do so.[https://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/federal-appeals-court-rules-in-favor-of-transgender-student?utm_term=.jxVMAzR2V#.bqdel1E2v]
  
As long as discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals is not clearly prohibited in Federal law, LGBTQ+ people remain vulnerable to laws and Court decisions infringing on their rights.  
+
*On June 22, 2017, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals Court in [[Mississippi]] ruled that [http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2016/pdf/HB/1500-1599/HB1523PS.pdf HB 1523] can remain law. The law says that the government cannot take action against a religious organization that is acting according to its religious beliefs. The law might also allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/us/mississippi-gay-religion-injunction.html?_r=0] The law was widely criticized for being harmful to LGBTQ+ rights, and it was blocked by Mississippi state courts. The governor sued to have it reinstated. The court did reinstate it, but on technical grounds.[https://mississippitoday.org/2017/06/22/5th-circuit-dismisses-case-against-house-bill-1523/][https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/us/mississippi-gay-religion-injunction.html?_r=0]
  
===Administration's Position===
+
*On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot discriminate against same-sex couples when determining who is listed on a child's birth certificate. This overturns a previous ruling by the [[Arkansas]] Supreme Court and strengthens the 2015 decision hat same-sex couples are entitled to marriage on the same terms as other couples.[http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/gorsuch-hints-that-hes-deeply-critical-of-lgbt-rights/]
Trump's [[Trump_Administration#Vice_President_Mike_Pence|vice president]] and [[Trump_Administration|cabinet appointees]] including [[Trump_Administration#Chief_Strategist_Steve_Bannon|Steven Bannon]], [[Trump_Administration#Attorney_General_Jeff_Sessions|Jeff Sessions]], [[Trump_Administration#Secretary_of_Health_and_Human_Services_Tom_Price|Tom Price]] and [[Trump_Administration#Secretary_of_Education_Betsy_DeVos|Betsy De Vos]] have systematically advocated for or implemented policies that discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community; the nominee for Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, and the nominee for Army Secretary, Mark Green, have also repeatedly opposed legislation and measures protecting LGBTQ+ individuals[http://www.advocate.com/politics/2017/3/28/activists-flag-air-force-secretary-nominees-anti-lgbt-record][https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/10/lgbt-advocates-bridle-trump-choice-lead-army/100299828/][http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/lgbt-advocates-criticize-trumps-nominee-for-army-secretary/]; and the new head of the Department of Health and Human Services's Office of Civil Rights, Roger Severino, is a leading anti-LGBTQ+ equality activist.[https://thinkprogress.org/trump-appoints-leading-opponent-of-lgbt-civil-rights-to-lead-civil-rights-office-8d3d624c08b8] Trump himself has advocated for policy decisions that would have direct repercussions on the LGBTQ+ community. Trump has, for instance, vowed to "cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum, and order issued by President Obama" on his first day in office, and he has begun to do so: on March 28, 2017 Trump signed an [[Executive Actions | executive order]] rescinding the Obama-era order requiring companies doing business with the federal government to disclose their records on discrimination. Since 2014, companies receiving large federal contracts had to show they had complied with federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity for at least three years[http://www.advocate.com/politics/2017/3/29/trump-covertly-dismantles-obama-era-lgbt-protections](only 19 states currently have such protections).[http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-lgbt-trump-bannon-20161114-story.html]
 
  
===Federal Courts===
+
*On June 28, 2017, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a [[North Carolina]] law that allows civil magistrates to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.[http://www.nsjonline.com/article/2017/06/federal-court-upholds-nc-magistrates-right-to-opt-out-of-performing-gay-marriages]
The Circuit Courts of Appeals review rulings made by other Courts in their districts and serve as the final arbiters of most cases argued in the US, as only the Supreme Court stands above them. When laws passed by the States are blocked by lawsuits, the cases are then argued in front of the Circuit Courts as well. [http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/court-role-and-structure]Their rulings are therefore crucial to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals against many kinds of discrimination.
 
  
*Current cases:
+
===Religious Freedom===
**In 2016 Mississippi passed [http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2016/pdf/HB/1500-1599/HB1523PS.pdf HB 1523] a law stating that there could be no retaliation against a religious organization acting upon the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman and that sexual relationships should only exist within such a marriage. This includes cases of discrimination in employment, health care and others. The law was blocked by Mississippi state courts, and the Governor of Mississippi then sued in front of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals to have it reinstated. The Court is currently hearing arguments.[http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/mississippi-lgbt-law-argued-federal-appeals-court-46537447]
+
Religious freedom laws protect people's right to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right. They are meant to protect religious minorities. However, they have recently been used to say that people's or businesses' rights may be violated if they are not allowed to deny service to LGBTQ+ people.
  
**In 2017 the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the case of ''EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes'', a case opposing a funeral home to its former funeral director, who was allegedly fired because she is transgender. The Court will consider whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, also protects transgender individuals. The ruling could set an crucial precedent expanding protections for LGBTQ+ individuals at the federal level.[http://www.workforce.com/2017/04/19/lgbt-discrimination-coverage-title-vii-hits-6th-circuit/]
+
*''Executive Order''
 +
On May 4, 2017, Trump signed an [Executive Actions | executive order] to protect religious freedom, which many feared would include discriminatory provisions. However, the actual [https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/05/04/presidential-executive-order-promoting-free-speech-and-religious-liberty order] is widely seen as not having any concrete effects. It calls for a review of religious-based exceptions, including in [[Healthcare|healthcare]], but does not make any changes for now.[https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-statement-so-called-religious-freedom-executive-order] The order does not give exemptions to those opposed to marriage equality or LGBTQ+ equality.[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/no-lgbt-americans-arent-in-the-clear-after-trumps-religious-liberty-order_us_590c7798e4b0104c734e2bf8] The order also asks the attorney general to issue guidelines for federal agencies that "interpret religious liberty protections in Federal law," so discrimination against LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds could still increase later. The order could eventually allow discrimination in access to spousal benefits or health care.[http://abcnews.go.com/US/lgbt-activists-react-trumps-latest-executive-order-remain/story?id=47206421][http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/04/politics/lgbt-religious-liberty-executive-order/]
  
*Past rulings
+
*''Supreme Court''
**On April 4th, 2017 the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 8 to 3 that Title VII of the [https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=97 1964 Civil Rights Act], which prohibits discrimination "on the basis of sex", does extend to sexual orientation. The Court was examining the case of Kimberly Hively, an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, Indiana, who was fired because she is lesbian. The 7th Circuit is the highest Federal Court ever to protect LGBTQ+ individuals under Title VII.[https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/04/federal-court-civil-rights-act-protects-lgbt-workplace-bias/100046514/]
+
In June 2017, the Supreme Court decided to hear arguments in a case involving LGBTQ+ rights and religious freedom. The case, ''Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission'', involves a bakery that refused (for religious reasons) to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The couple then sued for discrimination, and the case could settle the question of whether religious rights can be used as a justification to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/us/politics/supreme-court-wedding-cake-gay-couple-masterpiece-cakeshop.html?_r=0]
  
===First Amendment Defense Act===
+
*''First Amendment Defense Act''
The [https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2802 First Amendment Defense Act] (FADA), introduced in Congress in 2015, has been mentioned again by Trump who said during the campaign that he would sign it into law if it came to his desk. FADA would prohibit any kind of action against any corporation, organization or person if they acted according to the belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations should be reserved to such a marriage. This Act is broad enough to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in a wide range of situations, from access to medical care to spouse benefits, and prevents the Federal government from fighting such discrimination in any way[http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/16/the-gop-s-anti-lgbt-anti-women-religious-freedom-law-on-steroids.html]. It means, for instance, that an adoption agency receiving government funds would be able to refuse to place kids with LGBTQ+ parents and still be entitled to taxpayer funding. [https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/issues-of-importance-to-catholics] [[Trump_Administration#Attorney_General_Jeff_Sessions|Jeff Sessions]] was among the sponsors of FADA. As Governor, [[Trump Administration#Mike Pence|Mike Pence]] signed a Religious Freedom Amendment allowing people to discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals. Recently a similar amendment was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act in December 2016 for Federal contractors, but it was removed under threat of veto by President Obama. Under President Trump, such an amendment or law might succeed in being turned into law.[http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/14/religious-freedom-laws-fail-in-republican-led-cong/]
+
Trump has said that he will sign into law the [https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2802 First Amendment Defense Act] (FADA) if Congress passes it. Congress first introduced it in 2015. The law would prohibit any kind of action against any corporation, organization or person if they acted according to the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sex should be limited to such a marriage. This act could legalize discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in many situations, including access to medical care and spouse benefits, and prevents the Federal government from fighting this discrimination.[http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/16/the-gop-s-anti-lgbt-anti-women-religious-freedom-law-on-steroids.html] For an example, an adoption agency would be allowed to refuse to place kids with LGBTQ+ parents and would still be entitled to government/taxpayer funding.[https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/issues-of-importance-to-catholics] [[Trump_Administration#Attorney_General_Jeff_Sessions|Attorney General Jeff Sessions]] was a sponsor of FADA when he was a senator.
 +
When Vice President [[Trump Administration#Mike Pence|Mike Pence]] was the governor of [[Indiana]], he signed a Religious Freedom Amendment allowing people to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. A similar amendment was attached to a 2016 defense authorization act, but it was removed because President Obama promised to veto. Under President Trump, such an amendment or law could be passed.[http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/14/religious-freedom-laws-fail-in-republican-led-cong/]
  
*Similar laws, albeit with different ranges, have been introduced at State level as religious freedom laws. See also the '''[[State and Local Pages]]''' to see how your State stands on these issues.
+
*Similar laws have been introduced or are being considered in various states. See the '''[[State and Local Pages]]''' to see if your state has one.
  
 
===Data Collection===
 
===Data Collection===
The Department of Health and Human Services has eliminated questions about LGBTQ+ individuals from two annual surveys evaluating the performance of federal services, the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants and the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living. Without this data, it will be much harder to evaluate if the programs evaluated through these surveys meet the needs of all their recipients, including LGBTQ+ individuals.[https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2017/03/20/428623/trump-administration-rolling-back-data-collection-lgbt-older-adults/][http://www.sfgate.com/living/article/Federal-surveys-trim-LGBT-questions-alarming-11014915.php] The Census Bureau has also announced it would not include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in its 2020 census, missing the opportunity to provide more accurate data to lawmakers on their constituents and the best way to meet their needs.[http://www.out.com/news-opinion/2017/3/28/breaking-trump-administration-removes-lgbtq-people-2020-census]
+
*The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) planned to eliminate questions about LGBTQ+ people from two annual surveys that evaluate the performance of federal services, the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants and the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living. Without this data, it will be hard to tell whether the programs included in these surveys meet the needs of all their recipients, including LGBTQ+ people.[https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2017/03/20/428623/trump-administration-rolling-back-data-collection-lgbt-older-adults/][http://www.sfgate.com/living/article/Federal-surveys-trim-LGBT-questions-alarming-11014915.php] On April 27, 2017, 19 senators from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to the HSS to ask for the questions to be restored, and two weeks later 49 House members asked the HHS to restore the questions in the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants.[https://www.aging.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Letter%20to%20HHS%20-%20Surveys%20(4.27.17).pdf][http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/05/13/49-house-members-urge-hhs-restore-lgbt-questions-elder-survey/] After this, HHS announced it would keep the question on sexual orientation in the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants.[http://www.hrc.org/blog/hrc-marks-victory-for-older-lgb-americans-hhs-to-restore-sexual-orientation]
 +
*The Census Bureau will not include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in its 2020 census. This means it will not provide lawmakers with completely accurate data on their constituents, which is necessary for lawmakers to meet constituents' needs.[http://www.out.com/news-opinion/2017/3/28/breaking-trump-administration-removes-lgbtq-people-2020-census][http://www.npr.org/2017/06/20/533542014/collecting-lgbt-census-data-is-essential-to-federal-agency-document-shows]
 +
*These decisions are even more remarkable because at least four federal agencies under the Obama administration, including the Justice Department, had asked the Census Bureau to add questions on sexual orientation and gender identity to the American Community survey. This shows that this information is needed at the federal level.[http://www.npr.org/2017/07/18/536484467/census-bureau-found-no-need-for-lgbt-data-despite-4-agencies-requesting-it]
 +
 
 +
===2018 Budget===
 +
The White House's proposed budget would cut civil rights offices in various departments across the government, including at the Justice, Health and Education Departments. It would also eliminate 249 full-time positions at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces federal laws against discrimination. It also decreases the powers of the agency that enforces the executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ+ employees.[http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/lgbtq-community-would-be-hard-hit-trump-s-2018-budget-n765141]
  
==Vulnerabilities in their strategy==
+
==Weaknesses in Republicans' Plan==
 +
*[[LGBTQ%2B_Equality#Religious_Freedom|FADA]] would require 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster. Democrats can block it from passing if enough of them oppose the law.
  
*To pass, FADA would require 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster, which means that Democrats can block such legislation from passing if they are unified in their opposition.
+
*The fight against HIV has in the past been supported by both Republicans and Democrats, and many members of Congress have criticized [[LGBTQ%2B_Equality#2018_Budget|Trump's 2018 proposed budget]].[https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/capitol-hill-republicans-not-on-board-with-trump-budget/2017/03/16/9952d63e-0a6b-11e7-b77c-0047d15a24e0_story.html?utm_term=.3198fac2b41c] Trump's proposed budget probably won't be passed, and funding for HIV probably won't be affected as much as it would under that proposal.
  
*The fight against HIV has historically received bipartisan support in Congress, and the proposed budget has been [https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/capitol-hill-republicans-not-on-board-with-trump-budget/2017/03/16/9952d63e-0a6b-11e7-b77c-0047d15a24e0_story.html?utm_term=.3198fac2b41c heavily criticized] in Congress. Therefore, it is unlikely to be passed in its current form and funding for HIV should not be affected as much as it would under the current proposal.
+
*A survey by a nonpartisan research group found that 61% of Americans oppose allowing businesses to refuse to serve LGBTQ+ people and that not a single major US religious group is in favor of it.[https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/06/21/denying-service-gays-unpopular-even-among-faith-groups/411851001/]
  
*Laws that go against Supreme Court rulings, such as the failed [[North Carolina | North Carolina]] attempt to ban same-sex marriage[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/04/12/north-carolina-bill-banning-same-sex-marriage-again-wont-be-heard-house-speaker-says/?utm_term=.b28a504cad57], and the current [[Texas | Texas]] challenge to the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality[https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-23/texas-tries-to-revoke-some-gay-marriage-rights] are not likely to be passed.
+
*Laws that go against Supreme Court rulings, such as the failed [[North Carolina]] attempt to ban same-sex marriage[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/04/12/north-carolina-bill-banning-same-sex-marriage-again-wont-be-heard-house-speaker-says/?utm_term=.b28a504cad57] and the current [[Texas|Texas]] challenge to the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality,[https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-23/texas-tries-to-revoke-some-gay-marriage-rights] will probably not be passed.
  
*States and local councils can pass specific laws to make up for gaps found in laws at the federal level. Most recently the city of Jackson, [[Michigan | Michigan]], passed a law protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination, and many other states and cities have passed similar laws. See the [[State and Local Pages | State and Local Pages]] to see where your State stands on these issues.
+
*States and local councils can pass laws when they find that federal laws are lacking. The city of Jackson, [[Michigan]], passed a law protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. Many other states and cities have passed similar laws. See the [[State and Local Pages | State and Local Pages]] to see where your state stands on antidiscrimination laws.
  
*Popular opinion tends to shift towards acceptance, and researchers are starting to see the positive impact of an equal environment. A study has shown that allowing trans kids to transition is very beneficial for their mental health - trans kids allowed to transition showed no difference to their peers or siblings in terms of development and self-reported depressive symptoms or anxiety[https://thinkprogress.org/trans-kids-socially-transition-study-529f34c1bb3b#.dz8kuphns]. Another study has found that when states adopt marriage equality, suicide rates among teenagers and young adults decrease significantly, especially among LGBTQ+ youth.[http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2017/02/20/fewer-teens-die-by-suicide-when-same-sex-marriage-is-legal/#44f08e6e7586].
+
*Popular opinion tends to shift towards acceptance, and researchers are starting to see positive impacts of equal rights. A study showed that allowing trans kids to transition is very beneficial for their mental health. Trans kids who transitioned were no different from their peers or siblings in terms of development and self-reported depression or anxiety.[https://thinkprogress.org/trans-kids-socially-transition-study-529f34c1bb3b#.dz8kuphns] Another study found that when states adopt marriage equality, suicide rates among teenagers and young adults (especially LGBTQ+ youth) decrease significantly.[http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2017/02/20/fewer-teens-die-by-suicide-when-same-sex-marriage-is-legal/#44f08e6e7586]

Latest revision as of 15:54, 6 October 2017

This is a shared public project. Feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.

How You Can Resist
How You Can Resist
[edit]

Recent Updates[edit]

  • 10/5/2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the Justice Department to take the position in court cases that transgender people are not protected by a civil rights law that bans workplace discrimination based on sex. [1]
  • 7/28/2017: The Trump Administration nominated Pete Hoekstra as Ambassador to the Netherlands, a move that was opposed by LGBTQ rights activists because Hoekstra has a long history of opposing LGBTQ+ equality, marriage equality, and adoption.[2]
  • 7/27/2017: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Dunford declared that, until the White House sends an official rules change and the Secretary of Defense issues new guidelines, there will be no change in policy concerning transgender people in the military. This means that transgender people currently serving are safe unless Trump's tweets are followed by an official order.[3]
  • 7/27/2017: Trump announced he would name Governor of Kansas Sam Brownback, a vocal opponent of LGBTQ+ equality, ambassador at large for international religious freedom.[4]
  • 7/26/2017: In a case opposing an employee fired for being gay and his former employer, the Department of Justice filed court papers stating that federal anti-discrimination laws do not protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation. This question is being raised in many federal court cases, and courts have interpreted the law in different ways (see below).[5]
  • 7/26/2017: President Trump tweeted that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the military in any capacity. This would reverse the Obama administration's policy. The announcement took the Pentagon by surprise, and it is unclear what will happen to transgender people currently serving in the military. Trump announced the decision while Congress was debating the military spending bill, and some Republicans had asked that healthcare costs for transgender people be excluded from the bill.[6]

Actions Taken by the Federal Government
Laws Proposed by Congress
[edit]

Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice

  • S. 411 would end profiling by law enforcement, including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
    Billtracker.png


  • H.R. 1447 or Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017 would prohibit discrimination in housing based on sex or sexual orientation.
    Billtracker.png



  • S. 662, also known as NO HATE Act, would strengthen laws fighting hate crimes.[7]
    Billtracker.png


  • HR 1957, also known as the Safe Schools Improvement Act, would require schools to adopt anti-bullying policies that specifically include LGBTQ+ students.[8]
    Billtracker.png


  • S. 928/HR 2119, also known as the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, would outlaw conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ people.[9]
    Billtracker.png


  • S. 954, also known as the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, would require universities and colleges to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[10]
    Billtracker.png


  • S. 1006/HR 2282, also known as the Equality Act, would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.-
    Billtracker.png


  • HR 2491/SB 1172 would require the State Department to ban foreigners who have committed significant abuse against LGBTQ+ people from entering the US and to document this abuse in the annual human rights report.-
    Billtracker.png


  • SB 1258 would improve data collection on the sexual orientation and gender identity of the victims of violence and improve the documentation and reporting of such acts.[11]-
    Billtracker.png


  • HRes 419 would recognize LGBTQ+ rights as human rights protected by the Constitution and state that all Americans should be treated equality regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.-
    Billtracker.png


  • HRes 405 would make June 26 Equality Day, encourage its celebration and recognize the need for further legislation to guarantee equality throughout the US .-
    Billtracker.png


Harmful Legislation
Harmful bills that should be opposed:

  • HR 1881/SB 811 would allow child services organization to discriminate against LGBTQ+ foster parents on religious grounds[12].-
    Billtracker.png


  • HRes 427 would authorize widespread discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.-
    Billtracker.png


See also the State and Local Pages for state-by-state legislative tracking.

Transgender Rights[edit]

Few federal laws protect transgender people from discrimination. However, recent court decisions have ruled that federal laws against discrimination based on “sex,” such as Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, do give transgender people some protection.[13] Without federal laws, though, individual judges can reverse these decisions. This is why some states have begun to pass laws protecting transgender people, such as those against discrimination in schools. The states also handle many other rights that affect transgender people, like the ability to change their name and gender on their identity documents, or to have their health care included in state Medicaid. See the State and Local Pages to see where your state stands on these issues.

Military[edit]

Trump and his security advisors do not want to allow transgender soldiers to serve openly, and want the right to discharge people from the military because of their gender identity.[14][15] Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis has criticized civilian leaders, saying that their "progressive agenda" could weaken the Army. If Mattis wanted, he could reverse the Pentagon's policy on transgender people by notifying Congress 30 days in advance. No legislation would be required.[16] This would affect 1,320 to 6,630 soldiers (numbers are from a 2008 report[17]).

  • On July 27, 2017, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent an official letter referring to the previous day's tweets by President Trump and stating that until there is an official order from the White House and a change of guidelines by the Department of Defense there will be no change in the current policy allowing transgender people to serve in the military.[18]
  • On July 26, 2017, Trump announced in a tweet that the United States will no longer “accept or allow” transgender people in the United States military. The reason for this decision, Trump explained, was because of the high medical costs associated with transgender soldiers.[19]About 2,450 active-duty members are transgender. A study estimated that if transgender people in the military sought gender transition–related health care, health care costs would rise $2.4 million to $8.4 million a year, which is only 0.04 to 0.13% more in spending for active-duty service members. A study that looked at militaries in other countries that allow transgender people to serve showed that allowing transgender people to serve does not affect unit effectiveness or readiness.[20]
  • On July 12, 2017 Republican members of the House tried to pass an amendment prohibiting the Department of Defense from providing transition-related health care to transgender people in the military. There was also an attempt to ban transgender service members from serving in the military, but both were defeated in the House.[21][22][23]
  • On June 30, 2017, the Pentagon decided to delay for six months the plan to allow transgender people to serve in the military. LGBTQ+ groups have criticized this decision.[24]
  • When Vice President Mike Pence was a congressman, he voted against repealing the ban on openly gay troops ("don't ask, don't tell"). Jeff Sessions did, too.[25]

Schools[edit]

The Trump Administration withdrew an Obama-era guideline on nondiscrimination policies for transgender students. This guideline said that schools must treat transgender students the same way it treats other students with the same gender identity. It was based on Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. Without this guideline, school boards can now require students to use bathrooms and changing rooms that correspond with their biological sex, rather than their gender identity. Students also might not be allowed to play on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. School boards can still create their own protections for transgender students, and people and groups can appeal to federal courts if a transgender student's rights are violated.[26][27]

Supreme Court[edit]

The Supreme Court recently considered Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., the case of a transgender boy who wants to be able to use the boys’ bathroom at his Virginia high school. The school board had a policy that required students to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex that they were assigned at birth. On March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court decided to send the case back to the Virginia appeals court after the Trump Administration cancelled the Obama-era guidance advising schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. The 4th Circuit Court in Virginia will now look at the case again to decide whether Title IX, which bans discrimination in education, applies to transgender students.[28]

ACA Repeal[edit]

The repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) could have severe effects on transgender people. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits health-care providers and insurers from discriminating based on gender. The Obama administration issued a rule based on this section banning discrimination against gender-nonconforming and transgender people.[29] This included transition-related care and gender reassignment surgery.[30] If the ACA is repealed, this protection would no longer exist. Since Secretary for Health and Human Services Tom Price usually opposes protections for transgender people,[31] he probaby won't reinstate this protection.

  • Before the ACA, “transsexualism” was considered to be a preexisting condition. If the AHCA is passed, transgender people's health care could become much more expensive.[32]

See the Healthcare section below for more information.

Healthcare[edit]

LGBTQ+ people are affected by all the government's decisions about health care, but some decisions and issues impact the LGBTQ+ community in particular. One of these areas is the fight against HIV/AIDS. The disease affects everyone, but according to the Center for Disease Control, gay and bisexual men are more severely affected by HIV/AIDS than any other groups in the US. Transgender people, especially transgender women, are also more at risk than others.[33] Discrimination and stigma can make it more difficult for LGBTQ+ people to get diagnosed and treated.[34]

More information on healthcare can be found on the Manual's healthcare page.

American Health Care Act[edit]

On May 4, 2017, the House passed the American Health Care Act of 2017, which would repeal and replace the ACA (Obamacare). This bill is very controversial. The ACA provides access to key health care services for many people, and its repeal would disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ people.

  • A 2014 poll found that LGBT Americans were more likely to report being uninsured. The percentage of uninsured LGBT adults decreased by 11% after the ACA was passed.
  • The ACA includes essential health care for LGBTQ+ people and people with HIV/AIDS. It bans discrimination in healthcare treatment and access, and it encourages collecting data about sexual orientation and gender identity. (Having more information improves treatment and prevention). The ACA also encourages trainings to improve care fpr LGBT patients.[35][36]

The AHCA could be very damaging to LGBTQ+ people.

  • The AHCA would cut $839 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years and would freeze the Medicaid extension in 2020. This would cause millions of people to lose their coverage.[37][38]
  • The ACA's Medicaid expansion was very important in the fight against HIV/AIDS: Medicaid became the single largest insurer of people with HIV/AIDS in the US.[39] It covered more than 40% of people with HIV/AIDS in care, and made up 30% of all federal spending on HIV/AIDS care, not including prevention services.[40] The repeal of the ACA and the elimination of the Medicaid expansion would mean that many HIV/AIDS patients would lose their coverage. Any interruption in care means that the epidemic could surge: when HIV-positive people are treated the risk of transmission is almost zero, but if treatment is interrupted the virus can be transmitted again.[41]
  • Medicaid is also the largest payer for behavioral health services, which means that cuts to Medicaid would decrease people's access to mental health services. LGBTQ+ people are nearly three times more likely to experience mental health conditions, so they would suffer even more if it was harder for them to access mental health care.[42]
  • The ACA also required states to provide 10 essential health benefits through Medicaid, including prescription drugs. The AHCA would end this requirement, so HIV/AIDS patients might be unable to get their medications. By limiting Medicaid, the AHCA might also make it harder for people to get tested for HIV or get PrEP, a drug that reduces the risk of getting HIV.[43]
  • The AHCA would allow annual and lifetime caps on coverage under certain conditions and for everyone on Medicaid after 2020. This means that patients with lifelong illnesses (such as HIV/AIDS) could lose their health care when they reach a certain spending limit.[44][45][46]
  • The AHCA would let states waive ACA protections against discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. This means states could let insurance companies charge more money to cover patients with pre-existing conditions, including HIV/AIDS, or put them in “high-risk pools,” which cost a lot more and provide less coverage.[47]

Better Care Reconciliation Act[edit]

The Senate bill to repeal the ACA[48] is very similar to the AHCA. It would also cut Medicaid and limit its spending. It would let states request waivers so they wouldn't have to provide the essential health benefits that the ACA made mandatory, so people with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage. It would also defund Planned Parenthood. Just like the House version, this bill would hurt the fight against HIV and make it much harder for LGBTQ+ people to get health care.[49][50][51][52][53][54]

For more details on this bill, see the Healthcare page of the manual

2018 Budget[edit]

The White House proposed its 2018 Budget on May 24, 2017. This budget probably won't be passed, but it shows the White House’s priorities. It would increase spending for the military and border security, but decrease spending on programs for the poor, including food stamps and disability benefits. It would also affect LGBTQ+ people:

  • The fight against HIV/AIDS would severely suffer. The proposed budget would cut $59 million from the Ryan White program, which provides health care to people living with HIV/AIDS who cannot get health insurance. It is the third-largest source of federal money for HIV/AIDS care in the US, after Medicare and Medicaid.[55] The budget would also cut Medicaid by $610 million in 2018 (which is in addition to the $880 billion cut that the AHCA would cause over the next 10 years).[56][57]
  • The budget would take federal funding away from many institutions that provide abortions, such asPlanned Parenthood. This would have a drastic impact on the LGBTQ+ community. Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers of health care for trans people. Cutting Planned Parenthood's funding would make it much more difficult for trans people to get health care.[58][59]. Federal funding makes up about 40% of Planned Parenthood’s overall budget. Most of this reimburses Planned Parenthood for treating Medicaid patients.[60]
    • The spending agreement that Congress passed in April 2017 continued funding for Planned Parenthood,.
  • The budget would cut a lot of money from scientific and medical research, including a $5.8 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a 11% cut ($776 million) for the National Science Foundation. The Fogarty International Center, which trains scientists in HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis research, would be eliminated. The budget would also cut the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative. These cuts would severely affect HIV/AIDS research. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would lose $186 million for programs fighting HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections.[61][62][63] The CDC is the main source of funding for HIV prevention, and that would be deeply cut under this budget.[64]
    • The Administration had proposed cutting funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2017, but the 2017 spending agreement that Congress passed in May gave the NIH a $2 billion increase in funding instead.[65]

HIV Criminalization Laws[edit]

Some states have passed HIV/AIDS criminalization laws[66] that make it illegal for an HIV-positive person to expose another person to HIV on purpose. In some states, it is illegal not to tell a sex partner that you are HIV-positive.[67] Some laws also allow the saliva or blood of an HIV-positive person to be classified in court as a “deadly weapon.”[68] Because these laws are about disclosing HIV-positive status, not about actually giving someone HIV, they have no purpose. All states have other laws that can be used to prosecute transmitting HIV, so these laws just single out HIV-positive people and reinforce the image of them as “dangerous.” HIV criminalization laws disproportionately target people of color, mainly African Americans, and gay men.[69]

See the State and Local Pages to see if your state has such laws.

Marriage Equality[edit]

The 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges gave same-sex couples all across the US the right to marry. But there is still no federal law, so the Supreme Court could reverse the decision. Some states are also trying to take away the right to marriage equality. See the State and Local Pages for information on your state.

Supreme Court[edit]

The Supreme Court's new justice is Neil Gorsuch. He will probably generally agree with the conservatives on the bench and oppose Obergefell v. Hodges. On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot discriminate against same-sex couples when determining who can be listed on a child's birth certificate. Gorsuch did not agree with this decision.[70] If any other Supreme Court justices leave the Court and Trump is able to appoint new justices, the Court might end up with a conservative majority and could reverse Obergefell if a marriage-equality case came to the Court again. Obergefell was a narrow decision, 5–4, so if another conservative judge was appointed to the Court and another marriage-equality case came to the Court, they could reverse marriage equality.[71]

State Challenges[edit]

  • The Texas Supreme Court ruled that state workers have no right to get benefits for their same-sex spouses.[72][73] The Supreme Court might end up hearing the case.

Other Discrimination Issues[edit]

Federal laws do not prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, so state laws and court decisions are able to limit LGBTQ+ people's rights.

Administration's Position[edit]

  • Vice President Mike Pence and members of Trump's cabinet, including Steven Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Tom Price and Betsy De Vos, have supported policies that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.
  • Heather Wilson, the nominee for Secretary of the Air Force, has opposed laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people.[74]. Roger Severino, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services's Office of Civil Rights, is a leading anti-LGBTQ+ activist and Valerie Huber, the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary for the same Department, is the leader of an organization pushing anti-transgender content in sex ed classes.[75][76]
  • Two of Trump's federal judicial nominees, John Bush and Damien Schiff, have repeatedly made comments against rulings protecting marriage equality and LGBTQ+ equality.[77] John Bush was confirmed as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by the Senate on July 20, 2017.[78][79]
  • Trump has advocated for policies that would directly affect the LGBTQ+ community. This includes canceling some of Obama's executive orders. For example, On March 28, 2017, he signed an executive order undoing Obama's 2014 order that required companies doing business with the federal government to provide their records on discrimination. The order required companies that received large federal contracts to show they had followed federal laws that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity for at least three years.[80] Only 19 states have similar laws.[81]

Federal Courts[edit]

The Circuit Courts of Appeals review rulings made by other courts in their districts and are the final word on most cases in the US. Only the US Supreme Court is above them. When laws passed by the states are blocked by lawsuits, the cases then go to the Circuit Courts.[82] Their rulings are very important to protecting LGBTQ+ people against discrimination.

Current cases:

  • In 2017 the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case of EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes. The case is between a funeral home and its former funeral director, who was fired allegedly because she is transgender. The Court will consider whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, also protects transgender people. The ruling could set an important precedent, expanding protections for LGBTQ+ people across the country.[83]
  • In 2017 the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals also revived the case against Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses even after the Supreme Court legalized it. A couple she refused a license to sought damages, and the Court ruled that they could sue even if they finally obtained a license. On July 21, 2017, a federal judge ruled that the couple's legal fees should be compensated, but by Kentucky, not by Kim Davis herself.[84][85]
  • On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a Colorado baker who was sued for discrimination because he wouldn't bake a cake for a same-sex wedding because of his religious beliefs. The Supreme Court decision could settle whether businesses can use the First Amendment to refuse service to same-sex couples.[86]
  • In May 2017 the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to consider a case it had previously rejected. A gay skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda, is suing his employer because he was allegedly fired for being gay, and the Court must decide if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination because of sex, also prohibits discrimination because of sexual orientation. This case made the headlines in July 2017 because the Department of Justice publicly sided against Zarda, saying that Title VII does not protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination.[87]

Past rulings:

  • On March 10, 2017 a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, does not extend to sexual orientation. This ruling contradicts many other previous (and following) decisions on the topic, and the case will be appealed to the US Supreme Court.[88][89]
  • On April 4, 2017, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, does extend to sexual orientation. The Court was looking at the case of Kimberly Hively, an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, Indiana, who was fired because she is a lesbian. The 7th Circuit is the highest Federal Court ever to protect LGBTQ+ people under Title VII.[90]
  • On May 1, 2017, the US Supreme Court held up a ruling stating that California's law prohibiting conversion therapy for minors is constitutional and does not limit religious freedom. This law prohibits mental health counselors licensed by the state from offering "therapy" to change sexual orientation in minors. This ruling could encourage other states to adopt similar laws.[91]
  • On May 30, 2017, a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling allowing a transgender boy to use the boys's bathroom at this school. The court agreed with his claim that he is protected by Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. They also said that his school is wrong in not letting him use the bathroom matching his gender identity, because there is no "exceedingly persuasive" reason to do so.[92]
  • On June 22, 2017, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals Court in Mississippi ruled that HB 1523 can remain law. The law says that the government cannot take action against a religious organization that is acting according to its religious beliefs. The law might also allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.[93] The law was widely criticized for being harmful to LGBTQ+ rights, and it was blocked by Mississippi state courts. The governor sued to have it reinstated. The court did reinstate it, but on technical grounds.[94][95]
  • On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot discriminate against same-sex couples when determining who is listed on a child's birth certificate. This overturns a previous ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court and strengthens the 2015 decision hat same-sex couples are entitled to marriage on the same terms as other couples.[96]
  • On June 28, 2017, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a North Carolina law that allows civil magistrates to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.[97]

Religious Freedom[edit]

Religious freedom laws protect people's right to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right. They are meant to protect religious minorities. However, they have recently been used to say that people's or businesses' rights may be violated if they are not allowed to deny service to LGBTQ+ people.

  • Executive Order

On May 4, 2017, Trump signed an [Executive Actions | executive order] to protect religious freedom, which many feared would include discriminatory provisions. However, the actual order is widely seen as not having any concrete effects. It calls for a review of religious-based exceptions, including in healthcare, but does not make any changes for now.[98] The order does not give exemptions to those opposed to marriage equality or LGBTQ+ equality.[99] The order also asks the attorney general to issue guidelines for federal agencies that "interpret religious liberty protections in Federal law," so discrimination against LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds could still increase later. The order could eventually allow discrimination in access to spousal benefits or health care.[100][101]

  • Supreme Court

In June 2017, the Supreme Court decided to hear arguments in a case involving LGBTQ+ rights and religious freedom. The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, involves a bakery that refused (for religious reasons) to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The couple then sued for discrimination, and the case could settle the question of whether religious rights can be used as a justification to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.[102]

  • First Amendment Defense Act

Trump has said that he will sign into law the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) if Congress passes it. Congress first introduced it in 2015. The law would prohibit any kind of action against any corporation, organization or person if they acted according to the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sex should be limited to such a marriage. This act could legalize discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in many situations, including access to medical care and spouse benefits, and prevents the Federal government from fighting this discrimination.[103] For an example, an adoption agency would be allowed to refuse to place kids with LGBTQ+ parents and would still be entitled to government/taxpayer funding.[104] Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a sponsor of FADA when he was a senator. When Vice President Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana, he signed a Religious Freedom Amendment allowing people to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. A similar amendment was attached to a 2016 defense authorization act, but it was removed because President Obama promised to veto. Under President Trump, such an amendment or law could be passed.[105]

  • Similar laws have been introduced or are being considered in various states. See the State and Local Pages to see if your state has one.

Data Collection[edit]

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) planned to eliminate questions about LGBTQ+ people from two annual surveys that evaluate the performance of federal services, the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants and the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living. Without this data, it will be hard to tell whether the programs included in these surveys meet the needs of all their recipients, including LGBTQ+ people.[106][107] On April 27, 2017, 19 senators from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to the HSS to ask for the questions to be restored, and two weeks later 49 House members asked the HHS to restore the questions in the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants.[108][109] After this, HHS announced it would keep the question on sexual orientation in the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants.[110]
  • The Census Bureau will not include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in its 2020 census. This means it will not provide lawmakers with completely accurate data on their constituents, which is necessary for lawmakers to meet constituents' needs.[111][112]
  • These decisions are even more remarkable because at least four federal agencies under the Obama administration, including the Justice Department, had asked the Census Bureau to add questions on sexual orientation and gender identity to the American Community survey. This shows that this information is needed at the federal level.[113]

2018 Budget[edit]

The White House's proposed budget would cut civil rights offices in various departments across the government, including at the Justice, Health and Education Departments. It would also eliminate 249 full-time positions at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces federal laws against discrimination. It also decreases the powers of the agency that enforces the executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ+ employees.[114]

Weaknesses in Republicans' Plan[edit]

  • FADA would require 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster. Democrats can block it from passing if enough of them oppose the law.
  • The fight against HIV has in the past been supported by both Republicans and Democrats, and many members of Congress have criticized Trump's 2018 proposed budget.[115] Trump's proposed budget probably won't be passed, and funding for HIV probably won't be affected as much as it would under that proposal.
  • A survey by a nonpartisan research group found that 61% of Americans oppose allowing businesses to refuse to serve LGBTQ+ people and that not a single major US religious group is in favor of it.[116]
  • Laws that go against Supreme Court rulings, such as the failed North Carolina attempt to ban same-sex marriage[117] and the current Texas challenge to the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality,[118] will probably not be passed.
  • States and local councils can pass laws when they find that federal laws are lacking. The city of Jackson, Michigan, passed a law protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. Many other states and cities have passed similar laws. See the State and Local Pages to see where your state stands on antidiscrimination laws.
  • Popular opinion tends to shift towards acceptance, and researchers are starting to see positive impacts of equal rights. A study showed that allowing trans kids to transition is very beneficial for their mental health. Trans kids who transitioned were no different from their peers or siblings in terms of development and self-reported depression or anxiety.[119] Another study found that when states adopt marriage equality, suicide rates among teenagers and young adults (especially LGBTQ+ youth) decrease significantly.[120]