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Ariadne Getty Foundation to match GLAAD end of year donations

LGBTQIA media watchdog agency hopes to raise $400,000

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The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today announced that the Ariadne Getty Foundation will match all contributions made to GLAAD up to $200,000 through the remainder of 2019.

Getty in 2018 donated more than $16,000,000 to GLAAD to help the organization work with entertainment, news, and digital media to highlight LGBTQ stories and accelerate acceptance.  As a media monitoring agency, GLAAD helps spotlight people and issues that influence dialogue about LGBT lives, protecting social and legal advancements.

When asked why she made her initial bequests to GLAAD, Getty pointed to her two out children, August and Nats. Her resolve has only grown since.

“We cannot go backwards. With LGBTQ acceptance slipping, I have no choice but to use my power to create a better world for LGBTQ youth. The time is now to stand by marginalized communities and promote a better world for all. GLAAD has always been the leader in creating a better world for LGBTQ people. This lead gift will not only ensure that work continues, but will hopefully inspire others to join us in our pursuit of 100 percent acceptance.”

The Ariadne Getty Foundation end of 2019 gift, says GLAAD’s Bill McDermott, “means that a donation of $25 give GLAAD  $50 to fight anti-LGBTQ bullying in high schools. If you can give $50, we’ll get $100 to help train LGBTQ activists all over the world through the GLAAD Media Institute. And your gift of $500 means GLAAD will receive $1,000 to hold the Trump administration accountable and fight for the future of LGBTQ rights during the 2020 campaign.”

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HHS takes steps to reverse Anti-LGBTQ+ healthcare policy

The announcement came minutes before a scheduled hearing before the U.S. District Court for Equality California’s lawsuit challenging the Trump-Pence Administration’s “Rollback Rule”

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HHS the Hubert H. Humphrey Building (Photo: GSA)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday morning that the Biden-Harris Administration will interpret and enforce Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Title IX’s prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The announcement came minutes before a scheduled hearing before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in BAGLY v. HHS, Equality California’s lawsuit challenging the Trump-Pence Administration’s “Rollback Rule.”

The Trump-era policy undermines the ACA’s nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sex — including pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping — as well as protections for patients with limited-English proficiency and those living with chronic illnesses, including HIV. Because the issues in BAGLY v. HHS are broader than what the Administration announced today, the Court scheduled a hearing on the government’s motion to dismiss for June 3rd at 2:30 PM EST.

In reaction to the HHS announcement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement Monday:

“Today, the Biden Administration has taken essential and potentially life-saving action to affirm that all people in America have the right to quality, affordable health care – no matter who they are or whom they love.  During this time of pandemic and always, it is vital that the most vulnerable have access to care, including LGBTQ Americans, who have long suffered injustice and discrimination that has left them dangerously exposed to health risks.
 
“The Trump Administration’s decision to greenlight anti-LGBTQ discrimination in health care in the middle of a pandemic was an act of senseless and staggering cruelty, made in blatant defiance of our values and a Supreme Court ruling made just a month prior.  
 
“Congressional Democrats together with the Biden Administration are proud to uphold the equal right of every American to access the care that they need to pursue a life of dignity and health.  We must now build on this progress and enact the House-passed Equality Act to fully ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination in our nation.”

In addition to Equality California, co-plaintiffs in BAGLY v. HHS include Darren Lazor, The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (BAGLY), Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Campaign for Southern Equality, Equality California, Fenway Health, and Transgender Emergency Fund.

Lazor is a transgender man near Cleveland, Ohio, who experienced numerous counts of discrimination from healthcare providers on the basis of his gender identity from 2012 to 2017. He is a member of Equality California. Plaintiffs are represented by National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), the Transgender Law Center (TLC), the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) of Harvard Law School and law firm Hogan Lovells.

The lawsuit asserts that the new rule violates the Administrative Procedures Act by being contrary to law, arbitrary and capricious and a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Notably, it was published on June 19,  just days after the June 15, 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which found that it is unlawful sex discrimination to fire employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The lawsuit also asserts that the new rule will embolden discrimination and harm LGBTQ+ patients and people seeking reproductive health care, further stigmatize abortion and other pregnancy-related care, harm patients with limited-English proficiency, especially immigrants, and harm people with chronic illnesses, including those living with HIV. The rule will also create confusion about the scope of protections against discrimination under federal law. 

Trans people, like plaintiff Darren Lazor, already face disproportionate discrimination in health care settings, including mistreatment by insurers and humiliation and harassment by doctors – problems that are exacerbated for trans people of color and trans people living in rural regions and the U.S. South. In seeking to deny trans people access to the healthcare they need, the Trump Administration had placed trans people, and especially Black trans women, in danger through deliberately harmful governmental action.

“We are thrilled by the news that the Biden-Harris Administration will take initial steps to reverse President Trump’s dangerous, discriminatory Rollback Rule, which undermined healthcare nondiscrimination protections critical to the LGBTQ+ community, and trans people in particular,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur.

“As the world recovers from a global pandemic, it’s more important than ever that every American have access to quality, affordable healthcare without fear of harassment and discrimination. We remain hopeful that under Secretary Becerra and Assistant Secretary Levine’s leadership, HHS will continue to take further steps to rescind the Trump-era regulation and address the harms that it has caused,” he added.

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Five major social media platforms unsafe for LGBTQ people

Ellis told Axios that when it comes to harassment and discrimination, what happens online isn’t staying online

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Kate Ellis GLAAD Axios Interview May 9 2021 Screenshot via YouTube

NEW YORK – In an Axios interview Sunday on HBO, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told Axios that the five major social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube — are all “categorically unsafe” for LGBTQ people, according to a new study released from GLAAD.

Ellis said that all of the sites hold themselves out as LGBTQ-friendly and nonetheless allow for LGBTQ people to be harassed on a daily basis as well as allowing harmful misinformation to spread unchecked, Axios reported.

In the 50-page report, GLAAD lays out a variety of recommendations for all the platforms, in addition to suggestions specific to each service. The broad recommendations include everything from tweaking algorithms to slow down the spread of misinformation, hiring more human moderators and better enforcing existing harassment and discrimination policies.

This past December the Blade reported on a married gay couple in Seattle who had run afoul of Instagram’s algorithms triggered by the anti-LGBTQ trolling that GLAAD also addressed.

A source knowledgeable of Facebook/Instagram’s operations but not authorized to speak to the media told the Blade that almost complete reliance on the automated systems and next to no human oversight as a result of the remote virtual work environment has developed into a backlog of disputed decisions on accounts that have been disabled- as a direct result of the algorithms being tripped by repeated so-called ‘complaints’ over content in particular.

Ellis told Axios that when it comes to harassment and discrimination, what happens online isn’t staying online.

“There are real world consequences to what happens online,” she said. “There are direct lines you can draw between the over 100 anti-trans bills that are now circulating at the state (level) and what’s being produced and pushed out within the social media world. “”There are real world consequences to what happens online,” Ellis said. “There are direct lines you can draw between the over 100 anti-trans bills that are now circulating at the state (level) and what’s being produced and pushed out within the social media world. “

She added that ‘GLAAD hopes to work with the sites over the next year and plans to issue grades for each next year.’

“Our thought on this is that now that we’ve given you what’s on our minds, what we think is a problematic for our community, we are going to hold you accountable, Ellis said. “And if you know anything about the LGBTQ community, we will hold you accountable and we will put our money where our mouth is.”

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NCAA championship softball games to be held in anti-Trans youth sports states

Three of the sites are in states that have enacted laws banning the participation of Trans youth in girls’ and women’s sports

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN. – An announcement made by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) less than a week ago on the 20 predetermined preliminary round sites at universities and colleges for this year’s Division I Softball Championship has LGBTQ and Trans equality activists aggravated.

Three of the sites are in states that have enacted laws banning the participation of Trans youth in girls’ and women’s sports, Arkansas, Alabama, and Tennessee.

The Board of Governors  of the NCAA, which regulates student athletes from over 1,268 North American institutions and conferences of higher learning, released a statement last month supporting the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.

The NCAA said that “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports. This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.”

“When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected,” the April 12 statement said. “We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants.”

The NCAA announcement on April 30 regarding selection of schools to host the the Division I Softball Championships in states that have now banned Trans girls and young women from playing sports on teams in alignment with their gender identity, is being seen by some advocates who took the NCAA’s statement to mean that it wouldn’t consider states that had passed legislation targeting trans people as specious.

One Trans advocate who spoke with the Blade Friday and asked not to be identified, said that the NCAA’s choice for the games was hypocritical and contravened the April 12 statement.

The 20 potential regional sites for baseball will be announced next week, and that list will be pared to the 16 official hosts on May 31.

The NCAA did not respond to a request by the Blade for comment or clarification.

The 20 potential host site institutions for SOFTBALL are as follows:

AlabamaMichigan
ArizonaMissouri
Arizona StateOklahoma
ArkansasOklahoma State
ClemsonOregon
FloridaTennessee
Florida StateTexas
GeorgiaUCLA
KentuckyVirginia Tech
LSUWashington
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