The Trump administration’s hostility towards the LGBTQ+ community has been on full display leading up to Pride month, with its reversal of Obama-era health care protections for transgender patients. This isn’t the administration’s first attack on LGBTQ+ rights — and it likely won’t be its last. Looking at Trump’s anti-LGBTQ+ record, we see a ban on transgender people serving in the military, a reversal of protections for transgender youth within schools, and the allowance of sweeping religious liberty exemptions to anti-discrimination policies.
It’s not only in the U.S. that Trump is targeting LGBTQ+ rights — he’s doing so on an international scale as well with the Global Gag Rule. Under the policy, foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. global health funding and provide access or referrals to abortion services face an impossible decision. They must either deny their patients comprehensive reproductive health care, including safe abortion, or lose critical U.S. funding.
With the reinstatement of this restrictive policy in 2017, some clinics are shutting their doors and others are unable to continue providing lifesaving health care for vulnerable populations, including LGBTQ+ patients. Trump’s dramatically expanded Global Gag rule leaves providers struggling to provide contraceptives; maternal and child health services; HIV/AIDS testing, counseling and care; and infectious disease prevention and treatment. Organizations targeting stigma surrounding homophobia and HIV care face resource cuts and staff layoffs. LGBTQ+ patients are losing their trusted providers, and some are losing access to health care altogether.
On June 9, Population Connection Action Fund staff and volunteers will join D.C. festival goers at the 10th annual Capital Pride festival. With 2019 representing the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, we will acknowledge Pride’s history in shining light on the persecution, protests, and liberation of LGBTQ+ individuals. It is a celebration of the resilience and unity within a vibrant community and its continued strides towards equality.
At Population Connection Action Fund, we’re proud to be allies in the LGBTQ+ fight. This Pride month, we’re taking a stand against the Trump administration’s discriminatory policies. By engaging in advocacy surrounding the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights Act (Global HER Act) to repeal the Global Gag Rule, we are taking decisive steps to counter the Trump administration’s attacks on LGBTQ+ people and on reproductive freedom for everyone, both in the United States and across the globe.