Over 50 years ago, Black and Brown trans women fought back against police brutality and discrimination that too many LGBTQ+ people still face. And now the Supreme Court has ruled that employers can’t fire or otherwise discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in the workplace just because they are LGBTQ+. This will go a long way towards affirming legal protections in education, housing, credit and health care — areas where too many LGBTQ+ people, particularly Black and Brown LGBTQ+, still face discrimination.

We mourn the fact that neither Aimee Stephens, who just died in May, nor Don Zarda, who died in 2014, lived to see this important victory that their struggles paved the way for. One of Aimee’s last wishes was to see the fight to end discrimination continue and we thank her for being a trailblazer and hero.

But there are still critical gaps in our nondiscrimination laws and they impact LGBTQ+ People of Color more so.

Just last week the Trump Administration rolled back section 1557 of the Affordable Cares Act. The new rule will eliminate explicit protections from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity that have existed under law,thereby sanctioning discrimination against LGBTQ people in health care programs and activities. This is outrageous and will impact the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people, especially LGBTQ+ people of color! And they did this during a global pandemic and amidst a spike in police brutality against People of Color. The cruelty is beyond measure and the OutCenter of Southwest Michigan is working with local health care systems to ensure they will not sanction discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, especially LGBTQ+ people of color.

What can you do?

  1. No matter your sexual orientation and gender identity, contact you health care providers to let them know where you stand. Then ask them where they stand. Report back to the OutCenter at info@outcenter.org.
  2. Contact your congresswomen/men and let them know where you stand on the rollback. In fact, contact them as many times as possible.
  3. Know where candidates and judges stand on the issue and vote accordingly!

We need Congress to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in health care, public accommodations, federal programs, and more. That’s why we’re calling on Congress to pass the Equality Act.

And we’re also calling on Michigan lawmakers to amend Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

Help us bring equity home to Southwest Michigan!

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