Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Portland Wins Trans-Inclusive Healthcare! [trans news]

Good news, Portlanders! Most of you were probably aware of Mayor Sam Adams' push to get the city of Portland to end discriminatory practices and include trans-related healthcare in its benefits, including surgeries (!), hormones, and other treatments for transgender people. Well, it just PASSED, making Portland the third city in the country to offer "sex change" benefits to transgender people.

via Basic Rights Oregon:

WE DID IT! After nearly two years of working with city leaders, we are proud to announce that today the Portland City Counil unanimously voted to end insurance exclusions against transgender City employees.

This is huge. Portland is now the third municipality in the country to provide trans-inclusive care to their employees, and Oregon is a clear leader in the national efforts to end insurance discrimination against transgender communities.

This victory belongs to Basic Rights Oregon's Trans Justice Working Group-trans and allied community leaders who have worked tirelessly for nearly two years on our campaign to end health care discrimination against transgender Oregonians. It also belongs to the Portland City Council, especially Mayor Sam Adams whose leadership for the LGBT community shone through today.

Why is this care so important? Basic Rights' Executive Director Jeana Frazzini explained it in her testimony today:

The American Medical Association has identified transgender health care as being medically ncessary. Yet many transgender Oregonians are routinely denied the ability to purchase health insurance or are denied coverage for basic, medically-necessary care solely becaust they are transgender. Without health insurance, many transgender people have no access to health care and have nowhere to turn if they develop health problems. This discrimination is all too common and can lead to serious-even life-threatening-conditions.

We are thankful to the dozens of you who turned out to help make history, and countless more helped make this a reality. This victory shows just what can happen when each of us takes a stand, large or small for trans justice.

Thanks for all of your extraordinary work. We'll be working with the City to ensure smooth implementation and continue onward to the next victory!

PS-If you're in or near Portland, be sure to join us to celebrate tonight at Crush (1412 SE Morrison) from 5:30-7:30pm

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