Thursday, March 21, 2024

'Victory - Over 40 anti-LGBTQ 'policy riders' removed from federal budget bill' & other Thur/Fri news briefs

Massive Defeat For Anti-Trans And Anti-LGBTQ+ Riders In Spending Bill As Dems Hold Firm - Fellow GLAAD award nominee Erin Reed is a one-woman wrecking crew when it comes to dismantling transphobia and basic bigotry. Support her work. 

 One policy rider proposed for the Food and Drug Administration would have defunded any hospital that “distributes, sells, or otherwise uses drugs that disrupt the onset of puberty or sexual development for those under 18,” a measure targeting not only transgender youth but also those experiencing precocious puberty. Another rider sought to bar any government funding toward “surgical procedures or hormone therapy for the purposes of gender-affirming care” in the Department of Health and Human Services. 

This move would have significantly impacted private and subsidized insurance in the Healthcare Marketplace. It also aimed to bar the enforcement of President Biden’s executive order titled “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity,” which broadened anti-discrimination protections for transgender individuals. Additional riders included bans on funding for any organization that “promotes transgenderism,” Title IX protections for transgender youth, bans on legal challenges against states over anti-LGBTQ+ laws, book bans, DEI bans, and more. In total, over 40 riders were proposed and negotiated in the spending bills. None of these were found in the final bill. 

 Ultimately, the final spending bill released contained only a single anti-LGBTQ+ rider: a ban on pride flags being raised or displayed above foreign embassies. The policy, while certainly qualifying as anti-LGBTQ+ and a regression to Trump-era policies, notably does not bar personal displays of Pride flags by embassy workers. In the past, some embassies have gotten around such bans by not “flying a flag over the embassy” but rather, painting portions of the embassy in rainbow colors or draping flags on the side of buildings. 

White House Agrees To Ban Pride Flags At US Embassies In Spending Bill Deal - Unfortunately, this rider didn't slip by. I sincerely hope members of the community don't flip out over this. Compared to what could have been, this is very minor.