On Monday a coalition of 40 Latino organizations operating as the National Hispanic Latino Agenda sent out a press release highlighting their policy priorities which include strong support for issues that impact lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Latinos. Although some of the member organizations, significantly the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), have demonstrated their vocal support of LGBTQ issues in the past, this announcement is important both because of the broad cross-section of support that each of these leading organizations represent but also because of the specificity and comprehensiveness of the policy initiatives they included.
Respected institutions like ASPIRA, the first association created by Puerto Rican educators to address the educational attainment of Latino youth and The Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) which celebrates 41 years increasing voter participation of Latinos attached their names to these policy priorities.
One of the top items calls for the expansion and full implementation of the President’s executive actions (DACA and DAPA) that provide deportation relief for some undocumented immigrants so that they also include LGBTQ people.
Other points specifically highlight the discrimination faced by LGBTQ people in healthcare settings. Many address the exclusion of the care of transgender people from health plans including state Medicaid programs. NHJLA also brings attention to the need of more training for medical personnel to ensure that LGBTQ people do not confront discrimination when they are accessing care.
This level of detail shows a deep and thorough consideration for policies that impact the day to day lives of transgender Latinos.
Among the LGBTQ specific policy concerns outlined in the statement are items that impact the health and wellbeing of transgender Latinx such as:
- Opposing discriminatory healthcare policies that impact the Latino LGBTQ community.
- Removing arbitrary transgender-specific exclusions from all health plans, including state Medicaid programs.
- Ensuring the enforcement and implementation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the non-discrimination provision that bans sex discrimination in health care programs and which would also provide protection on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
- Encouraging health care providers to increase their knowledge of personal bias and increase their understanding of multiple issues that victims of violence, including homophobia and racism, in order to provide accessible and tailored care.