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LGBTQ+ advocates push for bill to improve health care

Baltimore Safe Haven
Posted at 5:46 AM, Feb 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-14 08:40:22-05

BALTIMORE — LGBTQ+ advocates are fighting for change in the health care system. Advocates say many people in the LGBTQ+ community are oftentimes discriminated against, even in the medical world.

Advocates say its important for everyone to achieve equity in health care, which is why, organizations like Baltimore Safe Haven, will gather at Lawyers Mall, to support Senate Bill 460, House Bill 283, otherwise known as the 'Trans Health Equity Act.'

The event will take place Tuesday at 11 a.m. Sponsors include, Senator Mary Washington and Delegate Anne Kaiser, along with members of the Maryland Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus, Maryland Trans Rights Advocacy Coalition, Safe Haven Baltimore, National Black Justice Coalition, FreeState Justice, and the Maryland Commission on LGBTQ+.

The aim of the bill is to allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to have better access to resources and gain valuable support from medical professionals.

According to the bill, the Maryland Medical Assistance Program must offer nondiscriminatory, gender-affirming care. That gender-affirming therapy be examined, in accordance with nondiscriminatory standards that follow current clinical norms. The legislation would also prevent the problem of a negative benefit decision for gender-affirming therapy unless it has been examined and approved by a healthcare professional who is qualified to offer such treatment.

"We want to be treated equally. We are human beginnings and we matter. I hope this bill will be taken seriously, so it can protect many people in the LGBTQ community," said Renee Lau, Baltimore Safe Haven advocate.

The hearing on the House bill is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.