Victory in San Antonio! LGBT protections adopted, Transgender exclusionary language removed!

The San Antonio City Council has just passed a municipal Nondiscrimination Ordinance that prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status in employment, housing and public accommodations.

The ordinance passed on a vote of 8-3, with Council Members Elisa Chan, Carlton Soules, and Ivy Taylor voting against the measure.
The ordinance is an update of existing city code, and for the first time adds sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status as protected classes.

Specifically, the ordinance prohibits discrimination:

in municipal employment (city employees),
by municipal contractors (third party contractors with the city),
on city boards and commissions,
in citywide housing, and
in citywide public accommodations.

Objectionable language dealing with transgender bathroom access was removed from the ordinance. The language had previously been added to a draft version of the ordinance last week. Council member Rey Saldana successfully offered an amendment from the dais removing the objectionable language.

 Lauryn Farris, who is on the Alamo Area Board of Directors for the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) and a member of the San Antonio Gender Association (Saga) said this about what she called a "fully inclusive ordinance":
I am blessed to be able to be here and work with the most awesome LGBT community anywhere. To an individual or organization when we agreed that we were all in it together they never wavered.

Send a letter of thanks via Equality Texas to Mayor Castro and our fair minded council members.

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Councilwoman Elisa Chan! Calling for integrity and transparency! Are you serious Chan? I guess you have no where to go but further down your hole since your lies and derailing were exposed in that secret recording. You have no shame.

Have you faced heath care discrimination? HHS is accepting comments on health reform

Via email from the Trevor Project:

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We Need Your Help! Share Your Stories About Discrimination in Health Care

Dear LGBTQI reader,

The Affordable Care Act, often known as Obamacare, includes important provisions to protect patients from discrimination in health care, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Right now, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is in the process of deciding just how robust those protections will be.

To help understand the experiences of our community, HHS is asking for examples of the kind of discrimination that LGBTQ people face in health care settings. No one can tell your story better than you can, so today we are asking you to share your health care discrimination experiences with us.  We will collect your stories and submit them to HHS to be part of the official record considered as they move forward in deciding how best to implement these important nondiscrimination provisions.

For example, this could include times that you felt disrespected by a provider because of your LGBTQ identity, times that you received substandard care, or times when the identity-specific care you needed was not covered by your insurance. These nondiscrimination provisions will apply to all kinds of providers, so please think about your experiences receiving both physical and mental health services. 

Help us tell HHS why robust nondiscrimination protections are so necessary to ensure LGBTQ people have equal access to health care!

Very truly yours,  
Alison Gill
Government Affairs Director
The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide
prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
For more information visit TheTrevorProject.org