LGBTQ+ rights & well-being

San Francisco and Golden Gate Bridge at sunset

San Francisco votes unanimously to become a sanctuary city for trans & nonbinary people

San Francisco, California has become the largest city in the United States to declare itself a sanctuary city for transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and Two Spirit people to safely receive gender-affirming healthcare. The city’s Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to bar city officials from assisting any out-of-state investigations into individuals who obtain, provide, or help others access gender-affirming care.

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Karla Sofia Gascon

Karla Sofía Gascón becomes the first trans woman to win award for Best Actress at Cannes

For the first time in its 77-year history, the Cannes Film Festival’s jury bestowed the award for Best Actress on an out transgender woman. Spanish actress Karla Sofía Gascón received the award at Saturday night’s gala awards ceremony alongside Adriana Paz, Zoe Saldaña, and Selena Gomez, her co-stars in French film-maker Jacques Audiard’s Spanish-language musical Emilia Pérez.

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Minneapolis skyline at sunset

Minnesota bans the LGBTQ+ panic defense

Minnesota passed H.F. 5216, a bill that bans the infamous LGBTQ+ panic defense, the LA Blade reports. The LGBTQ+ panic defense is when a defendant argues that they “panicked” when they learned that their victim was LGBTQ+ as an excuse for anti-LGBTQ+ violence. Signed by Gov. Tim Walz (D) after making its way through the state’s House of Representatives and Senate. It will go into effect on August 1, 2024.

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Person touching pregnant belly with hands forming a heart

Aetna agrees to provide equal fertility coverage for LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. in landmark settlement

In a historic win for the LGBTQ+ community, Aetna reached a settlement today with a group of plaintiffs alleging medical discrimination in their fertility coverage. The insurance company is paying out $2 million to the members of the class action lawsuit, as well as restructuring how they cover fertility for queer couples moving forward. This marks the first big step toward ending fertility-based medical discrimination for LGBTQ+ couples.

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Inside United Methodist Church building

United Methodist Church lifts bans on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings

Delegates overwhelmingly approved the changes, 692 to 51, during the United Methodist Church’s General Conference. Shortly after the vote, spontaneous celebrations erupted on the conference center floor. Hundreds of people began cheering and singing. One of the hymn lyrics distinguishable in the crowd was, “You are a child, you are a child of God.” The UMC is one of the largest Protestant denominations in the U.S., with over five million members and 29,000 churches.

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"We have always been here. Trans pride." sign on post

Maine becomes trans sanctuary state

Maine Gov. Janet Mills has signed a new law that makes the state a sanctuary state for transgender people, abortion providers, and patients. The new law provides “protections to persons who seek, health care practitioners who provide and those who assist health care practitioners in providing gender-affirming health care services and reproductive health care services” that are legal in Maine.

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Dominica flag

Dominica’s High Court ends the country’s ban on being gay in historic ruling

The High Court of Dominica, an island nation in the Caribbean, has overturned a colonial-era law banning same-sex relations between consenting adults after a gay man filed a lawsuit claiming the ban was unconstitutional. The ruling stated that the constitution guarantees that a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his right to assemble and freely associate with other persons and that this “must necessarily include the freedom to enter into and maintain intimate relationships without undue intrusion by the State.”

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Intersex Pride flag

U.N. makes history with first-ever resolution supporting intersex rights

The U.N. Human Rights Council has issued its first-ever resolution supporting the rights of intersex people. An estimated 1.7% of infants are born intersex — many are forced to undergo irreversible surgeries to “correct” their anatomy and are subject to stigma and discrimination. The resolution directs the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the challenges intersex people face and the best ways to ensure intersex people’s “highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.”

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