Gov. Cuomo said Sunday that New York State would go to court to block a Trump administration proposal that would allow adoption and foster care agencies to turn away members of the LGBTQ community who want to give kids a home.

“This proposal isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values—it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home,” Cuomo tweeted Sunday. “If President Trump moves forward with this rule, we'll take legal action to stop it.”

The proposed rule change would allow religious organizations to reject gay families who want to care for a foster kid or adopt a child and not lose taxpayer dollars for doing so.

Sitting in Christopher Park on Sunday, Johnny told 1010 WINS that he understands people and organizations are entitled to their religious beliefs, but he thinks the proposed changed is very problematic.

“Slowly eroding protections for LGBTQ-identified people and citing religious reasons for it, I think is scary and a slippery slope,” he said.

Johnny’s biggest concern is that religious organizations would face no repercussions for excluding gay couples and LGBTQ people more broadly.

“Where does that lead?” he said. “If it’s adoption or if it’s baking a cake, what’s the next opportunity for them to discriminate?”

Critics of the proposed change say it’s against the long-held view that the best interest of a child should come first. They say keeping gay couples from adopting would leave more children without families.

The White House says the president isn’t preventing LGBTQ people from adopting. It says the rule from the Department of Health and Human Services is needed to remove barriers that prevent some nonprofits from helping vulnerable people in their communities.

The rule would apply to a broad range of organizations that receive federal support, such as those that get federal funding to help the homeless or prevent HIV. But the focus from supporters and detractors has been on foster care and adoption services.

Under the proposed rule, HHS would redo an Obama-era rule that included sexual orientation as a protected trait under anti-discrimination protections.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that restricting the work of faith-based organizations, as the Obama rule threatened to do, was unfair and serves no one, "especially the children in need of those services."

The Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, said charities would no longer have to choose between "abandoning their faith or abandoning homeless children."

But LGBT groups said the administration's plan would reduce the pool of qualified parents wanting to adopt or foster a child. They said that nearly 123,000 foster children are awaiting adoption, and the rule would make even fewer families available to them.

"It is outrageous that the Trump administration would mark the start of National Adoption Month by announcing a rule to further limit the pool of loving homes available to America's 440,000 foster children," said Julie Kruse, director of federal policy at Family Equality. "The American public overwhelmingly opposes allowing taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents simply because they are in a same-sex relationship."

More than 2,000 parents and advocates say they oppose Sen. Ted Cruz’s comments calling kids’ gender transition “child abuse,” according to a letter from the Human Rights Campaign to the Texas Republican.

The letter, written by the Human Rights Campaign, states that Cruz’s remarks in response to the custody case of a Dallas 7-year-old whose mother says is transgender are “harmful and medically unfounded.” It was signed by 2,014 people across the U.S., including at least 276 Texans, as of Thursday evening. The letter will be available to sign until around Friday afternoon, said Nick Morrow, deputy communications director for the HRC.

“Your comments accusing parents of transgender and non-binary children of ‘child abuse’ betrays your office, your responsibilities and all sense of decency,” the letter states.

Cruz’s office has not yet commented on the letter. Cruz shared a story about the Dallas custody case on Twitter in October, calling it “horrifying and tragic.”

“For a parent to subject such a young child to life-altering hormone blockers to medically transition their sex is nothing less than child abuse,” he added.

The personal dispute between two divorced Coppell parents, who disagree on whether their child should transition from male to female, became national news and a GOP rallying point after Cruz and other Texas lawmakers promised they would intervene.

The case began when the child’s mother sought to modify the joint custody of the child if the father didn’t affirm the child’s social transition from a male to female by allowing the child to wear girls’ clothing and go by a different name. Later, the child could decide to take medical steps such as puberty blockers, which temporarily pause puberty, with approval from a doctor.

The father began blogging year ago that he feared his child would be “chemically castrated” by his ex-wife. In an October joint custody order, a Dallas judge noted that was never part of the order. The mother had sought mutual written consent for any related medical procedures.

But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton have all urged the state’s child protective services to look into the custody case. Several state representatives also vowed to outlaw kids’ gender transition in the next legislative session.

The Human Rights Campaign decided to direct the letter to Cruz because of the “extreme nature of his comments” and his notoriety, Morrow said.

“Of all of the politicians who chose to target trans youth with their comments, Cruz has the largest national megaphone, and he used it to make one of the worst statements about transgender youth and their families,” he said.

The letter adds that Cruz’s comments undercut the medical consensus, including guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. The groups say that allowing a transgender or non-binary (neither female- or male-identifying) child to express their gender identity can reduce risks of suicide.

The federal Centers for Disease Control has also confirmed that transgender youth face a “disproportionately higher risk” of suicide.

“As parents of transgender and non-binary children, we’ve become all too familiar with the danger that can come if a child is unable to express their deeply-held gender identity,” the letter states. “Every parent has their own journey, just as every child has their own — it is not always an easy one and it is made much more difficult when our families are exploited for political gain.”

 
 

private women's university in Virginia has announced a new policy allowing students who transition from female to male while at school to remain enrolled and earn their degree.

Under the new guidelines at Hollins University in Roanoke, enrolled students who transition from female to male will no longer be required to transfer to another institution. As for applicants transitioning from male to female, they no longer have to complete a full surgical transition before being eligible for admission.

Hollins' Board of Trustees Chairwoman Alexandra Trower told The Roanoke Times that the changes adopted Saturday recognize gender plurality while maintaining the university's identity as a women's college.

The updated policy says the university will consider admission for any undergraduate applicants who "consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth."

Applicants must identify as a woman on application materials. Students who were assigned female at birth but who now identify as male are not eligible for admission. The policy says individuals who identify as nonbinary, meaning a gender identity that's not strictly male or female, are not eligible for admission, either.

Under Hollins' first transgender policy in 2007, a person born male had to have completed a full surgical transition to female in order to apply. That policy allowed enrolled students to adopt a male identity, but if they took steps to transition such as taking hormones, having surgery or legally changing their name, they would only be able to finish the semester before the university required them to transfer.

That policy was revised in 2013 and 2016 before the most recent change, but the school has faced criticism from those who found previous versions of its policy "unfair and invasive," the newspaper reported.

Whereas hormone prescribing for transgender or gender diverse children and teenagers may be a specialty, primary care pediatricians are often the first-line provider families turn to for support and guidance.

Ryan Pasternak, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Division Head of General Ambulatory Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Louisiana State University Health School of Medicine in New Orleans, led a session titled, “Tips to Improve Primary Care for Transgender Youth,” on October 26, 2019 at the 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana, which discussed the role of pediatricians in providing first-line care to this often marginalized population.

“Think about the needs of those patients. It seems more and more likely that our primary care providers are providing the first line of care,” he says. “I think we want to address gender diverse or transgender patients in primary care settings, and need to think about what is involved to provide good primary care to those patients, including identification and initial evaluations, specialty, and referral care.”

Up to 2.7% of children and teenagers identify as gender diverse or transgender, with recent studies showing much higher percentages than in the past, he adds. This means that there may be up to 100 gender non-conforming patients in a 2500- 5000-patient practice.

“The prevailing idea is that it is less stigmatized and there is better awareness,” Pasternak says of the increase. “There is more visibility in the media and culturally for non-conforming persons. Being able to hold someone up as a role model and identify them makes it more acceptable to children and adolescents. It also gives them a term to use for how they feel.”

Patients often say they felt different about their gender from younger ages, but didn’t know how to describe themselves until they heard the terms transgender or gender diverse. They are understanding more how to talk about their feelings, he says. For pediatricians, it’s important to be able to talk to patients and families about differences in gender identity, and offer an early referral for more specialized support. Referral may be to an endocrinologist, adolescent medicine specialist, or other interdisciplinary care for support of social transition, puberty blocking medication, or hormonal transition.

Most patients have consistency in gender identity by the early school years, he says, and it can create conflict if they recognize a difference between their gender and both their physical sex or others’ expectations of them based on their sex assigned at birth.

“Ask patients how they feel about themselves and how they identify,” Pasternak suggests. “If we don’t ask, we’re unlikely to find out answers to any of these questions.”

Parents can provide information about gender development, but some patients may not be in living in environments that are supportive. In these cases, pediatricians consistently discussing gender during well visits is key. 

“Maybe children did express themselves, but they had a negative response and limited these expressions... ...many patients may present initially with depression or anxiety later,” Pasternak says. “Just try and continually engage the child and the family.”

Pediatricians can provide support when there are conflicts within families, and should assess for anxiety, suicidality, and substance abuse in patients who don’t have support or acceptance of their gender identity or expression. Sometimes, patients are only able to talk about their gender later in adolescence, and have gone without support or guidance, he says.

It’s important to start assessments and discussion early, he says, before problems arise from not recognizing the child’s needs. While some may question assessing this too early, Pasternak argues that trusting in the concerns of patients and parents in regard to gender should be no different than other concerns.

“It’s important to understand just how early gender identity occurs,” he says. “Trust your patients and what their parents say.”

That being said, there is an aspect of experimentation and curiosity in child development, and it’s important not to jump to conclusions. Playing with certain toys or wearing certain clothing that isn’t stereotypical for a traditional binary gender doesn’t necessarily mean a child is transgender, he adds.

“The other side of it is not overreacting or jumping to conclusions because a patient may express themselves in a way that may not be in line with a culture’s traditional gender expression,” Pasternak says. “It’s really about their gender and how they see themselves, and that’s a whole different domain.”

The Genderbread Person is a helpful resource for pediatricians in discussing gender identity, he says, but the important part is to remain open-minded and supportive of questions and concerns from both patients and parents.

 “Try to just be very mindful of the individual differences and hearing the patient and family as much as you can, and work with them to address their needs,” Pasternak says.

A nurse has been suspended for calling transgender and gay people ‘fucking cock sucking homos’ on her Facebook page. The TriHealth hospital network in Cincinnati, Ohio announced that had placed Cindy Carter on administrative leave Monday ‘for her safety and the safety of our patients’ while it investigates her posts. Carter, a nurse at Bethesda Butler Hospital, was met with outrage after her post on a news story about Proctor & Gamble Company removing the female symbol from packaging for ‘Always’ feminine hygiene products. In the stories comment section, Carter wrote: ‘Fuck “Always.” This country has gone to complete shit. Women have periods, men don’t. Why do certain applications ask for LEGAL Sex…you’re either male or female. there’s no fucking in between.’ She continue the rant in another post, saying: ‘I swear, these fucking cock sucking homos think thy deserve everything. And the confused women are just as bad. Men need to be men. Women need to be women."

Carter’s post was screen-grabbed and shared by Sabrina Sells who condemned Carter’s statements, writing: ‘I’d hope Trihealth does not condone this disgusting act of transphobia and homophobia from their staff. I fear for any of my fellow LGBTQ + community that walks into this ER.’ Sells’s post was later shared by Cincinnati City council member Chris Seelbach, who called for a boycott of TriHealth.

He wrote: ‘As an LGBTQ+ person, I don’t feel comfortable using their services until I know Mrs. Carter would never treat me. Until TriHealth terminates the employment of Carter, I will not be using their services. #BoycottTriHealth.’ After Seelbach learned of Carter’s placement on administrative leave, he thanked TriHealth, calling it a ‘good first step,’ and wrote: ‘No one who thinks I am a “fucking cock sucking homo” and that transgender people don’t exist should be treating patients.’ TriHealth announced it would be investigating the incident on Monday and told the Cincinnati Enquirer: ‘We take allegations of this nature very seriously and began an internal investigation into the matter on Friday. The nurse has been placed on administrative leave for her safety and the safety of our patients while the investigation continues.’ ‘We are committed to bringing this issue to a swift close and will provide an update when the investigation is complete.’ Sells later said that Carter reached out via Facebook to say she had been hacked, however Sells said she never responded.

 

 

 

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