AVP Action Brief: #LicensetoDisriminate; Trans health at risk under Trump

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice.

We are here for you and we are in this together.


Tomorrow, President Trump is expected to sign a Religious Exemption Executive Order. This Executive Order will seek to allow discrimination based on religious or moral objections to LGBTQ identity, abortion, contraception and more.  In other words, companies, agencies and individuals can use religion as an excuse to refuse to serve or hire LGBTQ people. This sends the message from the highest seat in our government that it is okay to hate, it is okay to discriminate, and it leaves our communities vulnerable to violence.

In the wake of the election AVP has seen a 45% increase in hotline calls, a 46% spike in reports of hate violence, and a 67% increase in new clients seeking counseling. We know that discriminatory Executive Orders, laws, and national discourse increases the violence we face, putting all of our lives, and especially the most marginalized among us, at risk. We will organize against this and any other hate-based legislation or executive orders that are advanced.

And if you witness or experience anti-LGBTQ violence, or if you are feeling fearful or anxious in response to this Executive Order, please call us at 212-714-1141.  AVP continues to find ways to make our services and programs safe and accessible for all. We offer counseling sessions by phone, or in person in all 5 boroughs. We are here for you, now and always.

Trans health at risk under Trump

Yesterday, the Trump Administration signaled that they will allow discrimination against transgender people seeking health-related services, including gender affirming surgeries. Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to transgender people and finalized a rule barring discrimination against transgender people in health care. This rule has paved the way for thousands of transgender people to receive gender-affirming healthcare.

This rule was challenged in court, and this week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) made a move to take this issue away from the courts so it could be sent back to HHS which will likely rescind the rule. Two of Trump’s appointees, Jeff Sessions (DOJ) and Tom Price (HHS), are now working together to deny healthcare for transgender people. Denying transgender and gender non-conforming people access to health care is a form of violence and LGBTQ communities and allies must speak out loudly and boldly on this issue, as well as against the many ways this administration is denying the humanity of transgender people.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Call the White House comment line: 202-456-1111 or White House switchboard: 202-456-1414 and tell President Trump that a Religious Exemption Executive Order is a license to discriminate against our LGBTQ communities.
  • Join the conversation online using the hashtag #Licensetodiscrminate
  • Put pressure on your representatives and tell them that you support the Equality Act. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #EqualityForward.
  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent government actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

Further reading:

BuzzFeed – Civil Rights Groups Are Ready To Sue Trump If He Signs A Broad Religious Freedom Order 

Washington Blade – DOJ signals plan to undo rule banning anti-trans bias in health care

The Advocate – Trump Moves to Dump Trans-Inclusive Health Care Rule