Many conservative candidates are strongly opposed to any pubic-ally funded medical treatment that supports gender transition surgery or any other medical treatment to transgender people. In addition, transgender people have been left out of many civil rights bills at the state and federal level; and anti-hate crimes legislation.
It was until August 17, 2015 that transgender people were omitted from California’s State Anti-Hate Crimes Legislation. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that is long overdue; as of August 28, 2015 there have been 19 documented murders of Transgender women in the United States for the 2015 year; more than two women murdered every month (HRC.org, 2015).
The leading LGBT Civil Rights Organizations like Human Rights Campaign (HRC) have committed to extensive outreach to include Transgender people in all legislation. In his “Southern Comfort” speech; HRC Executive Director Chad Griffin (Youtube.com), promised to make inclusion of Transgender People on every issue a priority for the organization.
In recent campaign speeches and debates, top republican candidates say they do not support public funding for healthcare specific to the transgender community. This is their stance though there are 15,500 transgender people serving in our Country in the United States military (HRC.org,2015). In addition, every regulating medical association supports transgender inclusion and surgery. The American Medical Association states that it is “not a cosmetic surgery.” In addition, an estimate from the Williams Institute reported that the cost of transgender medical services including transition surgery will only cost each policy member twenty cents per month.
One important consideration is that we listen to people in respect to legislation affecting them directly. No person is mandated to receive transition surgery, but if thousands of people; hundreds of thousands identify as transgender it must be respected as their individual right. Especially because the services they could receive, could be lifesaving. Currently, there is a 40% suicide rate among transgender people (Heitstuman, 2015). The American Medical Association and American Psychological Association offer full support to transgender people; and to meeting their individual medical needs (HRC.org, 2015).
Transgender people serve in our military, run national campaigns, and work for large corporations. They raise families, get married, and deserve the equality that is guaranteed to all Americans in our Constitution.
U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, released a memo August 26, 2015 that stated expectations of Transgender People being able to serve openly in the U.S. Military by May 2016 (HRC.org). The Department of Defense will be conducting a study of the medical issues, human resource issues, and housing/ organizational issues.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC). (2015). www.HRC.org
David Heitstuman. (2015). Sacramento LGBT Community Center. Pride Awards Speech.
Southern Comfort. Chad Griffin.Youtube.com