Announcement from Gay Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA):
In GLMA’s second year participating as a voting Delegate in the American Medical Association (AMA) Annual Meeting, the AMA addressed a handful of important issues related to LGBT health. GLMA was capably represented by board members Brian Hurley, who serves as GLMA’s Delegate, and Jeremy Toler, Alternate Delegate, who worked closely with the AMA’s LGBT Advisory Committee and other allies for LGBT health to ensure the needs of the LGBT community are represented in advocacy and discussion during meeting and policy discussions. The LGBT health policies adopted by the AMA include:
- Birth Certificate Policies for the Transgender Community: In addition to reaffirming its policy supporting changes on birth certificates on verification by a healthcare provider that an individual is undergoing gender transition, the AMA adopted two additional policies related to transgender health and birth certificates. First, the AMA now opposes any requirement that an individual undergo gender affirming surgery in order to change a birth certificate. Second, the AMA adopted a policy that an individual’s gender marker on a birth certificate not be a barrier to appropriate healthcare for that individual.
- Support for Decriminalization of HIV: The AMA also addressed an important issue related to people living with HIV, calling for laws to be consistent with current medical and scientific knowledge about HIV, including avoiding criminalization of HIV status.
- Leadership of Patient-Centered Medical Homes: The AMA also adopted a policy that patient-centered medical homes be led only by physicians. GLMA voted against this measure in the House of Delegates. As a multidisciplinary organization, GLMA strongly believes all health professionals, regardless of discipline, have important roles to play in advancing the health of LGBT people.
In addition to these policies, as reported previously, the AMA House of Delegates elected GLMA member Jesse Ehrenfeld to the AMA Board of Trustees, making Jesse the first openly gay member to serve as an AMA Trustee. In addition to Jesse’s candidacy, GLMA actively supported several LGBT allies for election to AMA leadership positions. The LGBT health policies adopted by the AMA will be added to GLMA’s Compendium of Health Profession Association LGBT Policy & Position Statements, a multidisciplinary index of LGBT-related policies adopted by health profession associations. If you have additions for this resource from associations across the health professions, please send them to us for inclusion. GLMA’s work with the AMA is just one example of how GLMA’s relationships with other health profession associations can have a significant impact on LGBT health. We look forward to continuing to build relationships with associations representing all disciplines to help shape and influence policy initiatives that improve the health and well-being of the LGBT community.