GLBTQ

HHS lifts the Medicare ban on gender-confirming surgery

Just in time for LGBT Pride Month: The Department of Health and Human Services has lifted the national policy barring Medicare from paying for gender-confirming surgery. Decisions will still be left up to regional administrators, but claims will be subject to individualized review and will no longer be automatically rejected for gender-related procedures, just like any other medical procedure. The blanket exclusion will be fully lifted by June 30.

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A big day for marriage equality in Oregon and Utah

On Monday, a federal judge threw out Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage, on the basis that the state’s marriage laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The judge put his ruling into effect immediately, and couples began marrying across Oregon immediately after that, having lined up outside courthouses around the state in anticipation of the ruling. Also on Monday, a federal judge ordered that Utah recognize 1,200 same-sex marriages performed after the state’s same-sex marriage ban was overturned, but before the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the original ruling. Monday was a big day for love.

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Westboro Baptist Church founder dies

Fred Phelps, Sr., despicable human being and founder of the notorious hate group Westboro Baptist Church, has died.

Family members have said that Phelps, who one estranged son says has been excommunicated from the church, will have no funeral to picket.

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A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism

Feminism is and must be a home for trans women, in solidarity with trans rights. In response to transphobia in feminism, almost 100 activists, writers, artists and academics from across the globe signed this statement.

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Let’s Talk About Sex

We live in an era of unprecedented access to information about sex, imagery of sex and health care related to sex. Internet porn is ubiquitous. Sexual health information, though not always easily accessible, is more accessible online, in mainstream publications (hello Cosmo) and at doctor’s offices than ever before. Frank discussion of sexual pleasure is standard on television and in movies. There are entire university departments dedicated to the study of human sexuality. That’s all good, and we have early sexual pioneers and researchers to thank for it. But we still have quite a long way to go. I’d love to see us embrace a vision of sexuality that isn’t transactional or gendered or capitalist:

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Baylor told Brittney Griner not to talk about the, y’know, lesbian thing

When Brittney Griner, the first pick in this year’s WNBA draft, mentioned to SI.com last month that she’s a lesbian, it wasn’t a huge coming-out moment for anyone who knew her, because she’d been open about her sexuality since her freshman year of high school. It might have been a surprise to anyone who was only familiar with her college career, though, because she was on strict orders from Baylor University to keep quiet about it.

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