HRC Statement on American Medical Association Endorsement of Two LGBTQ-Inclusive Policies

by Nick Morrow

At its annual meeting, AMA voted to endorse policies to support the inclusion of LGBTQ people in family and medical leave policies, and to protect transgender prisoners.

Today, HRC Foundation praised the American Medical Association (AMA) for endorsing two new pro-LGBTQ policies, one focused on appropriate treatment and placement of transgender prisoners and one supporting the inclusion of LGBTQ people in medical leave policies. The AMA and its members will advocate for these policies, adopted at the AMA annual meeting earlier this week.

The AMA has endorsed a policy on transgender prisoners urging correctional facilities to allow prisoners to be housed in facilities consistent with their gender identity and to cease the use of administrative segregation and solitary confinement based on transgender status . In many cases, transgender prisoners are forced into incorrect facilities, leading to increased levels of harassment and violence, or forced into solitary housing simply based upon the fact that they are transgender . The policy regarding family and medical leave calls for a more inclusive definition of “family” in the application of family and medical leave laws, including the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), that would specifically include LGBTQ-led households.

“It is heartening that the American Medical Association continues to lead the way in endorsing policies that would improve the health outcomes of LGBTQ Americans,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training at the Human Rights Campaign. “These policies would allow transgender prisoners to be treated with dignity and respect while incarcerated, and help to expand LGBTQ-led families’ access to family and medical leave.”

Earlier this year, HRC Foundation released a report detailing the results of its groundbreaking nationwide survey of LGBTQ people that reveals an urgent need for inclusive employer-paid family and medical leave. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a federal law guaranteeing certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year.

Read more about the AMA’s LGBTQ-inclusive policies here.

Health & Aging