With our frozen temperatures hovering around in the third week of January and wreaking havoc on our city and in our lives, you may have missed a bit of chill coming from Washington. An icy front blew through that week aimed squarely at the LGBTQ community. CrescentCare, one of the largest nonprofit health care providers, cannot sit by in silence without responding to the current turn of events.
In late December we heard that leaders of the CDC told employees to nix using words like “transgender” and “diversity” and by year’s end that the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS was disbanded after almost a year into the Trump administration.
Certainly, it may seem like there is a progression of events happening that smack the face of the LGBTQ community, but the third happening is so disturbing (but not surprising) in this series which is cause to sound the alarm.
As the icy front started to pass through New Orleans, little did we know that Washington’s ice storm was brewing. On January 19th as we started to thaw, the chill descended from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the form of the new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division(CRFD) in the HHS Of ce of Civil Rights (OCR). This entity is charged with “restoring federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom.”
The Trump Administration is providing federal cover for health care workers to deny care to the LGBTQ community and for any reproductive health procedures in which they object on “moral” grounds.
“We See You,” and we are here for you. For 35 years now, NO/AIDS Task Force, now known as CrescentCare, has been here for the LGBTQ community, and with greater force since becoming CrescentCare by offering comprehensive health care to all. This issue is important to us and we are on a vigilant watch. Too much progress has been made over the past decade not only in HIV advances, but also in the fight for equality across the country. Our message at CrescentCare has always been one of inclusivity and acceptance, and we will continue to see anyone and everyone for the multi-services our health care facilities provide.
In this issue of Ambush, we have begun a series of affirming ads called, “We See You” in response to this administration’s attempt to diminish us and push us back into the darkness of the past. While you may be able to erase words from being used, you cannot erase people, our place in society or the progress we have made!
We see you and we, at CrescentCare, will always be here for you!
Noel Twilbeck is the CEO of CrescentCare, a Federally Qualified Health Center that grew out of NO/AIDS Task Force.