Putin Relaxes Restrictions on Protests During Olympics

Russian President, Vladimir Putin
Russian President, Vladimir Putin

Russia will see legally permissible pro-LGBT protests during the Sochi Olympics now that Vladimir Putin has lifted his ban on protests during the games.

Pro LGBT protesters will be permitted to march between January 7th and March 21, 2014( beginning one month before the Olympics begin and ending after the Paralympics have been completed)  within certain parameters. According to the Kremlin:

“Gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets that are not directly connected to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, can be staged only after agreeing with Sochi municipal authorities and the regional department of the Interior Ministry.”

The protests will also be restricted to a particular area designated by officials.

This should ease some lesbian and gay visitors’ minds a bit about being arrested indefinitely.

Read more: Yahoo Sports News



Connecticut Becomes 5th State to Require Trans Healthcare Insurance Coverage

cthix_image_1I rarely get to report on developments in transgender rights as much as I’d like to, so today I am happy to say that Connecticut is now the fifth state to require health insurance companies(operating in the state) to cover medical costs associated with the transition process.

Connecticut will now join California, Colorado, Oregon, and Vermont in demanding that health insurance companies provide reasonable coverage to transitioning residents. Of course, the insurance companies will still be permitted to evaluate a medical claim’s necessity, but the company cannot deny a claim merely because it is part of the transitioning process as many have in the past.
Anne Melissa Dowling, Deputy Insurance Commissioner, has argued,  based on a 2011 Connecticut anti-discrimination statute, that gender identity/ expression is protected by the state and that this statute also applies to healthcare. In the past, companies have claimed that gender transition was not medically necessary, despite the arguments of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. Now claims must be evaluated as with any other medical cost.
Congratulations to Connecticut, and Happy New Year!!!!

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