Politics

Governor Jared Polis of Colorado signed four bills into law that seek to support LGBT+ constituents

PHOTO CREDITS: COLORADO POLITICS

On July 13th, Governor Jared Polis of Colorado signed four bills into law that seek to support LGBT+ people living in the state (LGBTQ Nation). ~

HB20-1061 “HIV Infection Prevention Medications” allows pharmacists to prescribe and dispense pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) which helps prevent the spread of HIV (LGBTQ Nation). It also prevents insurers from requiring patients to undergo step therapy and/or obtain prior authorization before getting the medications (One Colorado). HIV exposure and transmission is criminalized in at least 29 states, though Colorado is not one of them; however, the state does have HIV-specific sentencing enhancements for sex-related convictions (MAP). HIV prevention is key, especially in states where being tested is disincentivized due to criminal law (MAP). ~

HB20-1419 “State Drug Assistance Program Funding” creates a cash fund to assist individuals with lower incomes who have medical or preventative needs regarding AIDS or HIV (One Colorado). The fund receives money from pharmaceutical rebates based on charges in excess of a federal price agreement (One Colorado). ~

SB20-166 “Simplifying Requirements For New Birth Certificate” changed and simplified the requirements for a minor to obtain a new birth certificate from the state registrar with an updated gender marker (One Colorado). The new requirements match those for adults: the minor must obtain a statement from a medical or mental health professional confirming that the minor’s sex designation does not align with the minor’s gender identity (ACLU-CO). Accurate gender markers on identity documents allow transgender, nonbinary, and intersex people to gain access to public spaces and resources, and significantly reduce the risk of facing violence, discrimination, or harassment (MAP). ~

SB20-221 “Gay Panic or Transgender Panic Defense” bans usage of the ‘gay/trans panic’ defense in court (One Colorado). This defense basically says that the defendant cannot be held accountable for hurting or killing the victim because the defendant was shocked and provoked when the victim was revealed to be LGBT+ (LGBT Bar). The American Bar Association (ABA) has been calling for an end to this defense since 2013 (LGBT Bar). This new bill is noted to be bipartisan, with almost unanimous support in the General Assembly (them.). ~

ARTICLE: DANIEL ENGLAND

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