February 3, 2016 at 5:06 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. Council passes LGBT ‘cultural competency’ bill
LGBT Cultural Competency Continuing Education, gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At-Large), authored the LGBT Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to give final approval of a bill that requires continuing education programs for licensed healthcare professionals that include LGBT-related “cultural competency” training.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has said she plans to sign the legislation, the LGBT Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act of 2016. The measure then goes to Capitol Hill where it must undergo a 30 legislative day review by Congress before becoming law.

Council member David Grosso (I-At-Large), author of the bill who co-introduced it with Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), said it was needed to correct a longstanding problem of mistreatment of and insensitivity toward LGBT patients by heath care providers, including doctors.

“We’re going to see it implemented fairly quickly because the mayor and her staff are on board,” Grosso told he Blade after the Council vote. “So I’m excited about it.”

The bill – believed to be the first of its kind in the nation – amends an existing city health care licensing law to require health care professionals, including doctors and mental health practitioners, to receive two credits of instruction on LGBT subjects as part of their continuing education programs.

Attorney and LGBT rights advocate Alison Gill told a public hearing on the bill in November that a 2009 nationwide survey found that more than half of LGBT respondents reported being refused needed care or being treated in a “discriminatory, disrespectful manner” by health care providers.

“There are also too many health care providers who, although they do not discriminate, lack sufficient understanding of the particular health care needs of LGBT individuals,” said Daniel Bruner, senior director of policy at Whitman-Walker Health. “We look forward to working with the Department of Health and the licensing boards to develop training curricula that will meet the needs of D.C. health care providers,” Bruner said.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • Not bad at all.

    It is certainly more effective than Kenyan McDuffie’s embarrassing **DC Crime Pays by Bribing Violent Criminals** program.

    The mayor is right to give a big *thumbs up* to Grosso’s and Alexander’s LGBT Cultural Competency bill.

    But Mayor Bowser should give a big *thumb’s down* to McDuffie’s **DC Crime Pays** program.

    DC inviting MORE anti-LGBT hate crime violence by rewarding hate crime attackers with thousands of dollars in bribes to not repeat their crimes is beyond stupid.

    It is a dangerous way to invite more violence by even more punks who will want to climb aboard McDuffie’s DC bribery giveaway train.

    It will invite Council kickback corruption as well.

    McDuffie’s nutty program is unproven ANYWHERE– including Richmond, CA’s (‘ONS” program) — which McDuffie falsely implies his plan copies.

    Even Mother Jones warned in a report just 18 months ago re. Richmond’s program…
    Some Richmond residents, for their part, have seen enough well-intentioned programs come and go to be wary. Kenneth Davis, a community activist, bemoans “poverty pimps” who collect fat city contracts for social services without any clear measure of results.**

    Jack Evans was right. This DC Council may be the worst Council ever. And it may be the most crime encouraging Council ever, as well.

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