Equality TX attends White House policy meeting

Posted on 08 Jun 2012 at 5:35pm

Equality Texas was among more than a dozen groups at the White House Friday to discuss policy changes they could implement federal polices at a state level.

Equality Texas was represented by Board of Directors Vice Chair Kayla Shell and directors Tim McCabe and Richard Farias, according to Equality Texas’ Facebook page.

Pro-LGBT policies considered could include hospital visitation and guidance for partners receiving long-term Medicaid care.

A similar meeting happening in 2010 when statewide organizations met during a time when “don’t ask, don’t tell” was being widely debated, the Washington Blade reports.

White House spokesperson Shin Inouye told the Blade that the White House routinely meets with organizations and would not comment on possible topics or policies.

From the Washington Blade:

Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of the Equality Federation, said the main topic at the meeting would be ways in which state agencies could enact pro-LGBT administrative changes that have been seen at the federal level.

“So in states, for example, that are very hostile, where the legislatures are not amenable, potentially within the state agencies they might be able to make more headway,” Isaacs said. “People in civil service in the states might not be as ideologically opposed to helping the LGBT community as a legislator might.”

Among the things Isaacs said might be duplicated at the state level is the federal hospital visitation memorandum that President Obama issued in April 2010. She said action by the states could ensure this guidance is enforced at the state level.

Additionally, Isaacs said states could also duplicate guidance issued by the Department of Health & Human Services in June 2011 allowing healthy partners in a same-sex relationship to keep their homes while their partners are receiving support for long-term care under Medicaid.

Issacs estimated around 20 advocacy groups would participate in the meeting and some groups would have as many three representatives at the event.

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