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Research shows that people shop from places that share their values.  

This holiday season, Open to All is making it easy to harness our collective consumer purchasing power and invest in businesses that are taking a stand for inclusion and diversity.  

Today, Open to All released its first-ever Open to All Holiday Gift Guide to encourage consumers to support inclusive businesses this holiday season.  

The Holiday Gift Guide features products from some of the most iconic brands at every price point. The guide covers an array of inclusive retailers who celebrate the core principle that any business that is open to the public should make every person feel safe and welcome—regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion or disability. Click here to view the Holiday Shopping Guide in a PDF format.

Building on Open to All’s ongoing work with Yelp, starting today, people can filter by “Open to All”—an attribute which allows businesses to distinguish themselves as a safe and welcoming place to everyone—when searching for restaurants, shops, bakeries, tailors, and much more. Yelp users will also be able to identify participating businesses by the newly designed “Open to All” icon displayed on their Yelp page. These new features make it easier than ever for consumers to support inclusive businesses.

Among the Holiday Gift Guide’s featured businesses is Sephora, which today announced it is joining the growing and vocal network of major brands uniting under Open to All’s banner—including Yelp, Gap Inc., Old Navy, Coach, kate spade new york, Chronicle Books, Fossil, Lacoste, Michaels Craft Stores, Steve Madden, Tiffany & Co., H&M, and thousands of small businesses. 

At a time of deep divisions, Open to All nonprofits and businesses are joining together from all walks of life and working to build a thriving and inclusive nation where all are welcome. When we value our employees and care for our customers and each other, we all thrive. 

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NEW REPORT — Where We Call Home: Transgender People in Rural America

Stereotypes and pop culture portrayals often overlook the diversity of rural America, framing rural regions as made up predominantly of white, politically conservative people who are hostile to LGBT people. But millions of LGBT people, including transgender people, live in rural communities — and while some struggle, others thrive.  

Today, MAP released a new report, Where We Call Home: Transgender People in Rural America, which includes original analysis of the unique challenges and opportunities for transgender people in rural America. As the third publication in the Where We Call Home series, this report details how the structural differences of rural life amplify acceptance of or discrimination against transgender people. 
 
Click here to read the USA TODAY exclusive about the report. 
 
This report, which includes original analysis of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), offers extensive new findings on transgender people in rural communities. Although experiences of discrimination are typically as common in rural areas as in urban areas, structural challenges in rural areas, such as fewer employment or healthcare options, means the impact of discrimination on the lives of rural transgender people may be particularly profound. 

As discussed in the report findings:  

  •  Roughly one in six (16%) transgender people live in rural areas—the same percentage of the non-transgender population which lives in rural areas—according to a recent analysis by the Williams Institute of nationally representative federally-funded data.  
  • Rural transgender people are more than two times more likely—and rural transgender people of color are nearly four times more likely—as the general rural population to be unemployed and living in poverty, despite being more likely than their rural neighbors to have a college degree.  
  • Rural transgender people travel remarkable distances to see their healthcare providers. Nine percent (9%) of all transgender people travel 75 miles or more to see their transgender-related healthcare provider, but in rural areas, 27% of transgender people and 33% of transgender people of color travel 75 miles or more.   
  • Rural transgender people are six times more likely (1.7%) and rural transgender people of color are 20 times more likely (6%) than the general U.S. population (0.3%) to be HIV+.   

Click here to view infographics pulled from Where We Call Home: Transgender People in Rural America. 

Where We Call Home: Transgender People in Rural America concludes with critical recommendations:  

  • Because transgender people in rural communities face significant obstacles to accessing and receiving care, improving access to transgender-inclusive health care that is both affordable and culturally competent is vital to adequately serving transgender patients.   
  • States and the federal government should rescind and block harmful religious exemption laws that may allow service providers and employers to legally discriminate against transgender people.   
  • State officials and lawmakers should adopt laws to ensure transgender and non-binary people can update their identity documents, including driver’s licenses and birth certificates, to match their name and gender identity.   
  • Passing and enforcing transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws, as well as repealing discriminatory laws that disproportionately harm transgender people (e.g., HIV criminalization laws), will help to improve the quality of life for transgender people in rural America.   

The report is released in partnership with the Equality Federation, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Here’s what you need to know about a new proposed HHS rule announced last week

On November 1, the Trump Administration announced that it would no longer enforce existing U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations that prohibit discrimination in HHS-funded programs based on sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, and religion. The administration also announced that HHS-funded programs would no longer be required to recognize marriages of same-sex couples. In addition, it put forward a new rule that would allow most programs receiving HHS grants to discriminate based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. This proposed rule and the administration’s notice that they are suspending enforcement of existing nondiscrimination provisions will have widespread and devastating consequences.

This means federally funded programs and agencies could, for example, deny services to foster youth, refuse admission to shelters, deny children homes with prospective foster or adoptive families, shut out families seeking emergency services, and more. Those who receive government funding wouldn’t even have to justify their discrimination: the Trump administration would simply allow them to do it, no questions asked.

HHS awards more than $527 billion of taxpayer dollars in grants and contracts each year. This dangerous rule would impact the ability of millions of people to access and receive services from billions of dollars of programs ranging from adoption and foster care services for children, family preservation services, STI and HIV testing and prevention programs, Head Start programs, supportive housing services, reproductive health care, and much more. For example:

  • Head Start grant recipients and other federally funded child care facilities could refuse to serve children with married same-sex parents or provide services to a transgender youth
  • Meals on Wheels and other community meal programs designed to support older adults could refuse to deliver food to older Americans who are Jewish, Muslim, or LGBTQ
  • Adoption and foster care agencies that receive federal funding could keep children in government care rather than allow them to be adopted by qualified same-sex couples or families with different religious beliefs from the agency

Taxpayer dollars should not be used to advance discrimination and harm vulnerable children in foster care, older adults, those at risk for HIV, and more. The rule is the latest in a series of Trump administration efforts to undermine civil rights protections and harm people served by government-funded programs.

MAP, in partnership with other organizations like the ACLU, the Center for American Progress, and others, will continue to provide more information about what this proposed rule – and the notice of nonenforcement – means for the programs that millions of people count on.