Advocacy Agenda

Rainbow Health’s Advocacy Agenda is driven by our work for equitable health care access and outcomes for those who experience injustice at the intersection of health status and identity as a racial, sexual, or gender minority.

Because of the uniquely pervasive impact that racism has on our society, the focus of Rainbow Health’s Advocacy Agenda is to advance racial equity and justice. We know that ending HIV and ending health inequity for LGBTQ communities cannot be achieved unless the brutality of racism is broken and the experiences of Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color (BIPOC) are centered and amplified.

Within this racial equity and justice focus, our Advocacy Agenda falls into three areas:

  • End HIV in Minnesota
  • Eliminate Barriers to LGBTQ Health Equity
  • Support older adults as they age

2021 State Legislative Agenda

End HIV in Minnesota: Position Statements and Policy Proposals

Expand PrEP Access and Availability, especially for BIPOC, Transgender people, Gay/Bi Men, and others disproportionately at higher risk.

  • Authorize pharmacists to dispense PrEP and PEP without a prescription.
  • Establish a program to assist drug co-pay and lab costs for low-income individuals.
  • Prevent state drug formulary committee from placing barriers to HIV medication.

Expand HIV Prevention, especially for BIPOC, Transgender people, Gay/Bi Men, and others disproportionately at higher risk.

  • Increase funding for community-based HIV Prevention and Services to reduce the number of new infections, especially among BIPOC, Transgender people, Gay/Bi Men, and others disproportionately at higher risk.
  • Require all school districts to provide age-appropriate and medically accurate Responsible Family Life Education (i.e. comprehensive sex education) programs that develop skills to prevent and reduce sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies, and prevention of sexual violence.

Ensure safe, accessible, affordable housing for all people with HIV and other vulnerable populations.

  • Provide and improve stability of emergency shelter.
  • Build and preserve affordable housing, including by providing rental assistance.
  • In conjunction with Housing for All coalition, support initiatives that reduce barriers to housing for those with criminal convictions, especially BIPOC.

Eliminate Barriers to LGBTQ Health Equity: Position Statements and Policy Proposals

Protect LGBTQ Minnesotans from Harmful Conversion Therapy and ensure LGBTQ people receive mental healthcare that is ethical, affirming, and culturally competent.

  • Adopt MN Mental Health Protections Act to abolish conversion therapy.

Establish broad access to transition-related care for transgender Minnesotans. Approved 1.7.2021

  • Enact legislation codifying the 2015 Minnesota Departments of Commerce and Health bulletin guaranteeing access to transition-related care in state-regulated health plans.
  • Require the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to eliminate harmful language in its MA Provider Manual which interferes with access to transition-related care, and adopt policies promoting this access in its state-operated services, e.g., Minnesota Security Hospital and Minnesota Sex Offender Program.
  • Seek legislation clarifying the legal basis of judicial orders for corrected birth certificates and MN Department of Health administrative authority.
  • Advocate for transition-related care access within the Department of Corrections.

Promote broad gathering of SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) data by State agencies in health contexts to better inform future policy work.

  • Reinforce the gathering of SOGI data in the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Support ongoing inclusion of SOGI questions in the Minnesota Student Survey.

Support efforts to name racism as a public health crisis and advocate for meaningful steps to respond to this crisis.

Support efforts to name police violence as a public health crisis.

  • Shift public funds from police to community-based public safety.

Support proposals to restore the vote to those denied the right to vote due to past criminal convictions.

Support Older Adults as they Age: Position Statements and Policy Proposals

Demand LGBTQ and BIPOC inclusion within State aging-related efforts.

  • Promote LGBTQ and BIPOC visibility within the Age-Friendly Minnesota initiative.
  • Strengthen LGBTQ and BIPOC inclusion within the DHS “Blue Ribbon Commission” recommendations regarding equitable access to senior services, within a broader push for equitable access for elders.
  • Advocate for SOGI data-gathering in older adult research.

Increase advocacy voice of LGBTQ and BIPOC older adults.

  • Continue participation in discussions to begin broad-based, LGBTQ, and BIPOC inclusive “update” to Minnesota Senior Federation.

Ready to contact your Minnesota legislator to support? Contact information for House and Senate members is easily available online. Don’t know who represents you? Visit this link to the Legislative District Finder!