Petitioners demand Fox stop dehumanizing transgender people

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A screen shot from Fox Nation.

Oregon’s largest LGBT civil rights group is circulating a petition focused on Fox News after Fox Nation used a photo from “Mrs. Doubtfire” to illustrate a report on transgender health care issues.

The image of Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire ran under the headline “California and Oregon Insist on Transgender Health Coverage.”

The petition circulating by Basic Rights Oregon states, in part, “Fox News: stop misrepresenting gay and transgender people with sensational and dehumanizing coverage. Trivializing transgender people's need for medically necessary health care ignores the position of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and countless other authorities on health care. We demand an apology and that Fox News end its transphobic content.”

Earlier this month, in a victory for Basic Rights Oregon and for transgender citizens in the state, the Insurance Division of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services announced that insurance companies doing business in the state must end discriminatory exclusions of medically-necessary healthcare for transgender Oregonians.

The state announced that:

• Health insurers may not categorically exclude transgender patients from coverage.

• Health insurers must provide coverage and cannot deny coverage of treatments for transgender policyholders if the same treatments are covered for other policy holders.

• Health insurers may not deny treatment on the basis of a policyholder’s actual or perceived gender. That means that all policyholders can rely on annual exams, cancer screenings, and gender-specific health care, regardless of their gender on file.

• The statewide mandate for coverage of mental health services must apply to transgender patients.

Basic Rights Oregon, through its “trans justice team,” has worked for years on the issue.

BRO executive director Jeana Frazzini called the Fox report “irresponsible” and said, “This is just one of many recent dehumanizing stories Fox has chosen to run about transgender issues.”

Equality Matters, another LGBT civil rights group, has compiled a series of links to anti-transgender news reports that continues on four webpages and goes as far back as 2010. Many of them were published or aired by Fox.