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CDC Scraps Plans for LGBT Youth Summit After Election


A scheduled summit dedicated to improving the health of queer young people has disappeared from the calendar.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has canceled a summit dedicated to LGBT young people.

An unidentified source, speaking to Talking Points Memo, said the conference, originally planned for December, was a "big deal" that would have outlined a five-year agenda "to address the health and well-being of LGBTQ youth." The date was pushed back to January 12, then fell off the calendar.

The source said the CDC -- anticipating a victory of pro-LGBT presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and cautious about politicizing the event -- was waiting until the day after the election to contact groups like the Human Rights Campaign, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and the YMCA. The federal agency had planned to extend formal invitations for potential partnerships. But these invitations were never sent.

"It was never actually explicitly said by anyone that we're canceling this because Donald Trump won the election," the source, a member of the event's planning committee, told TPM.

Lola Russell, a CDC spokeswoman, claimed that the conference was nixed due to legal reasons

"After release of the first data on the health of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth in August 2016, CDC explored a variety of ways to address the identified disparities, including hosting a meeting. On November 4, we determined that a CDC-hosted meeting and engagement of participants in follow-up activities would violate The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)," Russell told the Washington Blade in a statement.

In place of a conference, the CDC is organizing a workgroup of government and nongovernmental organization experts to address health issues of LGBT young people. According to Russell, the first meeting was held January 11.

After Trump's inauguration, the CDC abruptly canceled a conference dedicated to climate change; some in his administration have expressed skepticism that climate change is occurring or that human activity is to blame. Former Vice President Al Gore, an environmental activist and author of An Inconvenient Truth,stepped in at the eleventh hour to revive the conference plans.

The Trump administration, which has vowed to erase the legacy of President Obama, has already removed pages dedicated to LGBT rights from government websites. When asked by reporters Monday if Trump would undo Obama's executive order banning anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors, press secretary Sean Spicer replied, "I just don't know the answer."

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.