A federal judge has prevented the Trump administration from rolling back on protections for trans and non-binary people accessing healthcare in America against discrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies.
On Monday, August 17, Judge Frederic Block of the United States District Court in Brooklyn issued an injunction against the Trump administration from excluding gender identities in the Affordable Care Act. He outlined that the new ruling, implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, appeared to be incompatible to a previous Supreme Court case on discrimination in the workplace.
Judge Block wrote, “When the Supreme Court announces a major decision, it seems a sensible thing to pause and reflect on the decision’s impact. Since H.H.S. has been unwilling to take that path voluntarily, the court now imposes it.”
In June 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to cases of workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The landmark ruling followed announcements that the Trump administration were rolling back on legal protection for LGBT+ people, including the H.S.S removing protection from discrimination for trans people in healthcare.
Judge Block’s injunction blocked the H.S.S from moving forward with their new rule, which was meant to go into effect on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the Office for Civil Rights told the New York Times the office was disappointed by the decision.
The judge’s ruling followed a suit filed by two trans women, Tanya Asapansa-Johnson Walker and Cecilia Gentili, who were represented by the Human Rights Campaign and the law firm of Baker and Hostetler. HRC President Alphonso David said in a press release, “We are pleased the Court recognised this irrational rule for what it is: discrimination, plain and simple. LGBTQ Americans deserve the health care that they need without fear of mistreatment, harassment, or humiliation.”
In a Lambda Legal press release, Senior Attorney and Health Care Strategist Omar Gonzalez-Pagan added, “We congratulate Tanya Asapansa-Johnson Walker, Cecilia Gentili, HRC and their co-counsel on this important victory in the fight against the Trump administration’s failed public health policy, and we look forward to a decision in our case challenging the health care discrimination rule. The safety and lives of LGBTQ people, but especially transgender people, hang in the balance.”
Further highlighting the impact of Trump’s announcement to rollback on LGBT+ healthcare in America, Conor Courtney recalls the trans people who died as a result of medical discrimination.
© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.