are getting chipped away by the administration’s policies and by the people who the administration put in power
Why It Matters
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people already experience greater barriers to accessing health care than non-LGBTQ people.
Yet, the Trump-Pence administration has repeatedly — and is continually — trying to take away LGBTQ people’s rights.
Examples include: trying to strip transgender people of their recognized identities and civil rights protections, putting barriers in the way of LGBTQ people’s access to health care, and nominating judges and officials with strong anti-LGBTQ records.
Commissioner for the U.S. Commission on International Religious FreedomAppointed: 5-14-2018
Principal Advisor at the Office of Civil Rights, Former Deputy General Counsel (HHS)Appointed to HHS: March 2017
“I shudder to think of what could happen if my daughter... has to go to a hospital where a Christian doctor might have a moral objection to her.”
Restrictions on LGBTQ people’s rights harm the more than 10 million Americans who identify as LGBTQ, as well as their friends and families. The administration’s efforts to chip away at LGBTQ people’s rights could cause many of them to lose access to health care — including those who are low income; living with chronic illness; or have pre-existing conditions, like HIV.
One of the key ways that the administration is targeting LGBTQ rights is advocating to define gender as being binary, unchangeable, and determined by one’s genitals at birth — regardless of how people identify. The administration’s other efforts against the LGBTQ community include a refusal rule to let health care workers deny services to LGBTQ people, a new government office to protect those providers, rolling back non-discrimination protections in health care coverage, and cutting federal funding for LGBTQ programs.
Every person — no matter their gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation — deserves equality under the law.
Background on LGBTQ Rights
In October 2018, it was revealed that the the Trump-Pence administration is considering a restrictive definition of the term “sex” in federal civil rights laws that would would eliminate protections for transgender people and open them up to more discrimination. This proposed change to civil rights protections could essentially erase all federal recognition of transgender and nonbinary people, including the estimated 1.4 million Americans who don’t identify as the gender on their birth certificate.The New York Times
Without accurate legal identification, trans people also would have difficulty with a variety of tasks related to everyday living. That includes difficulty renting a house, enrolling in college, starting a new job, opening a bank account, or freely traveling. All these consequences fall hardest on trans people of color, who already face systemic racism.National Center for Transgender Equality
The administration proposed a refusal rule to empower health care workers to deny LGBTQ people health care — blocking them from services like HIV treatment, hormone therapy, abortion, and and other services that health care workers believe are wrong. The refusal rule also would empower health care workers to deny LGBTQ people basic care just because the workers oppose their patients’ identity.Planned Parenthood Action
President Trump’s 2020 budget would cut funding for services and programs that are essential to LGBTQ people.ThinkProgress
In another proposed rule, the administration would change the government’s interpretation of the ACA’s non-discrimination provision. Also known as Section 1557 and the Health Care Rights Law, the ACA’s non-discrimination provision prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, national origin, disability status, and age. Before the Trump-Pence administration came to power, the federal government interpreted this law in a way that protects people from discrimination based on gender identity, sex-stereotyping and more in marketplace plans and other health care programs that the government helps run. The current administration’s proposed rule would interpret the law more narrowly, rolling back protections for transgender people, among others.Politico
Losing civil rights protections open trans people up to greater discrimination in all areas of their lives, but particularly in areas where they already face historic barriers and systemic discrimination. For example, trans people are more likely to be evicted from a home, bullied in school, fired from a job, and sexually harassed on the street.American Association for Justice
Doctors and leading medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and Physicians for Reproductive Health, point to extreme harm that erasing transgender and nonbinary people’s federal recognition could cause — including deep psychological distress and inability to access a host of health services, such as applying for Medicaid. That worsens existing barriers transgender people face in health care: 70% of trans and gender-nonconforming people say they’ve faced serious discrimination in health care, and 29% of trans people report having been refused to be seen by a health care provider because of their actual or perceived gender identity.ABC News
An entirely new government office was established to protect health care workers who refuse to treat patients because of the services they seek. The new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division sits within the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The OCR is run by Roger Severino — who is against transgender rights and same-sex marriage.Color Lines
The administration removed a government webpage on lesbian and bisexual women’s health; withheld more than 10,000 public comments related to transgender people’s health care; and stripped all LGBTQ mentions in a HHS four-year strategic plan.NBC News