HHS to Implement LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Protections in Health Care

May 10, 2021 • 5:26 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that the Office for Civil Rights will reverse federal policy that attempted to allow discrimination against LGBTQ people in health care.

Kasey Suffredini, CEO and National Campaign Director of Freedom for All Americans, the campaign to secure LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections nationwide, issued the following statement:

“Today’s announcement by HHS to reverse discriminatory policy that sought to allow health care providers to refuse to treat LGBTQ people is the latest indicator that this administration is committed to dignity and respect for all Americans. The previous policy put LGBTQ people, and particularly transgender Americans, at risk of being unable to access lifesaving health care. This restoration of prior executive branch commitments to nondiscrimination is the latest evidence of momentum in support of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections nationwide. Yet the majority of LGBTQ Americans remain vulnerable to discrimination in a majority of states due to a patchwork of differing laws. Congress should finish the job and make protections permanent by passing the Equality Act as soon as possible and updating our civil rights laws to reflect our nation’s values of freedom and equal opportunity.”

The announcement is the latest in a series of orders by the administration, including news that HUD will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; and that it will no longer attempt to modify the Equal Access Rule to ban transgender people from homeless shelters.

The positive movement by HHS and HUD follow an executive order by President Biden on his first day in office directing all federal agencies to implement the decision in Bostock v. Clayton County issued by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. The 6-3 ruling found that LGBTQ people are protected against employment discrimination under existing civil rights laws that prohibit sex discrimination.

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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