The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced it will file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s administration after it rolled back anti-discrimination rules protecting transgender people seeking healthcare.
HRC noted in a press release that “critical civil rights protections in the rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)” have been impacted by the rule change, which eliminates “explicit protections from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity that have existed under law, thereby sanctioning discrimination against LGBTQ people in health care programs and activities.”
The announcement came on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, the deadliest attack against the LGBTQ community on United States soil.
“We cannot and will not allow Donald Trump to continue attacking us. Today, the Human Rights Campaign is announcing plans to sue the Trump administration for exceeding their legal authority and attempting to remove basic health care protections from vulnerable communities including LGBTQ people. And, to add insult to injury, the administration finalized this rule on the anniversary of the Pulse shooting, where a gunman killed 49 people in an LGBTQ nightclub,” said HRC President Alphonso David.
He added: “LGBTQ people get sick. LGBTQ people need health care. LGBTQ people should not live in fear that they cannot get the care they need simply because of who they are. It is clear that this administration does not believe that LGBTQ people, or other marginalized communities, deserve equality under the law. But we have a reality check for them: we will not let this attack on our basic right to be free from discrimination in health care go unchallenged. We will see them in court, and continue to challenge all of our elected officials to rise up against this blatant attempt to erode critical protections people need and sanction discrimination.”
HRC “will argue that the removal of protections against sex stereotyping and gender identity exceeds the administration’s authority to define sex discrimination under the ACA and grossly undermines the law’s primary goal of eliminating barriers and broadly expanding access to healthcare and health education programs,” according to its release, which also notes that fear of discrimination is a major reason why LGBTQ individuals don’t seek healthcare.”
The Trump administration’s announcement comes amid a spate of protests against racial injustice and police brutality which has compelled millions to take to the streets even as they risk infection from the novel coronavirus. Violence against transgender individuals is also a common occurrence nationwide. In recent days, civil rights organizations, including HRC, have spoken out against the killings of Riah Milton and Dominique Rem’mie, whose deaths are the latest in a string of killings that continue to generate conversations about transphobia in the United States.