The hateful measure came on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
Despite repeated claims from Republicans that this administration is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly in history, the Tr*mp administration has once again launched an attack on the community. And yet again, it has targeted trans people by rolling back non-discrimination protections for trans patients in healthcare.
What makes the move that more shocking and abhorrent is that is was announced during Pride Month, and on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
The policy was an Obama-era one that stopped federal funds from going to healthcare providers and insurance companies if they denied coverage to women seeking abortions or trans people seeking gender-affirming care due to their religious beliefs.
Under the guise of ‘religious freedom’ the Department of Health and Human Services revised part of the Affordable Care Act, and reverted “the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”
The move now means that people could find themselves discriminated against by healthcare professionals while America is in the middle of dealing with a pandemic.
The planned revising of the policy was revealed back in April, and before then, a study commissioned by CAP showed that 29% of transgender adults said a healthcare provider refused to treat them because of their gender identity. LGBTQ+ people are also seven times more likely to avoid a visit to the hospital or doctors office due to fear of discrimination.
The move was attacked by many LGBTQ+ organisations, as well as health advocates, and in a statement, Sam Brinton, the Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project said: “Access to quality health care without discrimination is critical right now, and thankfully, whatever this new rule may say, LGBTQ people are still protected under the law.
“This rule sends a dangerous and confusing message to health care providers at the worst possible time.
“In the midst of a global pandemic with serious implications for the LGBTQ youth The Trevor Project serves, the last thing our nation needs is for the Administration to suggest, contrary to the plain language of the Affordable Care Act, that medical care providers don’t have to treat transgender and nonbinary people with the same care and respect as everybody else.”
Several LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, like Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) confirmed that they would sue the Tr*mp administration over the roll back. In a statement, Alphonso David, the President of the HRC, said: “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.”
Alphonso added: “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.
“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.”
The move was also attacked by the Democratic nominee for the presidential election, Joe Biden, who tweeted: “On the fourth anniversary of Pulse. In the middle of Pride month. During a global pandemic.
“Donald Trump’s cruelty truly knows no bounds. We have to defeat him this November.”
It comes just days after the Tr*mp administration filed briefings in a Supreme Court case asking to allow adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.
As the government wasn’t a plaintiff in the case, it means that their briefing was submitted voluntarily, with the Justice Department claiming they had a “substantial interest” to intervene.