The Trump administration is now being sued for allowing healthcare workers to refuse to treat trans patients
A coalition of LGBT+ medical clinics are suing the Trump administration for removing discrimination protections for trans people in healthcare settings that mean doctors can refuse to treat trans patients.
The Trump administration announced the rollback of healthcare protections for trans patients on June 12, the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
This reversed changes to federal guidelines made by Barack Obama’s administration in 2016, which expanded sex-based protections in healthcare to include gender identity.
LGBT+ clinics and organisations are suing to block the rule, which was issued by The Department of Health and Human Services.
“Everyone deserves easy access to health care, and health care that is respectful of who we are,” said Bamby Salcedo, president and CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
“This rule will hurt marginalised communities who already experience barriers to care.”
The lawsuit was filed on June 22 at the US District Court for the District of Columbia by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and Steptoe & Johnson.
The plaintiffs include the Whitman-Walker Clinic and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, along with individual LGBT+ doctors and healthcare provider associations.
Supreme Court verdict on LGBT+ workers may help with Trump administration’s rollback of trans healthcare protections.
The challenge to Trump’s move to block healthcare protections for trans patients comes just a week after the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling protecting gay and transgender workers.
While the Supreme Court’s decision only applies to workers – who, the court says, cannot be fired on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity – lawyers in the healthcare lawsuit think it will help their case.
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“It certainly is wind in our sails,” Lambda Legal senior attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan told NPR.
“There’s no doubt that the analysis that [the Trump administration] deployed is inconsistent with the final ruling of the Supreme Court in the employment cases, and it further undermines any rationale that they had.”
The healthcare ruling means that doctors can refuse to treat trans patients on the basis that they are trans.
Salcedo, from the TransLatin@ Coalition, added that joining the lawsuit is a way to “let the Trump administration [know] that this is not right”.
“We’re not going to tolerate it and that we’re not going to let it happen.”