Words: Alastair James
The United States Government has restored LGBTQ anti-discrimination healthcare protections after they were stripped away by the Trump Administration.
Rules barring sexual discrimination in healthcare were originally introduced under President Obama in 2016, before being rescinded by Trump last June.
White House Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, told CNN: "It simply says what everyone already should know: You should not discriminate against people," including on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Transgender rights are human rights.”
The reversal follows a decision made by the US Supreme Court last year that a law preventing workplace discrimination included gay and transgender employees.
This change is the latest in a number of reversals made by the Biden Administration to Trump-era policies.
In January this year, a ban on transgender people serving in the military was overturned after being enacted by President Trump in 2017.
President Biden has also issued a memorandum aimed at expanding protections for the LGBTQ community worldwide and was the first US President to explicitly mark Transgender Day of Visibility stating, “Transgender rights are human rights.”
No one should ever be denied access to health care because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s why today, we announced new protections from health care discrimination.— President Biden (@POTUS) May 10, 2021
To every LGBTQ+ American out there, I want you to know: the President has your back.
But the news comes at a troubling time for the LGBTQ community in the United States.
“This bill is another brazen attempt to make it easier to discriminate against people..."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says 28 states have introduced anti-trans legislation this year alone, with targeting trans youth by barring access to healthcare and preventing them from participating in sports.
Idaho and Arkansas have both introduced such bills last year.
In April, Arkansas became the first state to ban gender-confirming treatments and surgery for transgender youth after the Republican-controlled state Senate overrode Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto of the bill.
This means medical practitioners in the state face prosecution for trying to help transgender youth.
At the time, the ACLU’s executive director Holly Dickson said: “This bill is another brazen attempt to make it easier to discriminate against people and deny Arkansans the health care services they need."