A Step Toward Equality
The Biden administration announced Monday the U.S. will once again ban health-care providers from discriminating against LGBTQ and transgender people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The move comes as a sharp rebuke of Trump-era policies that narrowed the scope of anti-discrimination provisions in the Affordable Care Act by defining "sex" to mean gender assigned at birth, reports PBS News. Biden's Department of Health and Human Services now restores the Obama-era definition — "one's internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female." The new interpretation applies to any healthcare organization that receives federal funding.
"It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including L.G.B.T.Q. people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period," said Health Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement, per The New York Times.
The new policy brings the Biden administration in line with last year's landmark Supreme Court decision that ruled to protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination at work, and is the latest effort from President Biden to strengthen LGBTQ protections in areas like the military, housing and employment. In addition to sharing their support, some members of Congress have used the news as an opportunity to promote the Senate passage of the Equality Act. Brigid Kennedy