Equality Texas and the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) Condemn the Trump Administration’s Obliteration of Protections for Transgender Americans
Austin, Texas – June 12, 2020 – Today, Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ Texans and the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), the largest statewide, trans led, trans focused organization in the state of Texas, condemned the Trump Administration’s obliteration of protections for the more than 1.5 million transgender people living in the United States.
The Trump Administration rewrote the rules implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination by healthcare providers. The previous rules written by the Obama Administration specifically prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity when receiving health care. Now, the administration is reversing those protections during the middle of a worldwide pandemic and at a moment of national reckoning due to the systemic injustices of marginalized people. The decision by HHS to allow anti-transgender discrimination in healthcare puts the lives of transgender people at risk and sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the rights, health, and safety of everyone in this country, and especially the LGBTQ community.
“Our country is in crisis; people are scared, and they are angry the government continues to put their lives at risk. To release the rewrite of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act on the 4th Anniversary of the Pulse massacre and on a day we are mourning the murders of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells and Riah Milton is deeply unconscionable. This is a moment for unity, empathy, kindness, and compassion. This is a moment to make healthcare more accessible to those in high risk populations including the immunocompromised, people with pre-existing conditions and transgender people. Instead, the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is unnecessarily complicating access to health care for transgender people and further marginalizing already marginalized people,” said Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas.
“The current administration has showcased a continuous pattern of intentional cruelty shown to our nation’s transgender population. The federally controlled department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is tasked with enhancing the health of people yet has continued to show a blatant disregard for trans people’s health and wellbeing. The attempts to paint transgender healthcare as “special privileges” is unconscionable and untrue. For this department to further hinder people’s right to bodily autonomy by attacking their reproductive rights is an injustice to all people who call this country their home,” said Emmett Shelling, Executive Director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT).
Not only will the changes to Section 1557 affect transgender people in their direct healthcare, but they will also allow entities like medical schools-that receive federal funds-to allow students who openly vocalize bias that runs counter to the Hippocratic Oath to continue on their path into the medical field.
1 in 4 trans people have experienced discrimination within a healthcare setting. 70% of trans, non-binary, gender diverse people report they have faced discrimination by a health professional. Twenty-three percent of trans people reported avoiding seeing a doctor when it was necessary because of the already existent rampant discrimination in healthcare. These harms have only increased during the Trump Administration and this will decision will exacerbate the problem.
Recent data shows a majority of Americans across ideologies, age, and religious affiliation in all 50 states support passage of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections to ensure all LGBTQ Americans can live with respect, dignity, and safety in all areas of life.
Equality Texas’ top priorities include passage of comprehensive nondiscrimination bills at the State and Federal level, so that all transgender and LGBTQ people are protected, and an administration cannot reverse protections like the Trump Administration has done.
Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.
The Transgender Education Network of Texas is the largest statewide, trans led, trans focused organization in the state of Texas.