Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Trump-Pence Administration Announces Latest Attack on Healthcare for Millions of LGBTQ+ Americans During Global Pandemic
Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur Condemns Heartless, Cruel Move Announced on Anniversary of Pulse Nightclub Shooting
June 12, 2020 at 2:15 pm

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June 12, 2020

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a final rule on Friday rolling back regulations that protect LGBTQ+ patients, patients with disabilities and patients with limited English proficiency, among others, from discrimination in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, also known as the “Health Care Rights Law.” Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur:

“The Trump-Pence Administration’s response to COVID-19 has ranged from incompetent to illogical to reckless. But this is a new low. To roll back healthcare protections for LGBTQ+ patients in the middle of a global pandemic is heartless and cruel. But to do so on the fourth anniversary of the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando is especially despicable.

“Transgender and gender-nonconforming people deserve healthcare. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer people deserve healthcare. People with disablities and people for whom English is not their first language deserve health care. No one should be denied this basic human right because of who they are or who they love. Shame on Donald Trump and his administration for saying otherwise.”

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination in healthcare and health insurance coverage on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age and disability. The section applies to all health programs and activities that receive federal funding — which includes most hospitals, doctors’ offices and health insurance companies in the nation. Congress’s clear intent was to protect all Americans from discrimination. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted a regulation — rolled back by the rule announced today — explaining that Section 1557‘s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Equality California has repeatedly opposed the Trump-Pence Administration’s attacks on the transgender community and all LGBTQ+ people. In September 2017, Equality California and seven transgender servicemembers and individuals seeking to enlist in the military filed Stockman v. Trump challenging the president’s unconstitutional ban on transgender military service. Last year, Equality California submitted formal public comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opposing the rule announced today.


Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org

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