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Trump’s denial of patient protections has left the LGBTQ community at risk

In 2016, former U.S. President Barack Obama passed federal nondiscrimination protections for sex and gender identity.

On Friday, June 12, 2020, President Trump’s administration reversed the protection. This fell on the four-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre, where 49 people were killed.

Rules and regulations

The regulation falls under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as the Health Care Rights Law. It “prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities.”

Transgender people, along with women seeking abortions, can now be discriminated against under this reversal. The Trump administration enforces the clause by keeping gender definitions brief.

The Health Department, also known as HHS, now enforces Section 1557 by “returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”

The definition contradicts the Obama-era’s: “redefined sex discrimination to include termination of pregnancy and gender identity, which it defined as ‘one’s internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.'”

Legal action

Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization represents the LGBTQ+ community, announced they will sue the Trump administration. The Human Rights Campaign will be following suit.

“We cannot and will not allow Donald Trump to continue attacking us. Today, the Human Rights Campaign is announcing plans to sue the Trump administration for exceeding their legal authority and attempting to remove basic health care protections from vulnerable communities including LGBTQ people.”

Dr. Susan Bailey, President of the American Medical Association, opposed the change. “The federal government should never make it more difficult for individuals to access health care — during a pandemic or any other time,” said Bailey.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo assured New Yorkers they have expanded coverage. Moreover, Cuomo “enshrined the critical protections from the Affordable Care Act into state law.”

Social media backlash

It’s clear LGBTQ+ members and supporters are displeased with the June 12 finalization. This news weighs heavily on the community and its allies.

Twitter users took to social media to express their concerns:

The violation of the human right creates more tension between LGBTQ+ members and Trump. This is not the first occasion where he exercises his homophobia.

Trump also opposes marriage equality in the United States. In 2019, the Trump administration denied all LGBTQ+ flags from flying over on U.S. Embassy building flagpoles.

This regulation will become another nationwide problem, along with racism.