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Joe Biden’s Government Revives Safeguards for Transgender Health


Joe Biden’s Government Revives Safeguards for Transgender Health

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In the past year, a pivotal case on workplace discrimination heard by the Supreme Court culminated in a 6-3 decision asserting that laws against sex discrimination also provide safeguards for the LGBTQ+ community. Despite this ruling, the preceding administration attempted to erode certain healthcare protections against discrimination targeting gay and transgender individuals, arguing that healthcare discrimination should be treated separately from workplace bias. While most of these initiatives were blocked in court, one successful move redefined “sex” to align with assigned gender at birth, significantly impeding transgender individuals’ healthcare access. However, that policy has now been reversed.

Today, the Biden Administration declared the official reinstatement of regulations ensuring equitable and unbiased healthcare access for gay and transgender individuals.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra emphasized, “Avoiding healthcare due to discrimination can result in severe negative health repercussions. Everyone, including LGBTQ+ individuals, deserves unprejudiced healthcare access, without exception.”

In addition to reinstating these regulations, the HHS Office for Civil Rights will commence investigations into complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Healthcare providers found in violation of these anti-discrimination laws may face government penalties following the conclusion of these investigations.

This reinstatement builds on prior steps taken by the Biden administration to enhance protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. Soon after inauguration, Biden overturned a policy that had made it challenging for transgender individuals to serve in the military. Furthermore, earlier this spring, the Department of Housing and Urban Development rescinded a policy that permitted federally-funded homeless shelters to refuse service to transgender individuals.

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