Yesterday there was uplifting news from the Supreme Court, as it announced a 6-3 ruling that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. The decision is a huge victory for the LGBTQ community. However, at the same time, we learned over the weekend that the Trump Administration took the action of narrowing the legal definition of sex discrimination in the Affordable Care Act, so that it omits protection for transgender people. We at CELJ are adamantly opposed to rolling back these protections for the LGBTQ population.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on older adults, and rolling back these protections can further harm an already vulnerable group. According to a 2016 study from UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, 1.4 million older adults identified as transgender. These results doubled the findings from the previous decade. That the Administration would choose to take this step to limit access to healthcare for a marginalized community – particularly during a global pandemic – is truly appalling.
We are fortunate that in New York State, discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation is illegal. At the Center for Elder Law & Justice, we will continue to fight for affordable care for all individuals, regardless of sex, ethnicity, or income.