The League joined other organizations on a letter voicing support for the Equality Act. The League urges the U.S. Senate to pass this legislation to provide affirmative, statutory nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans both in the workplace and in the community.
Dear Senator: As organizations dedicated to ensuring physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all Americans, we write to voice our support for the Equality Act and urge the Senate to pass this critical legislation that will provide affirmative, statutory nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans both in the workplace and in the community.
There is no basis for the denial of equal rights to any human being because of theirsex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or transgender status. The patchwork nature of current laws protecting LGBTQ people leaves many Americanssubject to uncertainty and potential discrimination that impacts their safety, their medical care, and their day-to-day lives. LGBTQ people need the explicit, permanent protections under our nation’s existing civil rights laws that the Equality Act would provide with regards to access to care, housing, education, federally funded programs and more. Such protections will help to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination that threatens their health and well-being.
Despite some advances in public awareness and legal protections, those who identify as LGBTQ continue to face disparities, including from inequitable laws and policies, societal discrimination, and a lack of access to quality health care, including mental health care. All Americans deserve access to quality evidence-based health care regardless of gender or sexual orientation, yet a substantial body of research indicates that LGBTQ populations across the United States encounter significant barriers to health care. Many LGBTQ people have difficulty finding providers who are knowledgeable about their needs, encounter discrimination from insurers or providers, or delay or forego care because of concerns about how they will be treated. The Equality Act is needed to help achieve the goal of health equity for all Americans.
Medical care for transgender youth is evidence-based and has proven effectiveness. Guidelines for appropriate treatment have been carefully developed and endorsed by American Academy of Pediatricsii , the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , the Endocrine Society and Pediatric Endocrine Societyiv , the American College of Physicians , World Professional Association for Transgender Health , and the American Psychological Association. The international consensus among health care professionals regarding treatment for gender dysphoria is to assist the patient to live in accordance their gender identity. In a gender-affirmative care model, providers offer developmentally appropriate care that is oriented toward understanding and appreciating a person’s gender experience. Treatment may include counseling, social transition, hormone therapy and/or gender confirming surgeries. Before puberty, there is no medical or surgical treatment that is used at all; guidelines emphasize supporting children as they express themselves.
Improving access to gender-affirming care is an important means of improving health outcomes for the transgender population. The treatment for gender dysphoria is highly effective in reducing or eliminating the incongruence and associated distress between a person’s gender identity and assigned sex at birth. Receipt of gender-affirming care has been linked to dramatically reduced rates of suicide attempts, decreased rates of depression and anxiety, decreased substance use, improved HIV medication adherence, and reduced rates of harmful self-prescribed hormone use.
The protections of the Equality Act would help to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or transgender status are protected from discrimination that threatens their health and well-being. We urge you to take up and pass this important legislation.
See Attached Letter for Full List of Signatories
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On October 8, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Bostock v. Clayton County, et al. and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC. The Court’s decision will determine whether it violates federal law for employers to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.
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