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Epic Week for Transgender Rights!

Aurora Harris

Anti-transgender bathroom bills and other discriminatory laws have recently gained momentum in legislatures across the country. The idea that “men in dresses” will prey on little girls in restrooms is a false narrative that has been instrumental in passing such laws; the same narrative thwarted LGBT nondiscrimination pushes in the past, including our very own Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Grassroots advocates, non profits, the Department of Justice and the White House have been fighting back! On Monday May 9, 2016 U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch delivered a passionate speech notifying the state of North Carolina that its recent anti-trans measure violates several federal civil rights laws.

"We See You. We Stand With You."

Attorney General Loretta Lynch


On Friday, May 13, 2016 the White House administration sent guidelines to public schools saying they cannot discriminate against transgender students in a wide range of settings — from restrooms to sports teams.

“Schools have a responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, including transgender students. Harassment that targets a student based on gender identity, transgender status, or gender transition is harassment based on sex, and the Departments enforce Title IX accordingly”

Just hours after issuing these guidelines, the US Department of Health and Human Services released the final rule outlining the full protections of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

LHI is pleased to see that it confirms much of what was in the proposed rule by banning trans exclusions in all marketplace plans, many private health insurance plans, and state Medicaid programs across the country. LHI had signed on to a previous version of the rule in hopes it would cover transition related care for the members of the trans community that seek it. The rule also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes and is fully protective of all LGBT people in accessing health care and health insurance, no matter where they live.

LHI, along with national and state partners, are analyzing the final nondiscrimination rule and will soon have in-depth analysis of the rule’s scope and what it will mean concretely for trans health. 

Stay tuned for more information and learn more about the new rule here! We are proud of the national gains our community has made, but we know it hasn't come without sacrifice and hard work on the local and state level. Thank you advocates for your tremendous efforts! 

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