Biden reverses Trump attack on LGBTQ people with order to ban discrimination in healthcare
Joe Biden (AFP)

The Biden administration is reversing a Trump-era directive that attempted to make it easier to discriminate against LGBTQ people, especially transgender people, seeking healthcare. A new Health and Human Services Dept. policy will direct that LGBTQ people have the same protections affirmed in a landmark 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on workplace discrimination. That ruling found the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ employees from discrimination based on sex.

“Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra (photo, top right) said in a statement, the Associated Press reports. “Everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period."

Last June, the Trump administration's Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, headed then by far right wing religious extremist Roger Severino, had ordered an end to Obama-era LGBTQ healthcare protections.

Severino called the protections for transgender people “overbroad" and “massive and unnecessary regulatory burdens that had been eventually passed on to patients and consumers," while suggesting they were not “substantive."

At the time, Bloomberg Law reported, “The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights sees preserving 'religious freedom' as essential to making sure health-care professionals don't get penalized for the actions they do or don't do in their jobs because of their moral beliefs."