NGLCC Decries Latest HHS Rules Permitting Medical Discrimination Against LGBTQ Americans

May 3, 2019
NGLCC, the business voice of the LGBT community, has issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s authorization of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s rules permitting faith-based discrimination in healthcare against LGBTQ Americans, authored by Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson and Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) directive permitting healthcare providers, insurers, and practitioners to place personal beliefs over public welfare is being falsely promoted as defending American freedoms. In reality, the rules reiterate Trump administration efforts to systematically dismantle the protections granted to our most vulnerable communities, including women, immigrants, and LGBT Americans, in the name of “religious freedom.”
Members of the LGBT community, especially members of the transgender community, are already considered particularly vulnerable populations in receiving adequate health care, and this initiative will likely widen the disparity. Women seeking comprehensive reproductive health care, particularly those from immigrant communities, may also see their access to birth control, abortion services, and other critical healthcare services reduced or blocked entirely.  This decision underscores the vital importance of nationwide protections for the LGBT community enshrined in the Equality Act.
In a January 2018 statement from HHS, Director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights Roger Severino said: “No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions and the new division will help guarantee that victims of unlawful discrimination find justice.”  This dangerous line of thinking from Severino and others in the Trump administration will now be codified into policy thanks to this decision. Doctors, nurses, researchers, emergency medical staff and other medical professionals to opt out of providing essential, life-saving services to women, LGBT Americans, and other vulnerable communities if they believe that those services will violate their moral or religious beliefs.
This continuation of the Trump administration’s #LicenseToDiscriminate in the name of religious freedom is dangerous and must be stopped. Our community cannot thrive economically, politically, or in any other way if we do not have access to safe, accessible and comprehensive medical care free from discrimination. America’s 1.4 million LGBT business owners work hard every day to innovate and create new jobs and should not be forced to shoulder an additional burden if they or their employees are turned away from essential medical care. Our economy cannot afford the additional fear and risk this places upon our communities.
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The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global not-for-profit advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT- owned businesses. @nglcc
Jonathan Lovitz
Senior Vice President
@nglcc @jdlovitz

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