Press Room



Press Contact: 
Jay Wu, Communications Manager
October 6, 2017

Federal Government Opens Floodgates for Discrimination

After making two attacks against transgender people yesterday, the Trump/Pence Discrimination Administration continued its onslaught against transgender and other LGBTQ people today.

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a sweeping “license to discriminate” that permits federal agencies, government contractors, government grantees, and even private businesses to engage in illegal discrimination, as long as they can cite religious reasons for doing so.

Moments before the Attorney General’s memo was released, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a regulation that uses the same justification to allow a broad range of for-profit companies, universities, and insurance companies to deny coverage of birth control—an important component of preventative health care.

These attacks follow a day of multiple anti-transgender moves by the Department of Justice. Attorney General Sessions announced yesterday that the DOJ will abandon its position that federal law protects transgender workers from discrimination. On the same day, the DOJ also asked courts to dismiss a challenge against the Trump administration’s unconstitutional ban on transgender people serving in the military.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said:

The Department of Justice has declared open season on transgender and other LGBTQ people, hot on the heels of the Department of Health and Human Services denying necessary healthcare to hundreds of thousands of people. With their actions, these agencies attempt to turn our most cherished civil rights laws into little more than civil rights suggestions.

Today’s actions by Attorney General Sessions and the Department of Health and Human Services do little to advance any kind of freedom—instead, they promote discrimination and disenfranchisement.

This latest move furthers the Trump/Pence administration’s mission to divide the nation by granting businesses, hospitals, and schools a nearly unchecked license to discriminate—and the Department of Health and Human Services is currently drafting another regulation to officially endorse discrimination against transgender people by health care providers and insurers.

These moves are patently un-American. The National Center for Transgender Equality will remain vigilant as the administration continues to attack us, and we will continue to fight for transgender people in our nation’s capital and around the country.


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