The City of West Hollywood sent out a press release today condemning “in the strongest possible terms,” the Trump Administration’s decision to amend Section 1557 of the Health Care Rights Law, a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that, as had been written, offered protections to transgender people in healthcare settings.
A rule finalized today, Friday, June 12, 2020, by the Department of Health and Human Services, provides a new interpretation of the nondiscrimination provision of Section 1557 of the ACA, which essentially allows healthcare providers to discriminate based on gender identity. This decision will directly affect the very communities the law is meant to protect including women, older adults, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. These populations already face high levels of discrimination by healthcare providers.
“Removing discrimination protections for LGBTQ people from health care law is dehumanizing and it speaks to the Trump Administration’s continued attacks on so many people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “Adding to the cruelty is that, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this Administration has been attacking people who have been gathering in historic marches to demand an end to racial violence, injustice, and discrimination. This rule was finalized, as well, on the anniversary of the Pulse massacre as LGBTQ people across the world mourn the loss of 49 people were who were murdered at a gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016. The lack of basic empathy and human decency from the Trump Administration is incomprehensible. It runs counter to the City of West Hollywood’s core values of Respect and Support for People. The City of West Hollywood pledges to fight this unspeakable discrimination.”
The Trump Administration has consistently aimed to target and roll back political advances that were made by transgender people under the Obama Administration. The Human Rights Campaign announced immediate plans on Friday, June 12, 2020, to sue the Trump Administration for exceeding its legal authority and for attempting to remove basic health care protections from vulnerable communities including LGBTQ people.
The City of West Hollywood has been at the forefront of the #resist movement since the 2016 election and, following the election of President Trump, the West Hollywood City Council affirmed the City of West Hollywood’s commitment as a Sanctuary City and reaffirmed the City’s commitment to its core values, which includes Respect and Support for People. The City of West Hollywood regularly reviews federal proposals and responds to policy changes that may have a harmful effect on West Hollywood’s residents.
The City of West Hollywood has been one of the most outspoken cities in the nation in advocating for the legal rights of LGBT people. More than 40 percent of residents in the City of West Hollywood identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The City is one of the first municipalities to form a Transgender Advisory Board, which addresses matters of advocacy on behalf of transgender people in the areas of education, community awareness, and empowerment, and makes recommendations to the West Hollywood City Council. Through its Transgender Advisory Board, the City of West Hollywood regularly co-sponsors programming, which includes a job fair organized by the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project in order to connect transgender women and men with employment resources and opportunities. The City also recognizes Transgender Awareness Month each November. As part of its support of the transgender community, the City of West Hollywood has a Transgender Resource Guide available on the City’s website, which provides information about a variety of resources including legal, health, and social services, available in the Greater Los Angeles area to enhance and improve the well-being of transgender people.
The City of West Hollywood remains in a declared local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While Los Angeles County is allowing for a phased reopening of some businesses and activities, coronavirus transmission and COVID-19 disease remain a serious risk. West Hollywood City Hall is currently closed to in-person transactions, but City Hall services remain accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via the City’s website at www.weho.org. City of West Hollywood coronavirus information is available at www.weho.org/coronavirus.
For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Legislative Affairs efforts, please contact Hernán Molina, the City of West Hollywood’s Governmental Affairs Liaison, at (323) 848-6364 or at [email protected].