The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care celebrates June as LGBT Pride month with our members and allies. Pride month focuses on
the recognition and promotion of the dignity, equality and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and communities. Pride represents the opposite of shame and social stigma
and encourages society to actively prevent the discrimination and violence that still occur.
We applaud this month's major milestone in the Supreme Court decision that expands the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include workplace protections for gay, lesbian and transgender employees. The ruling expands the definition of discrimination based on sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation and protects LGBT employees from being disciplined, fired or turned down for a job based on their sexual orientation.
Nearly half the states have no legal protection for LGBT employees. Now, the federal law will protect employees in those states from firing and other adverse employment decisions made based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This discrimination denied LGBT individuals full workplace equity, including presenting a threat to employer-sponsored health insurance. This ruling helps to stabilize that concern for millions of LGBT Americans, including those living with or at risk for HIV.
While this is a big step forward, it is clouded by the
new rule issued by the
Trump administration earlier this month on the four-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre. The rule narrows the legal definition of sex discrimination in the Affordable Care Act so that it omits protection for transgender people.
This rule will erase protections for transgender patients against discrimination by providers, hospitals and health insurance companies.
While we celebrate the giant step forward in the Supreme Court decision, it exists against the backdrop of on-going discrimination and transphobia promoted by the Trump administration under the guise of religious freedom.
We have work to do to combat this roll back of protections, especially for our transgender colleagues, patients and communities.
Support for full LGBT rights in all jurisdictions, locally and globally, is a main pillar of ANAC's policy agenda and we will continue to fight for equality.