3 Ways the Trump Administration Aims to Erase LGBTQ Protections

While the Trump administration has yet to sign a specifically anti-LGBT piece of legislation, over the past few months it has authored a number of policies that seriously undermine civil rights. Below are just three recent actions that are causing major distress for the LGBT community.

1. The omission of LGBT health care issues from the Affordable Care Act repeal

We can all agree that Obamacare was not perfect — after all, it was a heavily compromised reform. Nevertheless, for many low income families and minority groups, the Affordable Care Act has provided a lifeline to more affordable health care.

The LGBT community was just one group to benefit from the Affordable Care Act, as the policy ensured that legally married same-gender couples would be protected. No more could states use their own laws to deny such coverage. The ACA also explicitly protects LGBTQ people from discriminatory practices in health care.

By employing executive powers, the Obama administration was able to ensure that the trans community had greater access to affordable affirmation treatment — a vital step that allowed those undergoing hormonal therapy to maintain their gender expression.

In addition, the ACA has ensured that someone’s HIV status could not be used as a reason to place limits on their medical coverage. For the first time, this legislation meant that people in a community disproportionately affected by HIV could access routine care without fear that insurance companies might cut them off or that they would have to go into debt.

The ACA also took into account the specific health disparities faced by the LGBT community — a greater risk of substance abuse, mental health problems and obesity, for example. The ACA provides wellness screenings and counseling to help address with those issues. It also specifically acknowledges the need to provide LGBTQ elder adults with specialist care and respect.

The Obamacare repeal floated in the House would do serious damage to all of these provisions. Analyses show that roughly 24 million people could lose their care coverage by 2026.

What’s more, the proposed Medicaid reductions would disproportionately impact vulnerable communities, meaning that health care for LGBTQ people and other minorities would become more expensive. In addition, the Republican-led attacks on Planned Parenthood would cut a vital source of sexual health services – including, in some areas, PrEP coverage and crucial HIV support.

Without specific provisions to answer these concerns, the repeal of the could literally be a death sentence for some LGBTQ Americans. While we can be thankful the ObamaCare repeal has not yet gone through Congress, the Trump administration has made no sign of backing down on this issue.

2. Trump has deleted LGBT elder care from the government’s priorities.

The Obama administration significantly improved its health care data collection by including LGBTQ Americans. This meant that, largely for the first time, the federal government could begin to build a picture about the particular health care needs of this vulnerable group.

Of course, LGBTQ people come from many walks of life with varying needs — and LGBTQ elders comprise one such group.

The Obama administration had begun to specifically direct funds from its wider elder care services budget — about $2 billion per year — to better understand the particular challenges impacting LGBT elders.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration quietly eliminated that effort by removing all mention of LGBT elders from the National Survey of Older Americans, the primary tool used by the federal government to collect data and direct funds. The Trump administration contended that it had simply ended a failed pilot scheme. But experts were not convinced.

The Advocate reports:

Kathy Greenlee, the assistant secretary for aging under President Barack Obama, effectively confirmed to the Associated Press that the administration is dissembling.  “I view this to be a policy change, not the end of a pilot,” she told the AP.

Efforts to coordinate meal delivery and ensure proper management of assisted living programs, for instance, will now be blind to the needs of LGBT elders — and they could suffer as a result.

3. LGBT protections for federal contractors undercut

When President Obama used the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order – also known as Executive Order 13673 — in tandem with Executive Order 13672 to ensure that no federal contractor could lawfully discriminate against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, it represented a substantial step forward for LGBT rights.

While it is true that the order only protected a subset of the workforce, it set a tone that the federal government believed such discrimination was unconstitutional.

But now, that protection is no longer guaranteed.

In late March, President Trump officially revoked the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order. As a result, federal contractors will no longer have to prove they have been in compliance with federal directives on workplace equality for at least three years. Legal experts have argued that while, technically, LGBTs are still covered under federal authority, this action could effectively mean that federal contractors no longer have to respect that federal directive.

Essentially, the Trump administration, which had claimed to be an ally to the LGBT community, has caved to the religious right’s demands. Now, so-called “religious exemptions” could end up hurting even more minorities.

With news that the federal government has now wiped LGBT people from data collection under the next census, there’s even more cause to believe that a stealth attack on LGBT rights is underway — and it appears to be far from over.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

84 comments

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Christian Menges
Christian Menges7 months ago

Not the finest manners this man have.

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Patricia H
Patricia Harris7 months ago

Karen H, One thing's for certain, though. Trump is definitely NOT our Savior in disguise!

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Christian M
Christian Menges7 months ago

Thx.

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S7 months ago

noted

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Karen H
Karen H7 months ago

Mother Teresa once said, "Everyone you meet is Jesus in disguise." If that's true, some of the "Christians" are treating their Savior pretty badly.

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Brett Cloud
Brett Cloud7 months ago

Ty

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Brett Cloud
Brett Cloud7 months ago

Ty

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S7 months ago

noted

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Telica R
Telica R7 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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