AUSTIN, TX — (12-13-22) — The future of the Biden administration’s efforts to prohibit LGBTQ discrimination in the Affordable Care Act’ is at risk after right wing judge, Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, ruled on Tuesday that the (ACA) defines sex too narrowly.
The decision weakens protections for LGBTQ Americans who believe they were discriminated against because of gender identity or sexual orientation.
The Biden administration is still working on a final rule that would guarantee LGBTQ protections for Americans. The issue has been debated since the Obama administration, and Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling adds to the uncertainty of the LGBTQ health care Shield.
“There’s no question that this has created a mess for the agency,” Karen Loewy, senior counsel and director of constitutional law practice for civil rights group Lambda Legal, said of the opinion by Federal District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk.
Kacsmaryk, a judge in Texas who is well known for his criticism of the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, recently held that discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation isn’t barred under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The ruling rejected a Biden administration notice that it would enforce protections for LGBTQ Americans.
The ruling “purports to basically shield all health-care entities across the country from having to comply with a federal statute to which they are subject,” said Loewy. “The statute itself makes clear that sex discrimination in federally funded health programs and activities is prohibited, and the Supreme Court has made clear that sex discrimination includes discrimination against transgender people.” said Loewy.
The district court decision is one of several recent set backs for LGBT rights. The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit last Friday upheld a lower court’s permanent injunction blocking the government from forcing Catholic entities to provide or pay for transgender-related care in their health plans. Proceedings will continue in the lower court and JRL CHARTS LGBT Politics will continue to follow the outcome of these cases.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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