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Internists Applaud Supreme Court Decision Making It Illegal for Employers to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Individuals, Urge Reversal of Federal Rule Allowing Discrimination in Health Care

Statement attributable to:
Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (June 15, 2020) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) strongly believes that LGBTQ individuals must be legally protected from discrimination and we are in full support of today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling forbidding job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discrimination because of a person's sex, covers sexual orientation.  

Discrimination harms the health of LGBTQ individuals, both mentally and physically. As physicians, we have a responsibility to protect our patients and improve the health of all Americans, and LGBTQ individuals are no exception. ACP has long said that discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation, gender, gender orientation and other personal characteristics, is a public health issue.

That is also why ACP strongly condemns the recent announcement from the Trump administration that does away with federal protections under the Affordable Care Act for transgender and other individuals seeking health care. The administration’s final rule will allow and even encourage health care facilities to discriminate against patients based on their gender identity, eliminates explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBQ persons in qualified health plans, and lead to persons being denied access to health care because of their gender identity. ACP submitted comments to the administration opposing weakening of such protections and remains committed to seeking reversal of the administration’s rule.  

Discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and other personal characteristics should never be permissible in employment, and in health care.  ACP will continue to advocate on behalf of ALL of America’s health care patients.

Read more about ACP’s policies on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Disparities here.

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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 159,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Taneishia Bundy, (202) 261-4523, tbundy@acponline.org