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Joe Biden speaks at a conference. File image. Photo Jim Watson, Getty Images
Joe Biden speaks at a conference. Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images.

Biden guarantees LGBTQ community health protections

Joe Biden's administration continues to take actions aimed at strengthening the rights of LGBTQ people.

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This week, President Joe Biden has reversed a measure announced by Donald Trump that established limits on access to healthcare for members of the LGBTQ community. Xavier Becerra, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) was in charge of announcing the measure that seeks to prevent health care providers, or any other health-related organization, from receiving federal funds, from discriminating against people based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
 
The decision is ultimately a battle won by LGBTQ rights advocates.

Although the measure may be seen as controversial by some groups, it is within the framework of social justice and respect for civil rights.

"Everyone should be treated equally before the law, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Department of Health and Human Services will act on reports of sex-based discrimination to ensure that everyone, including LGBTQ people, have access to health care without discrimination," Becerra said on Twitter. 

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The move aligns HHS with a 2020 Supreme Court decision in a workplace discrimination case ruling that federal law also protects gay and transgender people, and has been heralded as another step by the administration to ensure LGBTQ+ rights in society.

"Fear of discrimination can lead people to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences," he added. 
In addition, HHS has the power to investigate claims of sexual discrimination, orientation and gender identity grounds that have been occurring in healthcare services. As a result, some hospitals, clinics and other health care providers could be affected by the denial of Medicare and Medicaid payments for violations of the law.   

With the measure, President Joe Biden continues to take action to strengthen the rights of the LGBTQ community in the United States. The administration's approach advocates upholding the 'Bostock Decision' (issued by the Supreme Court in July 2020) and removing the ban on transgender individuals enlisting in the military.

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