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Transgender Health Protections are Safe Again. For Now.

Transgender Health Protections are Safe Again. For Now.

A New York federal judge blocked on Monday a new rule by the Trump administration, set to take effect the next day, which sought to erase health care protections for transgender people.

The rule, finalized in June by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, narrowed the legal definition of “sex discrimination” to biological sex, rolling back a 2016 provision in the Affordable Care Act which included gender identity in its nondiscrimination protections. The new rule would have potentially allowed insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers to discriminate against transgender and other patients.

The rule was blocked following the recent Supreme Court decision, which in a historic victory to LGBTQ rights ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act—prohibiting employment discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin”—extends to sexual orientation, identity, and expression.

The federal court found that the administration’s imminent rule was incompatible with the Supreme Court decision and issued a preliminary injunction, temporarily blocking its enforcement.

A final opinion will be issued following additional briefs and arguments. It will be subject to appeal.

A review of the Supreme Court decision can be found here and a history of the legislative and judicial matters that led to it here.