Activists Protest White House Decision to Rescind Transgender Health Care Protections

Transgender rights activists protested in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in D.C. on June 13, 2020. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

(WB) Dozens of people gathered in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ headquarters in downtown D.C. on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s decision to remove transgender protections from the Affordable Care Act.

Casa Ruby CEO Ruby Corado was among those who spoke at the protest.

“What’s happening to Americans is incredible,” said Corado. “Not only are we not seen as less than human, but we’re really denied our basic human rights.”

Everyone who participated in the protest wore masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus. Several people who drove past the protest also honked their horns in support.

The Obama administration under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act determined discrimination based on sex applied to trans people. The Trump administration previously said it planned to reverse the regulation, but HHS on Friday announced the change had been made final.

“There’s nothing like being told that you can be refused medical service, that your life doesn’t count as much as other people’s lives, that you could be literally left bleeding in the street and that would be perfectly fine and legal,” protest organizer J.M. Van Pelt told the Washington Blade.

Van Pelt also noted the Trump administration officially reversed the ACA policy on the fourth anniversary of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 people dead.

The massacre, which happened during the gay nightclub’s Latino night, at the time was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

“This administration is openly and blatantly racist, homophobic and transphobic and we just can’t sit down and not say anything about that,” said Van Pelt.