The Equality Caucus Decries Efforts to Strip Nondiscrimination Protections and Calls for Equality in Coronavirus Response

Apr 28, 2020
Press Release

 

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DATE:  April 28, 2020

CONTACT:  laura.brantley@mail.house.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The Equality Caucus Decries Efforts to Strip

Nondiscrimination Protections and Calls for Equality

in Coronavirus Response

 

Washington, D.C. – The Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is calling on the Trump Administration to halt its efforts to strip LGBTQ nondiscrimination provisions from the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. These protections have been vital to a community that already suffers from health disparities and has long faced burdens in accessing healthcare because of a history of discrimination. The Caucus also continues to call for explicit nondiscrimination language in any forthcoming coronavirus legislation.

 

“It is outrageous that the Administration would take this action right now while we are in the midst of a pandemic that has already killed more than 55,000 Americans. The Administration should reverse course and as Congress works on solutions to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that no one gets left behind,” said Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Takano. “The systemic attacks against the LGBTQ+ community by the Trump Administration have very real consequences that could restrict our community’s access to the help and support they need. Any future package should explicitly prohibit anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination to protect every American who is struggling during this public health crisis.”

 

“Fairness and equality are core American values. The House passed the Equality Act last year to ensure LGBTQ Americans are equal in the eyes of the law,” said Caucus Co-Chair Rep. David Cicilline. “Unfortunately, this bill is still sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk. As we continue pressing for a vote on the Senate floor, it’s critical that any future COVID-19 relief bills include clear protections for the LGBTQ community.”

 

“Putting the health care of millions of LGBTQ people at risk during a global pandemic isn’t just cruel and wrong— it’s reckless. Denying any American access to quality, safe care right now puts all of us at risk,” said Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “This bigoted attack on the LGBTQ community is unacceptable and won’t stand. The Administration must live up to the creed echoed around the country - we are all in this together.”

 

“This administration is built on a founding principle of codifying inequality and hate into law,” said Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan. “During this pandemic that means the most vulnerable populations—including LGBTQ people—are most likely to feel the effects of an inequitable healthcare system and housing instability. No federal money should go to any groups or organizations discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity—period.”

 

“All Americans deserve high-quality, affordable health care no matter who they love or how they identify, said Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Angie Craig. “We cannot allow baseless attacks to threaten access to high-quality health care, which all Americans especially vulnerable populations need now more than ever in the face of COVID-19.”

 

“To effectively fight the coronavirus pandemic, we have to ensure that every person has access to quality, affordable health coverage. LGBTQ people continue to face discrimination in the healthcare system, and the Trump Administration’s attempt to strip LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections is beyond dangerous and cruel. We must make sure that every person can access the health care they need to stay safe and healthy, and that’s what I’ll keep pushing for,” said Caucus Co-Chair Rep Sharice Davids.

 

“It is unacceptable to leverage a pandemic to push a political agenda while putting the health and well-being of millions at risk,” said Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Chris Pappas. “This administration’s relentless efforts to strip LGBTQ individuals of their basic rights will have devastating implications that reach far beyond the LGBTQ community. All future COVID-19 relief and recovery legislation must extend protections to all Americans, including LGBTQ individuals, if we want to get our communities and our country back on track.”

The Equality Caucus had recently sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, raising concerns about the impact of coronavirus and the LGBTQ+ community and the need for nondiscrimination language in future legislation. During the coronavirus crisis, Caucus leadership has been engaged on multiple fronts – including efforts to revise the “blood ban,” the ongoing detention of HIV+ asylum-seekers and the rise in anti-Asian-American discrimination.

 

Please contact Shawn Gaylord at 202-257-8416 or shawn.gaylord@mail.house.gov with press inquiries.

 

Founded in 2008, the mission of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The Caucus, which is led by the seven openly LGBTQ+ members of Congress, is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. and around the world.

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