Tuesday, May 21, 2024

We Won One!

It seems that at least in court we are winning, one case at a time but for those involved in the case it is a major victory!
Denying gender-affirming care coverage violates federal law, says appeals court
The 11th Circuit made the ruling in the case of Houston County, Ga., sheriff's deputy Anna Lange.
The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
May 14, 2024

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Houston County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office violated antidiscrimination law by denying transition-related health care to a deputy.

Anna Lange sued in 2019 because she had been repeatedly denied insurance coverage for gender-affirming care under the county’s employee health plan. A U.S. district court in Georgia ruled in 2022 that the denial violated federal civil rights law, and Monday a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11 Circuit affirmed that ruling.

It is only the second decision by a federal appellate court affirming that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against transgender people in an employee health plan, the first being a recent decision on North Carolina's plan for state employees. It is immediately binding on employers in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, the states covered by the 11th Circuit, notes a press release from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is representing Lange along with a private law firm.

The ABA Journal reported,
The decision is the first time that a federal appeals court has held that employers can’t discriminate against transgender people in employee health plans, according to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.

In another decision issued April 29, a different federal appeals court ruled that a ban on gender-affirming care by state-operated health care plans in North Carolina and West Virginia violated the equal protection clause. The 4th Circuit at Richmond, Virginia, said the health plans discriminated on the basis of sex and gender.

In the Georgia case, Lange’s health care provider had determined that a vaginoplasty was medically necessary after she came out as transgender in 2017, 11 years after she began work for the Houston County, Georgia, sheriff’s office.

The employee health plan refused to pay for the surgery under an exclusion for sex-change drugs, services and supplies.
Metro Weekly looked at it from a different angle,
A Georgia County Spent Millions to Deny a Trans Deputy Health Care. It Failed.
A federal appeals court rebuffed a Georgia county's attempt to avoid providing insurance coverage to a transgender sheriff's deputy.
By John Riley
May 17, 2024


As of 2023, Houston County had spent nearly $1.2 million fighting against providing insurance coverage for gender-affirming care — three times the county’s annual physical and mental health budget, according to ProPublica, and more than the estimated $20,000 that it would have spent to cover Lange’s requested surgical procedures. The legal costs have only continued to escalate since then.
It is the principle that counts… not the money! We want to discriminate against people we don’t like and we don’t care how much it costs the taxpayers.
Unfortunately this is not the only case and the legislatures are not about to listen to the courts... they are above the law!
AP News
January 11, 2024

Republican-led state legislatures are considering a new round of bills restricting medical care for transgender youths — and in some cases, adults — returning to the issue the year after a wave of high-profile bills became law and sparked lawsuits.

As legislatures begin their work for the year, lawmakers in several states have proposed enacting or strengthening restrictions on puberty-blocking drugs and hormone treatments for minors. Bills to govern the pronouns kids can use at school, which sports teams students can play on, and the bathrooms they can use are back, as well, along with efforts to restrict drag performances and some books and school curriculums.


They include Mandy Wong, a mother in Santa Barbara, California, who said she’s tired of conservative politicians using transgender children as “campaign fuel.” While she doesn’t expect such a policy to pass in her Democrat-led state, Wong said, her child and his friends feel emotionally drained.

It will all boil down to one court and one ruling because this is heading to the Supreme Court! 
Nationwide, challenges to laws already in place are moving closer to the U.S. Supreme Court. The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the court to block restrictions on care for youths in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is also considering Arkansas’ request to reverse a ruling that struck down the state’s first-in-the-nation ban on gender-affirming care for youths.

Federal rulings against the bans so far have come from judges appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents.
They lost every case that they brought against us but that doesn’t matter to the Republicans what counts are the brownie points that they get the right-wing voters. But the Supreme Court hasn't heard the case yet.

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