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Texas Federal Judge Denies Obama Administration Bill for Transgender Health Protections

Photo Courtesy of the National Center for Transgender Equality

As the campaign for the equal opportunities of the LGBTQ+ community parades forward into the rosy-cheeked, doe-eyed year of 2017, the malignant crusade of anti-LGBTQ+ parties—chiefly, that of United States’ government authorities—uncompromisingly rampages.

An adversely up-to-the-minute materialization of the federalized discrimination and prejudice has pioneered upon December 31st, 2016, within The Lone Star State, when U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor legislated a temporary injunction to bar a President Barack Obama administration decree to fortify the protection of healthcare for transgender individuals.

Social and political conservatives—including Judge O’Connor himself—and devout medical organizations have disputed that the medical treatment of transgender civilians may impel medical professionals operating on gender transitions to “violate their religious beliefs.”

Unfortunately, as a result of Judge O’Connor’s allowance of ill-founded targeted bias toward transgender persons, doctors, nurses, and any alternatively trained practitioners are facilitated to reject transgender healthcare ranging on an expansive spectrum of severity from an atrocious influenza diagnosis, to a shattered bone, or an emergency circumstance.

The Guardian documented that, “[Judge] O’Connor wrote in a 46-page ruling that the rules ‘likely violate’ the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and ‘places substantial pressure on plaintiffs to perform and cover transition and abortion procedures’.”

The aforementioned Religious Freed0m Restoration Act was ratified under former-democratic President Bill Clinton’s administration within 1993, and was ordained to allegedly safeguard “persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.”

However, civil rights advocacy assemblies have vocalized their recommendation to enact President Obama’s newfound healthcare regulations, coining the political progression as “groundbreaking anti-discrimination protections.”  The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund notably affirmed that via the United States Health and Human Services, medical professionals, hospital establishments, and insurers would be held accountable for their discriminatory behavior toward transgender patients by the violation of the Affordable Care Act.

Since Judge O’Connor’s injunction and subsequent address, where he publicized that, “Plaintiffs will be forced to either violate their religious beliefs or maintain their current policies which seem to be in direct conflict with the Rule and risk the severe consequences of enforcement,” The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund has sought to condemn the conduct of a government chair.  The foundation has pronounced that it contraries pre-occurring law, and is optimistic the verdict will be overturned upon appeal.

Ezra Young, the director or impact litigation with the organization, denounced that, “Judge O’Connor’s conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant.”

However, Judge O’Connor is not a foreigner to anti-LGBTQIPA ideologies, for within August of 2016, he inscribed a prior injunction regarding a high-profile federal directive that mandated public schools permit transgender students to utilize restrooms according to their respective gender identities.

“At the time, [Judge] O’Connor wrote in that case that the federal education law known as Title IX ‘is not ambiguous’ about sex being defined as ‘the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.'”

Alongside the American state of Texas within the quarrel to challenge the transgender populace on their basic human rights within the healthcare system are Wisconsin, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Kansas.  Furthermore, the Christian Medical and Dental Association, Franciscan Alliance, and an Indiana network of faith-based hospital institutions are incorporated in the controversy as well.

Unfavorably, Texan Congress does not envision suspending their animosity.  Ensuing the nationwide contention with reference to North Carolina’s “bathroom bill”, HB2, Texas is strategizing an akin minefield for impending legislative seminars: the “Women’s Privacy Act.”

“Lieutenant governor Dan Patrick included it at [number six] in a list of [ten] priorities.”

North Carolina’s enactment, respectively, disallows individuals to employ a public facility unless it is legally uniform with the assigned sex on one’s birth certificate.

“[The bill] remains on the books after a bipartisan attempt to repeal it collapsed this month.”

If you are seeking a means of reform within the consideration of transgender citizens, visit The National Center for Transgender Equality to contribute.  Moreover, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) supplies its traffic with a multitude of resources to harness.

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Alexandria Piette
Written By

A seventeen-year old staff writer and associate art director for Affinity Magazine originating from The Mitten, USA, who’s merely venturing to save the world (among alternative endeavors). Is starry-eyed by the assortment of shapes and sizes of social justice, being an unadulterated bookworm, harmonizing the occasional tune in the shower, and viewing the multitudinous seasons of Supernatural. Is essentially a local time warrior contending the cosmos one emotional codependency after another.

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