SANTA CLARA COUNTY (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County and the City of Chicago filed an amicus curiae brief Friday on behalf of a coalition of 31 local governments defending the rights of LGBTQ people to access health care without fear of discrimination.  

The brief urges a federal court to block a rule change to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by Pres. Donald Trump’s administration that would eliminate nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in health care settings.

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The Trump administration’s rule, scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 18, removes explicit protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex stereotyping. The administration created the new rule only a few days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision holding that discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation is unlawful sex-based discrimination.

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“Limiting access to health care is just wrong – plain and simple,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian. “The Administration’s removal of sexual orientation and gender identity from the definition of prohibited sex discrimination when updating Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act Rules is unconscionable. And it’s illegal.”

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The rule is projected to affect 1.4 million transgender adults and 150,000 transgender teens, including as many as 3,500 transgender patients in Santa Clara County.