Family Equality Council Commends HHS For Issuing Final Rule Protecting LGBTQ People From Discrimination In Healthcare

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule protecting all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and their families from discrimination in health care environments. Under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health facilities, programs, and activities receiving federal funding may not deny insurance coverage or care on the basis of, among other things, sex and gender identity and expression. The policies apply to providers and insurance carriers that serve millions of people. In addition, these protections extend to the families and loved ones of LGBTQ individuals, who may face discrimination because of their close association.

Emily Hecht-McGowan, Interim Co-Executive Director and Director of Public Policy at Family Equality Council, released the following statement: “This final rule provides critical protections for LGBTQ people and their families, who routinely face barriers to coverage and care. We have worked with HHS and our national partners to ensure these nondiscrimination protections are as broad as possible. No person or family should ever have to worry about accessing comprehensive and culturally competent care. The new HHS rule unequivocally states that transgender people cannot be denied care and must be treated consistent with their gender identity. And while the regulation falls short of providing the same protections for discrimination based on sexual orientation, clear prohibitions against sex stereotyping provide substantial protections to lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Any person who has experienced discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity should immediately file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.”

For TV, newspaper and web interviews with Hecht-McGowan, contact Media Manager Bradley Jacobs at 917-324-8771 or via email at


About Family Equality Council: Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the three million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer in this country today and their six million children of all ages. We are changing attitudes and policies to ensure that all families are respected, loved, and celebrated—including families with parents who are LGBTQ. We are a community of parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren that reaches across this country. For over 30 years we have raised our children and raised our voices toward fairness for all families.