Metro Weekly

Tom Price, Trump’s newly confirmed health secretary, opposes LGBTQ rights

Price is a threat to LGBTQ rights and healthcare

Tom Price – Photo: Gage Skidmore.

Rep. Tom Price was last night confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services in a 52-47 vote. For LGBTQ people, this represents a major issue.

Last year, we gave then-nominee Price our highest rating — Scorched Earth — for the threat he posed to LGBTQ rights.

A noted conservative, Price boasts a 0% rating for his voting record on the Human Rights Campaign’s congressional scorecard, thanks to his voting against an LGBTQ-inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act, against workplace protections for LGBTQ employees, and against LGBTQ-inclusive hate crime protections.

He opposes same-sex marriage, stating that the day the Supreme Court affirmed marriage equality was “not only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.”

Price further believes that the LGBTQ lifestyle is more conducive to health problems that may eventually cost government money. He has suggested that any social legislation, such as bills to advance LGBT rights, not be passed until a thorough examination has been completed of the cost of potential health problems that could arise from “promoting” homosexuality.

He also sponsored the First Amendment Defense Act, which would give businesses and individuals the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people — including denying them goods and services — for religious reasons.

As head of Health and Human Services, Price could be influenced by his extreme views and reduce LGBT-related research or HIV-related research. As a fierce opponent of the Affordable Care Act, should Price help repeal the legislation, LGBT people with pre-existing conditions or low-income people who get their insurance — and subsidies to pay for it — through the Obamacare health exchanges would suffer.

In a statement after Price’s confirmation, HRC President Chad Griffin said Price has “shown alarming disregard for LGBTQ people, and for the health challenges we face.”

The fact of the matter is that too many LGBTQ people are still denied care, denied visitation rights, and are treated unfairly by their providers,” he continued. “The Trump Administration has floated executive order language that would allow the government to bankroll discrimination in all of those areas — and Tom Price’s alarming record shows that he’s the perfect rubber stamp for the president’s shameful proposals.

“When it comes to the health of our community, we’re not going back. We will not give one inch on the progress we’ve made in the last 8 years.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.