Metro Weekly

Joe Biden, Ariana Grande, Anne Hathaway and other celebrities condemn Trump’s rollback of LGBTQ health care protections

HHS's revised rule on sex-based discrimination also flies in the face of the Supreme Court's views on sex discrimination

Joe Biden, Ariana Grande, Anne Hathaway, trans, health care, trump

Joe Biden – Photo: Gage Skidmore

A number of public figures and celebrities have slammed President Donald Trump for a new rule removing LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in health care and insurance.

The rule, announced last week, redefines the Affordable Care Act’s prohibitions on discrimination “on the basis of sex” by explicitly declaring that sex is meant to be interpreted according to its “plain meaning” — or in other word’s a person’s biological sex at birth.

Read moreTrump administration eliminates transgender protections from Affordable Care Act

On Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, took to Twitter to criticize the Trump administration for its efforts.

“We need a president who will fight to further LGBTQ+ equality — not roll back the hard-won progress we’ve already made,” Biden tweeted

Singer Ariana Grande shared a screenshot of an NPR headline reading: “Breaking: The Trump administration just finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in health care and health insurance” on her Instagram, and wrote “Disgusting” in response, before sharing it, Metro reports.

Photo: Ariana Grande/Instagram.

Actress Anne Hathaway took to Instagram to condemn the administration’s move, writing: “In the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of Pride Month, on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, on the week Riah Milton and Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells — two Black Trans Women — were murdered, Donald Trump erased Transgender civil rights protections in healthcare.

“I am as angry as I have ever been,” Hathaway added. “Vote him — and all the heartless cowards that support him — out. To my Trans brothers and sisters: I am so sorry. I am so, so sorry. I love you, I stand with you, I will fight this alongside you. #VOTE.”

Other celebrities also weighed in, with singer Tinashe writing “This is unacceptable” on Twitter and linking to the same NPR story shared by Grande.

Actress Laverne Cox took to Twitter, writing: “It’s #pride month and this is what the federal government delivers to the #lgbtqia+ community.”

Wilson Cruz, Gabrielle Union, and George Takei were some of the other celebrities condemning the move.

The revised Trump administration rule also conflicts with the rationale used in the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday, in which the court found that discrimination against a person solely on the basis of their sex, compared to a similarly-situated person of a different sex, constitutes sex discrimination.

While Monday’s ruling only dealt with workplace discrimination, the same concept applies to a health care setting: if a person is discriminated against because their gender identity doesn’t align with their biological sex at birth, and that was the factor that determined whether they were denied care or coverage, it constitutes sex discrimination — the exact interpretation embraced by the Obama administration.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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