Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling confirming that employees cannot be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is a welcome victory for both public health and the rights of LGBTQ Americans.

APHA is grateful that a majority of justices in the nation’s highest court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends protections to this population, including people who are transgender.

"Discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity is abhorrent in all aspects of society, including employment and health care,” said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, in a statement issued yesterday. “We welcome this progress in the fight for equality and health equity.”

APHA is calling on policymakers to take further steps to protect the health and well-being of people who are transgender in light of a June 12 rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule, which purports to protect civil rights, strips protections from discrimination in health care from people who are transgender.

“We cannot and will not stand for policies that permit discrimination against Americans based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Benjamin said. “Discrimination is a significant threat to health, and APHA will continue to advocate for policies to protect LGBTQ Americans from this offense in all facets of society.”