This Week’s Developments in LGBTQ Nondiscrimination

December 14, 2018 • 1:49 pm

Administration asks SCOTUS to allow trans military ban to take effect; FFAA & state leaders preview 2019 legislative landscape

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to let the transgender military ban take effect while ongoing legal challenges play out in court. Four lower courts have already upheld a block on the ban; if a federal appeals court decides to uphold it as well, the administration’s last option will be a ruling from the Supreme Court. USA Today reports one third of transgender Americans face some sort of health care discrimination. And FFAA has your preview of the 2019 legislative session, which will likely see positive momentum for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in several states. Freedom for All Americans’ Weekly LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Update has all the latest developments that should be on your radar:

Administration asks SCOTUS to allow trans military ban to take effect:
The Justice Department filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court last night, arguing that the ban on open military service for transgender Americans should take effect while challenges to it play out in court. The administration filed this request for a stay even as it awaits a decision from the justices on its request for the court to bypass federal appellate courts and grant review in these cases. Developments in one or both of these requests is expected in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals held oral argument Monday in one of the cases attempting to block President Trump’s ban, and we are awaiting a ruling in a separate case from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Since President Trump’s initial announcement of the ban on Twitter in July 2017, the proposed policy has been halted in court more than a half a dozen times. With the ban tied up in court, thousands of active duty transgender servicemembers are continuing to serve their country.

To get a better sense of how transgender Americans and service members experience discrimination every single day, please visit Faces of Freedom – a new LGBTQ movement-wide resource that elevates the stories of LGBTQ people and allies.

Stories of transgender service members include:

Ryan Karnoski

Regan Kibby

Kai Alexander

MoHogani Magnatek

Lindsey Muller

FFAA Previews the 2019 State Legislative Landscape:
Freedom for All Americans has released a new 2019 legislative analysis that previews some of the opportunities to advance nondiscrimination in states across the nation. The 2019 legislative session will offer LGBTQ advocates the opportunity to advance proactive nondiscrimination protections in several state legislatures – New York, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida – while generating momentum for action at the federal level. The incoming U.S. House majority has already indicated they plan to prioritize a federal nondiscrimination bill in the coming session, and Freedom for All Americans (FFAA) will be organizing its work in several priority states to ensure progress at the local and state levels translates into energy for advancing a federal bill in Congress. FFAA’s CEO, Masen Davis released the following statement previewing the new year:

Freedom for All Americans was founded with a singular goal in mind: to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans are protected from discrimination, no matter which state they call home,” said Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans. “Making progress in state legislatures is one of the most important ways to set the stage for a comprehensive federal nondiscrimination law that protects LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public spaces. By bringing our battle-tested playbook to states like Virginia, New York, and Florida, we can build the momentum needed to secure lasting liberty for the LGBTQ community.

One in Three Transgender Americans Face Discrimination in Health Care:
It’s estimated around one third of transgender Americans face discrimination from their health care providers. That number, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s U.S. Trans Survey was included in a USA Today report outlining specific cases of health care discrimination. USA Today reports transgender Americans are more likely to have doctors deny service and travel long distances for basic care. Sections of the Affordable Care Act prohibit insurance companies from discrimination against transgender people, however organizations like the National Center for Transgender Equality say discrimination is still common.

Faces of Freedom is a new resource that brings together powerful messengers and stories of discrimination, creating a one-stop resource for reporters, policymakers, advocates, and others who need to harness the power of storytelling and the diversity of the LGBTQ community. It includes more than 350 stories from nearly every state and will be continue to expand in the coming months. You’ll meet LGBTQ people who have faced discrimination, family members and friends who support their LGBTQ loved ones, and community members like business leaders and small business owners, people of faith and clergy, and Americans across the political spectrum who all support full equality under the law for LGBTQ people.

Freedom for All Americans is working to secure comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for all LGBTQ Americans, no matter which state they call home. For more information on state-specific legislation, or to browse our stories of discrimination, please visit

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