This week — on the fourth anniversary of a mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, at an LGBTQ-oriented night club, no less — the Trump administration finalized a rollback of a rule from the Obama era that protected transgender patients from discrimination in medical facilities. The removal of anti-discrimination protections for transgender patients is the latest in a long line of steps that the Trump team has undertaken in an attempt to smooth the way for anti-LGBTQ, far-right conservatives — including those in the medical profession, apparently — in the name of so-called “religious freedom.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) spoke out against the protection rollback and vowed to fight the move.
It’s no coincidence that Donald Trump announced a rollback of anti-discrimination protections for transgender patients on the anniversary of the Pulse massacre just like it’s no coincidence that he scheduled a rally in Tulsa on the Juneteenth holiday. The cruelty is intentional.
— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) June 13, 2020
She posted on Twitter:
‘The Trump Administration‘s decision to eliminate protections for transgender patients is simply wrong. I’ll work to overturn this discriminatory policy.’
The Trump Administration‘s decision to eliminate protections for transgender patients is simply wrong. I’ll work to overturn this discriminatory policy.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) June 13, 2020
The allowance for discrimination against LGBTQ people in medical facilities is not the first step that the Trump administration has undertaken against the community. For example, they’ve also worked to punitively ban transgender people from openly serving in the military. NBC reported as recently as April of this year that standing Trump administration policy meant that “transgender individuals would have to forgo gender-affirming health care and serve in the military according to their sex assigned at birth, not their preferred gender, a situation that is untenable for many, if not most, trans people.”
The Trump administration has finalized a regulation that overturns Obama-era protections for transgender people against sex discrimination in health care. The policy shift defines gender as a person's biological sex. https://t.co/gvYFzeeOcK
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 12, 2020
Collins didn’t exactly spell out a plan for working to “overturn” the Trump administration’s decision to essentially allow discrimination against transgender patients. Meanwhile, other leaders in Congress have been a lot more direct in their condemnations of the Trump administration’s decision to allow discrimination against transgender patients. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), for instance, commented:
‘How cruel do you have to be to announce a roll back of health protections for transgender Americans in the middle of a global pandemic, in the middle of #PrideMonth, and on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting?!’
How cruel do you have to be to announce a roll back of health protections for transgender Americans in the middle of a global pandemic, in the middle of #PrideMonth, and on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting?!https://t.co/Y78yHofYGe
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 12, 2020
Check out Twitter’s response to Collins below. Since she has a history of capitulating to the president and party line, not everyone trusted that she’d deliver on her promise to fight discrimination.