Gov. Jared Polis spoke out strongly Friday night about the Trump administration's plans to roll back civil rights protections in health care for transgender people, as the governor's office characterized it.
“My administration is committed to building a Colorado for All where everyone can be proud of who they are, and no one faces discrimination for who they love or how they identify," said Colorado's first gay governor. "We are in the midst of a global pandemic and this dangerous move could discourage Americans from seeking access to quality medical care or a COVID-19 test, which could increase the transmission of the virus or endanger the health of others.
"In Colorado, we are going to remain vigilant to safeguard the rights and protections we have fought so hard to gain. While the Trump administration wants to take our country backward and discriminate against transgender individuals for health care, Colorado law continues to protect Coloradans from such discrimination.”
The Trump administration repealed part of the Affordable Care Act's protections against LGBTQ discrimination in health care and health insurance.
The state's largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Coloradans also criticized the move, citing June as national Pride month and the fourth anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
One Colorado called it another rollback of protections for LGBTQ Americans.
"In the height of a global pandemic — when LGBTQ people are already at-risk — this rule will allow health care providers to deny LGBTQ Americans the health care they need," executive director Daniel Ramos said in a statement Friday evening. "Despite these federal rollbacks, protections in Colorado remain for plans regulated by the Division of Insurance - which prohibits discrimination based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. One Colorado will continue to advocate for comprehensive protections so that no one can be denied the care they need.”
The move is the latest in a series by the administration to narrow the definition of sex discrimination, which would exclude protections for transgender people.