One Colorado Statement on Rollback of ‘Religious Conscience’ Rule

Denver, CO — One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families released the following statement from Executive Director Daniel Ramos on the Southern District of New York district court blocking the Trump administration’s ‘Religious Conscience’ rule.

“We are pleased to see the rejection of this rule, which would allow discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, among other factors that healthcare providers may consider against their religious beliefs. Every individual deserves access to quality, affirming healthcare. While blocking this rule is important, we are aware of the work that remains to be done to ensure that the lived experience of LGBTQ people in healthcare is equitable to that of their non-LGBTQ peers.” Executive Director Daniel Ramos

One Colorado conducted a comparative LGBTQ health assessment during the summer of 2018 and released the results earlier this year in Closing the Gap: The Turning Point for LGBTQ Health. The findings highlight trends in the experiences of LGBTQ Coloradans accessing health care compared to 2011. One in three transgender Coloradans have been denied coverage for an LGBTQ-specific medical service, like HIV medications, hormones, PrEP, PEP, HPV vaccine, and medically-necessary, gender affirming care. Fewer people are out to their provider in 2018, and the most commonly cited reasons for such are fear of discrimination and worry that their providers are not supportive of LGBTQ people.

A Trump administration rule allowing health care workers to refuse to treat LGBTQ patients was blocked on Wednesday after a district court ruled it unconstitutional.

In a 147-page decision, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York claimed that guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allowing hospitals and clinics to deny care on the basis of religious beliefs conflicts with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids discrimination on the basis of race and sex.