The Justice Department announced today that it issued a letter to all state attorneys general reminding them of federal constitutional and statutory provisions that protect transgender youth against discrimination, including when those youth seek gender-affirming care.
“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that all children are able to live free from discrimination, abuse and harassment,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Today’s letter reaffirms state and local officials’ obligation to ensure that their laws and policies do not undermine or harm the health and safety of children, regardless of a child’s gender identity.”
The letter advises states that laws and policies that prevent individuals from receiving gender-affirming medical care may infringe on federal constitutional protections under the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The letter also discusses federal statutes that impose nondiscrimination obligations, including Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The letter was issued on the International Transgender Day of Visibility in recognition of the contributions and accomplishments of transgender and gender non-conforming people, as well as their continued struggle to live free from violence and discrimination.
A copy of today’s letter can be found here. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division’s work to uphold and protect the civil and constitutional rights of LGBTQI+ individuals is available online at https://www.justice.gov/crt/lgbtqi-working-group. Complaints about discriminatory practices may be reported to the Civil Rights Division through its internet reporting portal at https://civilrights.justice.gov.