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Gender-Affirming Care Can't Be Denied by Employer, Federal Court Rules

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ruling Thursday in the case of Lange v. Houston County. Anna Lange, a sheriff’s deputy in Houston County, Ga., sued in 2019 because she had been repeatedly denied insurance coverage for gender-affirming care under the county’s employee health plan.Lange came out to her colleagues and supervisors as a transgender woman in 2017, after having worked for the county since 2006.

In seeking the care she was prescribed by her doctor, she found out that the health plan excluded gender-confirmation procedures.“Lange and her attorneys repeatedly attempted to persuade her employer to reconsider its decision, testifying before the Houston County Board of Commissioners and filing charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” says a press release from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which represented her along with various other attorneys.Treadwell ruled that denial of this coverage violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

He drew on the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that Title VII, in banning sex discrimination, bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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