Jun 16, 2020
AARP Comments on SCOTUS Ruling, HHS Policy Change Concerning Protections for LGBT Americans

WASHINGTON—Today AARP released a statement from Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the federal health department’s rollback of key protections under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

“AARP is pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of protecting the rights of LGBT employees. By ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes sexual orientation and gender identity under its definition of ‘sex,’ millions of LGBT workers, including older LGBT workers, are covered by the safeguards against employment discrimination under federal law.

“Last year, AARP and AARP Foundation joined other groups in filing a friend-of-the-court brief to argue that the Court should adopt this interpretation. In the brief, we noted ‘one in five older LGBT adults reported recent involuntary job loss due at least in part to their perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, and older LGBT workers postpone retirement at a higher rate than the general population, likely due to a lifetime of economic disadvantage.’

“This ruling will help to protect the livelihoods and employment opportunities of our 900,000 self-identified LGBT members.

“At the same time, we are disappointed by the recent rollback of key LGBT protections by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which on Friday finalized proposed changes to Section 1557 of the ACA.  The policy change – in direct contrast to the Supreme Court ruling -- eliminates specific references to sexual orientation and gender identity from nondiscrimination requirements covering state policy planning, Medicaid managed care plans and more.”

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

For further information: Daniel Alarcón, AARP, 202-538-0105, dalarcon@aarp.org