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HHS Response 1557 7 12 12

HHS Response 1557 7 12 12

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Published by: Chris Geidner on Aug 06, 2012
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4
DEPARTMENT
OF
HEALTH
&HUMAN
SERVICES
Officeofthe
Secretary
DirectorOfficefor
Civil
Rights
Washington,
D.C.
20201
July
12,
2012
Maya
Rupert,
Esq.
Federal
Policy
Director
National
Center
for
Lesbian
Rights
1325Massachusetts
Ave.
NW,
Suite
700
WashingtonDC
20005
OCRTransactionNumber:
12-000800
DearMs.
Rupert:
Thankyou
for
yourletter
to
Secretary
Kathleen
Sebelius,
which
was
forwarded
for
reply
to
the
U.S.Department
of
Health
and
Human
Services
(HITS),
Office
for
Civil
Rights
(OCR).
In
your
letter,
you
requested
thatwe
issueguidance
clarifying
that
sex-based
discrimination
includes
discrimination
onthebasis
of
gender
identity
andsex
stereotypes
under
Section
1557
of
the
Affordable
Care
Act.Asyou
may
know,OCR
enforcesSection
1557
of
the
Affordable
Care
Act
(42
U.S.C.
18116),
which
providesthat
an
individual
shall
not
be
excluded
from
participation
in,
be
deniedthe
benefitsof,
or
be
subjected
to
discrimination
onthe
grounds
prohibited
under
Title
VI
of
the
Civil
Rights
Act
of
1964,42
U.S.C.
2000d
et
seq.
(race,
color,
national
origin),Title
IX
of
the
EducationAmendments
of
1972,20U.S.C.
1681
et
seq.
(sex),the
Age
Discrimination
Act
of
1975,
42U.S.C.
6101
etseq.
(age),orSection
504
of
the
Rehabilitation
Act
of
1973,29
U.S.C.
794
(disability),
under
any
healthprogramor
activity,
anypart
of
which
is
receiving
Federal
financial
assistance,
or
underanyprogramor
activity
that
is
administered
by
an
ExecutiveAgency
or
any
entity
established
under
Title
I
of
the
Affordable
Care
Act
or
its
amendments.
OCR
has
enforcement
authority
with
respect
tohealthprograms
and
activitiesthat
receiveFederal
financial
assistance
from
HHS
or
are
administered
by
HHS
or
any
entity
established
under
Title
I
of
the
Affordable
Care
Act
or
its
amendments.
We
agree
thatSection
1557’s
sex
discrimination
prohibition
extends
toclaims
of
discrimination
based
on
gender
identity
or
failure
to
conform
tostereotypicalnotions
of
masculinity
or
femininity
and
will
acceptsuch
complaints
for
investigation.
Section
1557also
prohibits
sexualharassment
and
discrimination
regardless
of
the
actual
or
perceived
sexual
orientation
or
gender
identity
of
the
individuals
involved.
TheHHSOCR
is
currently
accepting
and
investigating
complaints
filed
underSection
1557.
Wethoroughlyreview
each
complaint
received;
employ
a
case-by-caseanalysis
of
thefacts
and
the
relevant
law;
make
a
carefully
considered
decisionon
jurisdiction;
and
whenwarranted,
issuea
 
Page2—
Ms.
Maya
Rupertfmclingthat
discrimination
has
(or
has
not)
occurred.TheFINS
OCR
intends
to
issue
future
guidanceon
Section
1557.
Until
then,
to
make
sure
individuals,community
organizations
and
providers
knowtheir
rights
and
responsibilities,
we
ask
you
tohelppromoteourwebsite,
www.hhs.govlocr,
and:
Learn
about
and
connect
with
any
one
of
ourten
OCR
regionaloffices
http://www.hhs.
gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hgaddresses.html
Learn
how
to
file
a
complaint
with
OCR
if
you
think
your
rights
have
been
violatedhttp://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/complaints/index.html
Visit
the
HHSOCR
You
Tubechannel(search
for
HHS
OCR)
for
additional
videosontopics
like
“Your
HealthInformation,
Your
Rights”
or“Communicating
with
Family,
Friends
and
others
Involved
in
Your
Care”.
I
also
wantto
underscore
what
we
discussedandshared
duringOCR’s
January30,2012
LGBT/HTV
Stakeholders
Listening
Session:
my
office
is
continuing
and
will
continueto
increase
our
outreachand
education
efforts
with
individuals,
community
organizations
and
providersregarding
their
rights
and
responsibilities
underSection
1557.
The
Office
for
Civil
Rights
isabsolutely
committed
to
working
with
individuals
andadvocates
to
improving
thehealth
and
well-being
of
members
of
the
lesbian,gay,
bisexual
and
transgender
communities,
and
of
course,
the
commitmentto
sincerely
engage
and
partner
with
the
LGBT
community
is
a
Department-widecommitment
as
demonstrated
by
the
Secretary
(see
http://www.hhs.
gov/secretary/aboutllgbthealth.html)
and
the
2012
HHS
LGBT
Coordinating
CommitteeReport
which
is
available
at
http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/about/20
1
2lgbt
an
rpt.pdf.Again,thankyou
for
your
leadershipon
these
critical
mattersto
the
LGBT
conununity
and
for
your
very
thoughtful
letter,
and
we
look
forward
to
our
growing
partnership
and
work
together.
Sincere1y~
 
Page
3
Ms.
Maya
Rupert
cc:
Michael
Adams,
Esq.
ExecutiveDirector
SAGE:
Services
and
Advocacy
forGLBT
Elderly
305
7thAvenue,
15th
Floor
NewYork,
NY
10001
Eliza
Byard,
Ph.D.
Executive
Director
Gay,
Lesbian
&
Straight
Education
Network
90
Broad
Street,
2nd
FloorNew
York,
NY
10004
Leslie
Calman,
Ph.D.
Executive
Director
The
MautnerProject
1300
19th
Street,
N.W.,
Suite700
Washington,
DC
20036
Rea
Carey,
M.P.A.
Executive
Director
National
Gay
and
Lesbian
TaskForce
1325
Massachusetts
Ave.,
N.W.,
Suite
600
Washington,
DC
20005
Kevin
M.
Cathcart,
Esq.
Executive
Director
Lambda
Legal
120
Wall
Street,
19th
Floor
New
York,
NY
10005-3904Chad
Griffin
President
HumanRights
Campaign
1640
RhodeIsland
Ave.,
N.W.
Washington,
DC
20036-3278

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