Early Friday morning, Tom Price was confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services. We’ve written before about how Price is no ally to the LGBT community.
He once claimed that laws that promote LGBT equality “should take into account the tremendous medical health impact and economic impact that promoting such a lifestyle will result in.” And last year, Price defended an Atlanta fire chief who equated homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality.
This man—who has a 0% rating from the HRC, and supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman—will now be responsible for the health of the nation, including LGBT Americans.
Price voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act, calling it “’thought crimes’ legislation” and an “absolute disgrace.” (Thankfully, it passed anyway.)
He also opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have provided workplace protections to LGBT people, and against the Violence Against Women Act, which included protections for LGBT victims of domestic violence. He also voted to defund Planned Parenthood, repeatedly voted to restrict abortion access, and supports the repeal of Obamacare.
Price called the Obama administration’s directive for schools to allow trans students access to restrooms corresponding with their gender identity an “abuse and overreach of power,”. He even opposed repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
The LGBT community faces greater health risks and higher rates of stigma and discrimination from health professionals. As Secretary of Health, Price will have the ability to change policy in myriad ways that could negatively affect the health and wellbeing of our community.