The Aware Advocate
Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director of Policy and Practice
June 15, 2020
The Supreme Court issued a wonderful decision today, BOSTOCK v. CLAYTON COUNTY, GEORGIA, today that guarantees LGBTQ citizens to have the right to work regardless of their sexual orientation or gender. This decision holds that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII. CSWA is in complete support of equal rights for LGBTQ people and we are delighted at this decision. It is notable that the majority decision was issued by Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was widely seen as having conservative views that might have made him unlikely to lead this decision. To read the complete decision go to https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf .
In an incredible and terrible coincidence, HHS issued a rule last Friday that undoes an Obama-administration policy that had redefined “sex” to include “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy” for purposes of nondiscrimination under the Affordable Care Act.
Section 1557 of Obamacare prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in health-related programs or activities. Near the end of President Obama’s second term, his HHS Department released a regulation redefining “sex” for the purposes of Section 1557 to include “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy.” As a result of the rule that HHS released, that regulation has been reversed and “sex” once again refers only to biological sex. This entire new rule may be found at https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/06/12/hhs-finalizes-rule-section-1557-protecting-civil-rights-healthcare.html This rule will almost certainly be challenged, especially in light of the Supreme Court decision today.
Finally to end on a more positive note, please read the CSWA statement on “Stopping Aggression in our Communities” by CSWA President Britni Brown at https://www.clinicalsocialworkassociation.org/Announcements/9010566 CSWA will be doing many webinars and statements to address the ways that black lives are demeaned, attacked, and harmed.
Another article that calls attention to these issues by Linda Michaels, PhD, Co-Chair of the Psychotherapy Advocacy Network (PsiAN) is ”@Whatsinahashtag@We’reallinthistogether?” which can be found at https://medium.com/@psian/whats-in-a-hashtag-we-reallinthistogether-7928adf5d756?sk=9276106ac0a81675e27e67f54751a8f8 It succinctly and heartbreakingly illustrates the ways that black Chicagoans have had decades of inferior public services, culminating in a much higher incidence of death among black citizens.
Stay safe and well in these perilous times.
Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice
Clinical Social Work AssociationThe National Voice of Clinical Social Work
PO Box 105Granville, Ohio 43023