Attorney General Amicus: Court Should Protect the Rights of Transgender Americans

Attorney General Brown Joins Multistate Brief to Oppose Discrimination in Healthcare

BALTIMORE, MD (May 2, 2023) – Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown today announced joining a multistate coalition of nine Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief in Dekker v. Weida in support of transgender rights and equal access to healthcare. The brief, filed before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, supports transgender individuals challenging an administrative rule for gender-affirming care by the State of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. The newly adopted Florida rule prohibits Medicaid coverage of services for the treatment of gender dysphoria, which was previously available to transgender individuals.

“For as long as I’ve been advocating for access to quality, affordable healthcare, I have always stated that healthcare is a right and that means that denying access to that care based on gender identification is a violation of a civil right,” said Attorney General Brown. “To specifically target people who rely on Medicaid for healthcare is not only appalling, it is discriminatory. I will always fight for equal access to healthcare for everyone.”

The brief argues that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida should reject the Florida rule that categorically excludes Medicaid healthcare services to individuals who are medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The coalition argues that discrimination against transgender people causes tangible economic, emotional, and health consequences. The brief also highlights the efforts of states across the country to protect transgender healthcare rights, including prohibiting healthcare discrimination on the basis of transgender identity and ensuring that states apply Medicaid regulations to cover gender-affirming care.

These policies have categorically improved the wellbeing of transgender people, reducing the risk of substance abuse, depression, and other health-related issues. Transgender people are more likely to experience poverty and difficulty accessing medical services, often relying on Medicaid as their only option for health insurance. The states argue that the Florida rule permits discrimination, and the states’ overwhelming experience shows that gender-affirming healthcare improves healthcare outcomes among transgender people and at minimal cost to the States.

Joining Attorney General Brown in filing the brief are the Attorneys General of California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island.