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Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra on May 5 in Washington, DC. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration will reinstate anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, especially transgender people, that had been narrowed under the Trump administration, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra confirmed Monday.

Why it matters: A Trump-era rule that excluded gender identity from sex discrimination protections made it easier for doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to deny transgender people health coverage.

  • The rollback came last June, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to narrow legal protections for LGBTQ people.
  • The new protections will bring the agency's policies in line with a Supreme Court ruling last year that prevents employers from firing employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, HHS said in a press release.

What they're saying: "It simply says what everyone already should know. You should not discriminate against people, that includes those based on sexual orientation or gender identity," Becerra told CNN.

  • "And when it comes to healthcare, we want to make sure that's the case. There was a provision in the Affordable Care Act, which said that, and so now it's clear."
  • "There's no ambiguity. You cannot discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

The big picture: LGBTQ advocates viewed Becerra's confirmation as a win for transgender rights, considering his track record as California's attorney general.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Aug 2, 2021 - Sports

Elite trans athletes decry youth sports bans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TOKYO — While transgender inclusion in elite sports presents some challenging issues, bans on participation in youth sports are simply about hate and cruelty, several top trans athletes told Axios this week.

The big picture: Lawmakers in more than half of the states have considered such bans, and they have been signed into law in at least eight states, though legal challenges remain.

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

3 hours ago - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.