On September 27, a federal district court for the Southern District of California ruled that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), which prohibits “health programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance” from “discriminating against individuals on the basis of any ground listed under four different civil rights statutes,” protects individuals who identify as transgender. Judge Moskowitz states, “[b]ecause Title VII, and by extension Title IX, recognize that discrimination on the basis of transgender identity is discrimination on the basis of sex, the Court interprets the ACA to afford the same protections.” He also notes that the Ninth Circuit, which previously distinguished between “sex” and “gender,” has followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, which “abandoned [the] distinction and held that Title VII bars discrimination based on both an individual’s sex and failure to conform to socially-constructed gender expectations.”
It is worth mentioning that this decision came several days before Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama administration’s guidance instructing courts to interpret “sex” to include “gender identity” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law that prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex.
Prescott v. Rady Children’s Hospital — court order filed September 27, 2017
Federal court finds sex discrimination laws protect transgender people — metroweekly.com
Prescott v. Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego — Gender Identity Watch