AIDS United’s CEO responds to Supreme Court and Trump administration

Jesse Milan Jr., president and CEO of AIDS United, issued the following statement after the Supreme Court announced its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, in which the court ruled that LGBTQ+ workers are protected from job discrimination, and in response to the Trump administration’s new rule that allows discrimination against LGBTQ+ people:

“I celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision. The six justices in the majority span the ideological spectrum, and yet they agreed: discrimination has no place at work.

“Discrimination against LGBTQ+ workers denies us access to livelihoods and health insurance, and breeds stigma.

“Access to employment and health care is a major factor in the fight to end the HIV epidemic. Health care is too often tied to employment. The protections the court upheld today eliminate a major historic barrier that has stopped our people from getting and keeping jobs and obtaining employer-provided health insurance.

“There can be no better way of celebrating Pride Month than a Supreme Court decision recognizing that LGBTQ+ people have equal rights under the law.

“Yet our celebration won’t be complete because Black and brown LGBTQ+ people still live in a country where racial justice is not complete and the Trump administration is sanctioning discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in health care.

“Just last Friday, the Trump administration rolled back protections for the communities most impacted by HIV, particularly transgender people. The administration announced its new rule that   permits discrimination in health care against LGBTQ+ people under the guise of religious freedom. This poses a direct threat to the health of millions of people and undermines the Trump administration’s own goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.

“Access to health care is an indispensable part of ending the HIV epidemic. Study after study shows this to be true. Studies also show LGBTQ+ people, especially Black and Latinx communities, bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic in the United States. We must do everything we can to increase access to care for these communities.

“While we celebrate the giant step forward in the Supreme Court decision, our celebration is muted by the realities of systemic racism, transphobia and stigma.”