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LBGTQ Equity Statement

CCDPH Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Prohibiting Discrimination
Against LGBTQ Workers Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision on June 16, 2020, ruling that, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which prohibits discrimination based on sex – by logic, now also officially prohibits discrimination against employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The ruling extended protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees, and overturned the June 12 rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that attempted to strip healthcare discrimination protections from people who are transgender.

CCDPH denounces any policies that would strip people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer of equal rights. It is our position that discrimination in any form – racism, sexism, and on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity – aside from being despicable, is a significant threat to the health of the public and must be addressed.

Research suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals face higher rates of injuries, illnesses and deaths linked to years of societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of civil and human rights. According to Healthy People 2020,

  • LGBT youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide, and are more likely to be homeless.
  • Lesbians are less likely to get preventive services for cancer.
  • Lesbians and bisexual females are more likely to be overweight or obese.
  • Transgender individuals have a high prevalence of victimization, mental health issues, and suicide and are less likely to have health insurance than heterosexual or LGB individuals.
  • Elderly LGBT individuals face additional barriers to health because of isolation and a lack of social services and culturally competent providers.
  • LGBT populations have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use.

We support policies that promote equality for all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth and adults in workplaces, healthcare, housing, religious organizations, marriage, and all aspects of life.

We support and echo the American Public Health Association’s statement entitled, “Supreme Court decision on LGBTQ rights is [a] public health victory.”