This article was published by the Center for American Progress
By Kellan Baker, Jeff Krehely
President Barack Obama moved forcefully to tackle injustice and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans by signing into law two bills long championed by LGBT and human rights organizations.* First is the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded the 1969 federal hate crimes law to include crimes motivated by bias against someone’s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Second is the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the military’s ban on service by openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual individuals.
But as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us almost fifty years ago, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” The Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in March 2010, seeks to remedy this injustice by transforming the U.S. health system. The law expands access to health and affordable health care for millions of people in America, including gay and transgender Americans and others who are among our society’s most vulnerable.