Opposition to Healthcare Discrimination Because of Gender Identity

Whereas, Transgender people are systematically discriminated against in housing, education, employment, access to health care and many other aspects of daily life and there are no Federal employment protections to safeguard transgender, bi-sexual, lesbian, and gay people on the job; and

Whereas, “Gender identity or expression” means a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of an individual, whether actual or perceived, and regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth and existing policies that offer protections with respect to “sex,” “gender” and/or “sexual orientation” do not protect individuals based on their gender identity or expression; and

Whereas, Transgender workers are systematically discriminated against in health care, and in employee benefits packages when they are denied insurance coverage for medically necessary transgender transition services and surgeries; and

Whereas, in 2004 AFT Local 3550, the Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO), representing graduate student employees at the University of Michigan was the first union local in the United States ever to bargain for transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage and to eliminate transgender exclusions in health insurance which resulted in no increase in the cost of insurance to union members; and

Whereas, the AFT Michigan, AFL-CIO, passed a resolution “Opposing Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression” by an overwhelming majority in 2005 and amended its constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in 2006.

Therefore be it resolved,that Pride at Work (PAW) urges its members to include non-discrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of “gender identity or expression,” in local, state, and national union policies and contract negotiations and that unions urge employers to adopt relevant policies to prevent discrimination based on “gender identity or expression; and

Be it further resolved,that Pride at Work call on its members and affiliates to fight existing barriers and discriminatory practices, and ensure access to health care services, including fighting for transgender-inclusive health care and insurance policies covering all medically necessary transgender transition services and procedures; and

Be it finally resolved,that the Pride at Work stand in solidarity with transgender workers and call on the AFL- CIO and other unions to raise their bargaining voices to demand transgender inclusive health care and insurance policies and declare resolute defiance of all forms of discrimination based upon “gender identity or expression.”

Submitted by: AFT Caucus of Pride at Work September 7, 2006