Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Appeals court teaches Georgia county an expensive lesson in anti-trans discrimination

Another week, another court victory for transgender Americans and this one comes with a hefty price tag for those who sought to discriminate against her.

From The Associated Press

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that a Georgia county illegally discriminated against a sheriff’s deputy by failing to pay for her gender-affirming surgery. In its ruling Monday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it was tasked with determining whether a health insurance provider can be held liable under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for denying coverage for a procedure because an employee is transgender. 

The three-judge panel decided in a 2-1 vote that it can and that the lower court had ruled correctly. Houston County Sgt. Anna Lange, an investigator for the Houston County sheriff’s office, had sued Sheriff Cullen Talton and the county in 2019 after she was denied coverage. 

 . . .U.S. District Court Judge Marc Treadwell ruled in 2022 that the county’s refusal to cover Lange’s prescribed gender-affirmation surgery amounted to illegal sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Treadwell’s order cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 decision finding that a Michigan funeral home could not fire an employee for being transgender.

 The judge ordered the county’s insurance plan to pay for the surgery and Lange eventually underwent the procedure. A jury awarded Lange $60,000 in damages in 2022. The county sought to undo Treadwell’s order and the damage award. 

 According to LGBTQ Nation, the county spent $1.2 million in legal fees when the surgery would have only been $10,000. Oh well. That's what the county gets. Some people aren't content unless they learn the hard way. 

And I'm here for it.