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Center for Constitutional Governance
Even in the best of times, LGBT individuals have legal vulnerabilities in employment, housing, healthcare and other domains resulting from a combination of persistent bias and uneven protection against discrimination. In this time of COVID-19, these vulnerabilities combine to amplify both the legal and health risks that LGBT people face.
This essay focuses on several risks that are particularly linked to being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, with the recognition that these vulnerabilities are often intensified by discrimination based on race, ethnicity, age, disability, immigration status and other aspects of identity. Topics include: 1) federal withdrawal of antidiscrimination protections; 2) heightened health risks and vulnerabilities seeking healthcare; 3) family recognition and COVID-19; 4) employment discrimination; and 5) populations at special risk.
It also bears noting at the outset that LGBT people already have close and long-lasting experience with HIV/AIDS, which has been described by many as a pandemic and which brought with it enduring stigma and many forms of discrimination and other harms. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is a new hero to many Americans for his clarity in press briefings on COVID-19, is a familiar presence for AIDS activists because of his role in the 1980s and 90s as a leader of the federal government's response to HIV/AIDS.
Suzanne B. Goldberg,
COVID-19 and LGBT Rights,
Law in the Time of COVID-19, Katharina Pistor, Ed., Columbia Law School, 2020
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/2687
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