LGBTQ+ Rights and Regulation

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In honor of Pride Month, The Regulatory Review brings together leading scholars to discuss LGBTQ+ regulatory issues.

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The Biden Administration currently boasts the most LGBTQ+-inclusive cabinet in U.S. history. As a result, the national leaders today who are coordinating some of the most complex and important regulatory issues in the United States include individuals such as Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the first openly gay member of a cabinet department, and Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, the first openly transgender political appointee to be confirmed the U.S. Senate.

Regulators and policymakers have made significant strides in using regulation to expand the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community. In many localities around the country, for example, ordinances and other rules protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. Yet challenges still remain that are demanding regulatory attention. Some federal anti-discrimination laws, for example, still fail to recognize sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories.

The Regulatory Review developed this series to examine how institutional and administrative barriers persist that affect LGBTQ+ individuals. This series seeks to highlight issues that distinctively impact LGBTQ+ communities and how regulation has both the potential to expand and restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ people. It both celebrates the triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community and yet acknowledges areas that remain for more inclusive and equitable regulatory policies.

The Regulatory Review commemorates Pride Month this June with a series of essays on how regulation affects LGBTQ+ communities, featuring contributions from: Amal Bass, Women’s Law Project; Suzanne Eckes, Indiana University; Robert Espinoza, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute; Ayako Miyashita Ochoa, University of California, Los Angeles; Maya Satya Reddy, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Amanda Shanor, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Scott Skinner-Thompson, University of Colorado Law School; Kyle C. Velte, University of Kansas School of Law; Jordan Blair Woods, University of Arkansas School of Law.

“LGBTQ+ Need Not Apply”

June 21, 2021 | Amanda Shanor, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

The U.S. Supreme Court moved to allow discrimination in a recent decision.

The Regulatory Erasure of LGBTQ+ Youth

June 22, 2021 | Jordan Blair Woods, University of Arkansas School of Law

Without more concrete data-reporting requirements from HHS, child welfare laws cannot adequately respond to the unique needs of LGTBQ foster youth.

Pennsylvania Needs to Codify LGBTQ+ Protections

June 23, 2021 | Amal Bass, Women’s Law Project

Getting the State Assembly to pass the Pennsylvania Fairness Act could enshrine a message of equality and LGBTQ+ protections into state law.

Older LGBTQ+ Adults Deserve Comprehensive Policy Interventions

June 24, 2021 | Robert Espinoza, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute

Comprehensive regulatory reforms can equip older LGBTQ+ individuals to confront the distinct barriers they experience.

Clash Between Students’ Names and Instructors’ Religious Beliefs

June 25, 2021 | Suzanne Eckes, Indiana University

Federal courts have seen an influx of challenges from classroom instructors over their refusal to refer to transgender students by their preferred pronouns.

Advancing LGBTQ+ Rights Through Attorney Regulation

June 28, 2021 | Kyle C. Velte, University of Kansas School of Law

Continuing legal education requirements and professional rules of conduct are two key areas where the attorney regulation system could advance LGBTQ+ equality.

The Weaponization of Title IX in Sports

June 29, 2021 | Maya Satya Reddy, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Although Title IX was intended to level the playing field in sports, it has since become weaponized by policymakers to exclude certain LGBTQ+ individuals from participating fully.

Discriminatory Blood Donation Policies Defy Science

June 30, 2021 | Ayako Miyashita Ochoa, University of California, Los Angeles

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights blood donation deferral policies that clash with modern science.

Resisting Regulatory Oppression of Transgender Children

July 1, 2021 | Scott Skinner-Thompson, University of Colorado Law School

Recent bills targeting transgender youth are both harmful and unconstitutional.