The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed a new rule that will extend protection from discrimination, in programs and activities conducted by the Department, on the basis of gender identity and political affiliation. Last revised in 1999 to add sexual orientation, this amendment to the USDA’s non-discrimination regulations will protect transgender and gender nonconforming people seeking loans and assistance in agriculture and rural communities.
NCTE is proud to be joining hands with a number of other LGBT and human rights organizations, in applauding the USDA for their thoughtful steps towards transgender inclusion. The current proposal will extend protections to programs and activities that the USDA directly administers in thousands of communities throughout the country. NCTE is joining many others in urging the United States Department of Agriculture to take the next step and include protections for LGBT people across all the programs they finance. This would mean explicitly banning anti-LGBT discrimination in the food stamp program and many other federal nutrition programs that collectively serve millions of people.
The USDA is setting a great example of the actions that can and should be adopted all across the United States government. These are actions that protect LGBT people wherever federal funds are being used. For example, NCTE is also imploring the Department of Health and Human Services to add these protections in hospitals and other federally funded health facilities.
Here is our official comment to the USDA here.