AAFP Reaffirms Antidiscrimination Policy with Vote on Transgender Equality
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016
Senior Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 6252
LEAWOOD, Kan. — The American Academy of Family Physicians today reaffirmed its policies against discrimination by approving a resolution that specifically opposes state and federal laws that compromise the safety and health of transgender people.
The action, which opposes laws prohibiting transgender people from using public facilities that match their identity, adds to the AAFP’s long-standing policy against discrimination.
AAFP’s policy opposes “all discrimination in any form, including but not limited to, that on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic affiliation, health, age, disability, economic status, body habitus or national origin.”
However, delegates focused on access to public facilities as a result of recent legislation restricting transgender people’s access to public accommodations. Of 21 state bills dealing with transgender issues in 2015(www.hrc.org), 17 -- or 81 percent -- restricted access to bathrooms, locker rooms or sports.
Delegates cited the psychological and physical fallout from laws that discriminate against transgender people. Research(williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu) has shown that the inability to use restroom facilities or avoiding restrooms can lead to dehydration, kidney infections and urinary tract infections.
“Although these issues can be divisive, clearly so-called bathroom bills are discriminatory, and the AAFP has longstanding policy against discrimination,” said John Meigs, Jr., MD, president-elect of the AAFP.
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).