On January 23, 2019, The American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Arizona and the Arizona Board of Regents for denying medically necessary, gender-confirming health care to transgender people employed by the state. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Dr. Russell B. Toomey, an associate professor of family studies and human development at the University of Arizona, and all other transgender individuals employed by the Arizona Board of Regents or enrolled in the State health plan, including dependents.
The Arizona state employee health plan has a blanket exclusion for gender-confirming surgery and transgender people are not offered the opportunity to demonstrate that their transition-related surgery is medically necessary. The lawsuit alleges the exclusion unlawfully discriminates against transgender people in violation of federal civil rights statutes and the Constitution.
“No one should be denied medically necessary care because of who they are,” said ACLU of Arizona Legal Director Kathy Brody. “Transgender people are part of our community, our families and our workplaces, and they deserve the same benefits Arizona affords everyone else.”
The lawsuit asks the court to remove the health plan’s exclusion for gender-confirming surgery. It also seeks the opportunity for all transgender state employees and dependents to have their claims for transition-related surgery evaluated as medically necessary under the same standards and procedures the health plan applies to other medical treatments.