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HHS Proposes Grants Rule to Advance Nondiscrimination Protections

On July 11, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the office for Civil Rights and Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to protect LGBTQI+ individuals from discrimination in HHS-funded programs and services.

If finalized, the Health and Human Services Grants Regulation (HHS Grants Rule) would clarify and reaffirm the prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in certain statutes. In 2020, the Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 blocked discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Grants Rule would confirm nondiscrimination protections in HHS programs, such as Head Start, in addition to other services and grants, including programs that provide assistance to refugees and individuals experiencing homelessness, treatment for substance use, and maternal and child health services. The proposed rule includes a provision that enables those with religious objections to seek exemption from or modification of program requirements.

Comments are due Sept. 11.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Faridat Animashaun is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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