For some time now, our nation has been experiencing heightened polarization and increased division. It has spread from our highly divisive politics to now affecting so many aspects of our society, our culture, and our lives. Robust debates and passionate advocacy are important and good for an inclusive democracy and society. But what we are experiencing now is not that. Today’s polarized culture leads people to belittle and marginalize those who differ or are different. It’s not healthy.
At Kaiser Permanente, we believe our future hinges on our ability to unite, rather than divide, as a multicultural, multiracial society and democracy.
We stand for equity for all. At Kaiser Permanente, we know firsthand the role equity plays in enabling full, abundant, and healthy lives. We are striving to eliminate racism, disparities, and health inequities of any kind, in our organization and across the communities we serve. To create equity and inclusion for all we must address all barriers that are unjust, unequal, and preventable.
In that context, we are deeply concerned with actions that put the health of our members and others at risk. This includes several current proposals that appear to be targeting LGBTQIA+ — or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and allied people — especially transgender youth, by affecting access to medical care, social and family services, and public facilities such as restrooms, and more. Many of these proposals have the potential to undermine the physical and mental health of millions of people living in our country.
We remain fully committed to transgender care and maintaining all services and protections for our LGBTQIA+ members, and to being a strong ally in the fight for equal rights.
In 2016, we joined the Business Coalition for the Equality Act to advocate for fair, equitable treatment of LGBTQIA+ people. This group of leading employers supports federal legislation that would provide the same basic protections to LGBTQIA+ people as are provided to other protected groups under federal law.
Today we reaffirm our support for the Equality Act and stand with our LGBTQIA+ neighbors, colleagues, patients, friends, and family members against discrimination. We call on all other organizations large and small to support the Equality Act and help create a more just, healthy, and equitable country.