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    Georgia to now pay for gender-affirming care

    The state must also pay the three plaintiffs $365,000 for a delay in care. The law goes into effect immediately.

    ATLANTA — The transgender community is celebrating a major victory in Georgia on Friday. 

    The state settled a lawsuit and will provide gender-affirming care for state employees and public school teachers, as well as their spouses and dependents. 

    David Brown, the legal director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, helped lead the plaintiffs to a win.

    “Today’s big victory announcement means that those transgender employees are no longer excluded from coverage under the state employee health plan,” Brown said. 

    Brown represented the three plaintiffs who sued the state for care.

    “They sought approval for a surgery, or they tried to obtain a medication and they were denied it because they were transgender,” Brown said. 

    This summer, Georgia passed a law banning some gender-affirming care for transgender youth under 18 years old.

    “A state employee who has a loved one who is transgender and is seeking care that’s not available in Georgia will just be able to seek it. We’ll have to seek it out of state,” Brown said. 

    Georgia Equality executive director Jeff Graham said regulations and standards for gender-affirming care are set by the World Professional Transgender Health Organization.

    “This really is a legitimate form of medicine,” Graham said. “Being able to live your authentic life in the way that you identify, even though that’s not the sex that you were assigned at birth, is incredibly important to someone’s well-being.” 

    The plaintiffs’ lawyer hopes this case can set an example and precedent not just in Georgia but across the country.

    “Discrimination against transgender employees who work just as hard for their paychecks as everybody else is indefensible,” Brown said. 

    The state must also pay the three plaintiffs $365,000 for a delay in care. The law goes into effect immediately.


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