HHS Secretary Tom Price resignation over using taxpayer-funded private planes. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

LGBT Groups Cheer Tom Price's Resignation as Health Secretary

BY CHRIS JOHNSON, WASHINGTON BLADE

LGBT groups were among those cheering the news late Friday that Secretary of Health & Human Services Tom Price resigned from his post amid scandal over using more than $500,000 in taxpayer dollars for private jets on travel.

Although the cited reason for his resignation was the scandal, Price exits in the aftermath of several congressional attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which provides health insurance for an estimated 20 million people, and accusations the Trump administration is sabotaging the law.

David Stacy, the Human Rights Campaign's director of governmental affairs, said in a statement Price's actions had a significantly negative impact on the health of LGBT people.

"We welcome Tom Price's resignation because he jeopardized the health and well being of LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities," Stacy said. "Americans deserve a secretary of Health and Human Services who will stand up for them and look out for their best interests no matter who they are, where they come from or whom they love."

Prior to joining the Trump administration, Price had built an anti-LGBT record as a U.S. House member representing Georgia in Congress. In 2006, he voted for a U.S. constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage throughout the country. Price also voted against hate crimes protections legislation, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal and a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

In 2013, Price participated in a conference call hosted by Tea Party Unity and said a caller was "absolutely right" about the potential of negative health and fiscal impact of legislation promoting LGBT rights. The caller was Rabbi Noson Leiter, who attributed the arrival of marriage equality in New York to Hurricane Sandy.

Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, cited Price's anti-LGBT record in a statement celebrating the resignation of Price.

"After decades of targeting marginalized communities for his own profit, karma finally caught up with Tom Price," Ellis said. "It's a relief that an anti-LGBTQ activist like Price was removed from the Trump Administration's highest ranks, but LGBTQ Americans must remain vigilant and prepare for the next nomination - as they could bring the same discriminatory agenda as the rest of the president's picks."

This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National Gay Media Association.
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