AACAP Applauds U.S. House of Representatives on Passing the Equality Act

WASHINGTON, DC, March 3, 2021 --  The American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives on passage of H.R. 5, the “Equality Act.”  This landmark legislation would extend protections against discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, public spaces and services, and federally funded programs, including within child welfare and adoption systems. Experiences of discrimination are stigmatizing and can have significant mental health implications for children and youth, including higher rates of mental health conditions and increased suicidality risk currently experienced by sexual and gender minority youth.  At a time when we are seeing many states introduce legislation to limit or outright ban evidence-based gender affirming health care and athletic participation for minors identifying as transgender or gender nonconforming, federal protections are all the more critical.  AACAP supports the “Equality Act” and urges the U.S. Senate to pass this crucial civil rights legislation.