The City of Seattle Office of Civil Rights has announced that it will now cover transgender related procedures for City employees.
Seattle Gay News reports was the result of several months of negotiations between several City Commissions, and that agreement was actually reach months ago, but the formal announcement was timed to coincide with the open enrollment period for City employees. There were two particularly positive elements in the decision, one being that the decision acknowledge the danger of not offering benefits to City employees:
The commissions pointed out that City employees denied health care coverage because of their gender identity could develop debilitating secondary medical conditions, be at higher risk for suicide, and experience increased psychological distress.
The decision also received strong support from City employee unions, which came as a surprise to LGBT Commission Co-Chair Tiffany Nelson:
When we met with the union reps on the healthcare committee – at first I was reluctant to meet them – all these straight white guys from the union. But they were extremely supportive. It was a wonderful surprise for me!’ she said.
A positive development all around. Seattle joins Portland and San Francisco among major cities offering trans-inclusive healthcare benefits.